The King’s Cross Steelers Rugby Club returns home victorious from the 9th Biannual Union Cup - winning the premier grade, the Union Cup, and the secondary title, the Union Plate, in the top tier, with three other teams making finals in their respective grades.
The Union Cup is one of the largest amateur rugby tournaments in the world. The Covid-delayed competition was held in Birmingham over the early May Bank Holiday, with over 1,600 players taking part in teams from the UK, Europe and for the first time, Israel. It is also a bright spot for diversity in the sport, as these clubs represent the LGBTQI+ community and the event highlighted trans-inclusion in sport.
The King’s Cross Steelers have competed in this competition since it started in Montpellier in 2005 to bring inclusive teams together from across Europe.
The club organised and supported over 170 members in six teams to attend the tournament and was successful in getting to five finals (at various grades) and winning two pieces of silverware. The whole club is overjoyed with making the twin finals and being successful.
Attending the 2023 Union Cup, Eden Hannam, the Club’s Chairman said: ‘The King’s Cross Steelers are great supporters of the Union Cup, having attended since the beginning in 2005 when all participants could fit onto one bus. We are enthusiastic about the growth of inclusive rugby and the clubs it supports, despite recent setbacks for transplayers. We’re thrilled to retain the Union Cup and its memorial to the founding players of our game. All credit to the final game against Tou’win, the Toulouse based team. It was a close and hard fought game in the drizzle. Credit to Alistair Burford and his team in Birmingham who put together a seamless weekend with amazing pitches and painless organisation.
After virtually no games during the pandemic, and league seasons still bearing the scars of this, we brought six teams to Birmingham, from graduates of our beginners ‘Pathway to Rugby Programme’, through to our key Essex League players and veterans who founded the club and played in those first games. This win is a tribute to the hard work of every member of the King’s Cross Steelers who played, coached, referred, fundraised, condition/rehabilitated and supported our club - proof that we believe that rugby is for all. We could not have done this without some great sponsors and will be celebrating with them. We look forward to defending our title in two years time!”
Full match results: https://www.tournifyapp.com/live/unioncup23
Live stream matches: https://unioncuprugby.com/live-streaming/
Final Matches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yYFIf3IDeg