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SONICS SIGN HISTORIC DEAL WITH ALL GOLDS

Bristol Sonics have cemented their position as the South West’s leading community Rugby League club by entering into a partnership with Championship One side University of Gloucestershire All Golds.

After extensive negotiations, the two organizations have signed a partnership agreement that will see them share players, coaching staff and resources. The two clubs will also work together on marketing, merchandising and player development.

As part of the deal, the University of Gloucestershire All Golds’ coaching team will work closely with their Sonics counterparts, sharing ideas and resources for the benefit of both clubs. A number of the Championship One club’s players will also be “dual registered” with the Sonics, allowing them to appear for Bristol during the forthcoming Conference League South season.

The two clubs will also work closely to identify and develop talented young Rugby League players, offering them a platform to progress from the local junior game to the semi-professional ranks via the regional and national amateur leagues.

Bristol Sonics will also display the University of Gloucestershire All Golds’ “golden fern” emblem on the sleeve of their playing shirts this season, and work with the Championship One side on increasing participation in the game at junior, youth and open age level.

Bristol Sonics Director of Rugby, Karl Fearnley, said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce this agreement between the Sonics and the All Golds. This partnership puts in place structures that will allow talented, ambitious Rugby players from the South West a route to semi-professional rugby directly from the community game. Our close ties with the All Golds will make the Sonics an attractive proposition for young players with designs on the Championships or even Super League.”

University of Gloucestershire All Golds’ Head Coach, Brad Hepi, said: “this gives us another pathway of sustainable player development for our professional team and a relationship that will be equally beneficial to both clubs on and off the field”

This year, Bristol Sonics’ first team will compete in the Rugby Football League’s new Conference League South competition for elite community clubs based outside the game’s traditional Northern “heartlands”. The season begins on April 6, when the Sonics face a long trip North to take on Sheffield Hallam Eagles, a new side set up by 2012 Championship winners Sheffield Eagles and Sheffield Hallam University.

The University of Gloucestershire All Golds will begin their Championship One campaign on Good Friday, 29 March, when they host Oxford RLFC at the Prince of Wales Stadium, Cheltenham.

The West of England League, featuring the Sonics’ second team and other community clubs from the region, is due to kick-off in May.

Bristol Sonics Chairman Phil Cole said: “I’m delighted that we’ve reached an agreement with the University of Gloucestershire All Golds to work together over the new few years. It’s in our interest to forge close links with the West’s new professional club, not only to give our players the chance to progress their careers, but also to help promote the Greatest Game across the region. I firmly believe this agreement is in the best interest of both clubs.”

University of Gloucestershire All Golds’ Chief Executive, Rob Webber said: “The partnership between the University of Gloucestershire All Golds and Bristol Sonics is a particular interest of mine. As a Bristolian myself I am very keen to see Rugby League develop throughout my home city and with the All Golds and Sonics working together we can ensure that progress continues.”

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All Golds launch Business Breakfast

Leeds Rhinos supremo, Gary Hetherington, will be the inaugural guest speaker at the much anticipated University of Gloucestershire All Golds Business Breakfast, which will take place on Friday February 15th.

Held from 8am till 9.30am at Fullwood House, at the University of Gloucestershire’s Park Campus in Cheltenham, the event will be free of charge.

Rob Webber, All Golds Chief Executive, said: “Leeds Rhinos are current Super League and World Club Champions and are amongst the leading sporting global brands. Gary is one of the top figures in World Sport and we are delighted to have him down to launch our business breakfasts.”

February 15th is a very major date in the Rugby League calendar being the anniversary of the ‘Great Match’ played in Cheltenham when the New Zealand All Golds defeated Great Britain to win the sport’s first ever deciding international.

The University of Gloucestershire All Golds are official partners of the Leeds club and the link between the local area and the Yorkshire giants goes back to 1908 as the Leeds club had two players selected in the Great Britain team that in fact lost to the New Zealand All Golds namely Thomas and Birch.

The event will give local business men and women the chance to network whilst listening to the words of wisdom from Gary. Mike Simmonds, Business Development Manager at the University of Gloucestershire All Golds is anticipating a great day:

“With the season only weeks away we have reached a point where both supporters and the business community are keen to see what the All Golds and its professional setup looks like. With this in mind, and to mark the anniversary of the Great Match of 1908, we are running a celebratory business breakfast on Wednesday 15th February. The morning will include a talk by Gary Hetherington as well as a chance to meet All Golds club officials whilst networking with likeminded business professionals. The breakfast will be a great way to further bring together our and Gloucestershire’s passion for sport and business.”

For more information including tickets and future fixtures visit www.allgoldsrugby.com

All Golds Breakfast invitation

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Latest All Golds Signing Swaps Classroom for the Rugby Pitch

Wells Cathedral School master Nico Flanaghan has signed for the University of Gloucestershire All Golds after impressing in the professional trials.

Nico, who also teaches Physical Education and Biology at the Somerset school, recently captained the University of Exeter rugby league side with distinction, and won many admirers for top performances last summer during his spell with Super League side Wakefield Trinity Wildcats under 20s.

During his time at Exeter, Nico was also nominated for Male Sportsman of the Year and awarded international colours. He captained the South of England Rugby League squad and played for England students in 2011 and 2010 – the year they were crowned Winners of the Home Nations Championships.

Nico said: “I am very much looking forward to the season ahead with the All Golds. I have been extremely impressed by the coaching staff, especially head coach Brad Hepi. The facilities available are amongst the best in the British Isles and I can’t wait to start the Championship 1 season.”

All Golds Head Coach Brad Hepi, adds: “Nico has come from a good environment. He is a fine athlete who can cover many positions and will be an asset to the All Golds in the forthcoming season.”

Nico is the latest signing to be announced as the All Golds prepare for their opening Championship One fixture against Oxford at the Prince of Wales stadium in Cheltenham on Good Friday, March 29.

For more information including tickets and future fixtures visit www.allgoldsrugby.com