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Booth hopes London switch brings new fans to URC

03 Nov 2023 3 minute read
Ospreys Head Coach Toby Booth with the media ahead of the game. Credit ©INPHO/Ben Brady

Ospreys coach Toby Booth hopes taking Friday’s fixture against the Hollywoodbets Sharks to the home of Harlequins will attract new rugby fans to the BKT URC.

Staging the Round 3 encounter at the Twickenham Stoop will be a real landmark event as it will be the first BKT URC match to be played in London.

“It’s a good opportunity,” said Booth, who knows the venue well having previously coached at Quins, as well as having spells with London Irish and Bath.

“Everyone should get commended for their role in trying to do something different. Rugby needs as much positive impetus as it can get at the moment.

“There is a lot of doom and gloom in this area around finance and bits and pieces, so to give something else for people to focus on, a change of venue, a change of experience and to go into the Premiership back door, which obviously I come from, is interesting.

Positive momentum

He added: “Hopefully we can promote a few more people, different rugby fans, to come and have a look at the BKT URC because there have been a lot of tries scored in the opening two weeks of the season.

“There is a lot of excitement over the style of rugby. In conjunction with the World Cup, it’s a good time to try and get some positive momentum in rugby.

“Rugby in general needs as many positive experiences as it can get at the moment. There have been a lot of headlines and a lot written about what not’s going right, so to create an opportunity where we can go and do something different and get some positive momentum is good.

“I think we should enjoy the fact that we are trying to be different. If it promotes more people coming to watch, then that’s great.”

Booth – who was speaking at a BKT URC round table along with his Sharks counterpart John Plumtree – is anticipating that both sides will look to put on a show for the new fans in the crowd.

“We have to realise sport is in the entertainment business,” he said. “You have two positive teams that have very little interest in winning 9-6. We have a duty to provide something to go and watch, for people to be entertained, to enjoy it and talk about it the next day.

“We will be looking to play a positive brand of rugby that hopefully gets people off their seats.”

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6 months ago

Just when you think Welsh sports, Rugby in particular couldn’t “Stoop” any lower… they go and find a way. Ha, yes the pun was intended!

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