Royals RFC have quietly been going about their business since forming in 2016 but have gone from strength to strength ever since entering the English league system.
Tomorrow they play their first home match of what has been an impressive season to date. Dan Andrade caught up with captain Cameron Queree ahead of the match and learnt all about the club!
The full interview is below!
When did the Royals first form?
Royals first formed in 2016 following the collapse of the Jersey/Channel Islands rugby league. Most of the squad for the first seasons came from two of the former clubs Bank and Beeches but steadily grown and added more players throughout the seasons.
Was it easy to get the right number of players together so you can play, being a new club?
Initially we would sometimes have struggled for numbers for training but always seemed to manage to get a squad together for games. We normally played teams in Jersey in the initial years which helped massively as we could play without the need to travel.
When did you know you wanted to compete in the English leagues?
I think this was always the intention of the club from formation. For the first few years it was easier to play touring sides as this really helped cement community rugby back on the island. As we grew in numbers and gelled more as a team it was becoming the next logical step to compete in the leagues for regular competitive action. Our principal sponsor Dominion were really understanding that it would take time, and a lot of teams visiting, to grow our player base and expand to the point where we are now and be able to compete in England.
What was the very first game in England like? From the travelling to the game?
It was a shock to the system for the early starts again! Travelling for away days was something a lot of the squad were used to having gone through the Jersey Reds academy. When we travelled to East Grinstead for our first ever league game it was a trip into the unknown. The game was a step up to the sides we had previously been playing – the intensity and structure to the game was tougher than some of our previous games. We really took the fight to them early on and held a good lead at half time. Unfortunately their strong bench really made a difference in the second half and they regained the lead. However a try from our favourite Welshman, Lyam England , with the final play of the game snatched a victory. The atmosphere in the changing room after this was electric and made all the hard work of everyone who had put in so much time to get the club to this place so worth it.
How has this season been so far? Give us a brief summary!
We got off to a flying start winning our first 5 seeding games. This got us promoted from Sussex 3 to Sussex 2 Championship. In terms of starts we couldnt ask for more! We started the next match against Dithchling in the same fashion, another strong win on the road really helping us keep the momentum. Unfortunately we then had and extended COVID and Christmas break, as we restarted with a tough away game in Hove. I think the lack of match sharpness showed and were beaten by a strong and well drilled side.
How much are your looking forward to your first every competitive home match of the season?
I’m absolutely buzzing for it, I know the rest of the squad are too! This has been a long time coming and having played all our games away so far this season to finally get to play in front of our families and friends is so special. For the club its a special day too, from where we began to where we are now has been such a special journey and a real pleasure to be a part of. For our sponsors too, especially Dominion, this has shown the fruits of their investment in the club.
When and where is it? How much would you encourage people to come and support?
We will be playing 1pm at the rugby club. I’d encourage everyone to come up, we really appreciate the support we get and and helps so much on the pitch!