Rhino extends Hong Kong Rugby Union partnership

Rhino extends Hong Kong Rugby Union partnership

Rhino has announced a new five-year deal with Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU) as official training and equipment supplier, a role they have fulfilled since 2015.

The deal ensures Hong Kong national teams have access to Rhino's world-class range of training equipment as they prepare for upcoming tournaments including the World Cup Sevens and Asian Games later this year.
In addition, clubs, schools and university rugby clubs will be able to purchase all their equipment needs through the Rhino portal on the HKRU website, and each sale will earn a commission that will flow back to the community.  “World-class preparation relies on world class training equipment, and there’s no more respected and trusted name on the rugby pitch than Rhino,” said James Farndon, HKRU General Manager of Performance. “We are delighted to have continued access to Rhino’s unrivalled range that includes scrummaging machines, hit shields, tackle bags and rugby accessories.”
Rhino Hong Kong
Rhino has supplied HKRU since 2015, including their Global Rapid Rugby side
Piers Higson Smith, director of Rhino-Powa Holdings (Asia) commented: “Rhino is an Official Supplier of contact and training equipment to England Rugby, the Welsh Rugby Union and the French Rugby Federation, and to the last four British & Irish Lions tours, and we are delighted to see Hong Kong continue as part of the Rhino ‘family’. We look forward to supporting not just the national teams but grassroots rugby across the whole community over the coming years."
Rhino is also currently official match ball supplier to Asia Rugby, meaning Hong Kong senior national sides will also continue to use the Rhino Vortex Elite in its competitive Asia Rugby matches and tournaments.
April 07, 2022 — Alex Mead
Rugby charities from Brazil and Kenya share Rhino’s grassroots award

Rugby charities from Brazil and Kenya share Rhino’s grassroots award

UMRio of Brazil and Kenya’s Rugby Gem have become the first joint winners of the Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award.

Now in its seventh year, this is the first time the Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award has been shared. The judges found it impossible to choose between UMRio in Brazil and Rugby Gem in Kenya, who both use rugby as a way of bringing about social change with a focus on underprivileged children, and so opted to give the award to both.

UMRio works within Rio’s Morro do Castro favela, and uses rugby as a way to provide educational support to impoverished children. As well as the rugby training, they offer additional tuition and support, and even aim to gain scholarships for the children on their programmes.

Rugby Gem works in both Mombasa and Nanyuki where organiser Dennis Gem offers rugby sessions and matches for children from local orphanages in an area of Kenya where child slavery and prostitution is rife. Not only has Rugby Gem helped boys and girls to international honours, but they’ve also helped many of their players gain scholarships to schools and universities.

“These two programmes are on a par with any nominations we have ever had,” explained Reg Clark, CEO, Rhino. “We found it impossible to decide between them, due to the invaluable work they both do for underprivileged children using rugby as a medium. What they do is simply mind-blowing. 

“Our sincere congratulations go to Robert Malengreau and Dennis Gem, and all of the people who support them, for their stellar achievements. They are truly an inspiration to the world of rugby generally.”

The Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award, now in its seventh year, recognises clubs, organisations and individuals globally who show the true spirit of rugby at community level.

Past Winners:
2015: TAG RUGBY TRUST (UK)
2016: KAMPUCHEA BALOPP (Cambodia)
2017: SKRUM (Eswatini/Swaziland)
2018: SHIBUYA INTERNATIONAL RUGBY CLUB (Japan)
2019: KHELO RUGBY (India) 
2020: RICHMOND RUGBY (UK)

December 21, 2021 — Alex Mead
Mo Bros Rugby complete the Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award shortlist

Mo Bros Rugby complete the Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award shortlist

Movember has always gained huge support in the rugby community, but Mo Bros Rugby has taken that support to new levels and receives Rhino’s fourth nomination

For almost two decades, men’s health charity Movember has worked hard to raise awareness of issues ranging from prostate cancer and testicular cancer to mental health and suicide prevention. The rugby community has always played a big role and our fourth nominee is Mo Bros Rugby, an invitational side formed this year to help further spread the word through the rugby diaspora.

The side played its first game of fifteens last month at Richmond Rugby against Kew Occasionals RFC, having previously played sevens at the Bournemouth Sevens. The shirt is hoped to become a must-have item to raise funds for the charity and there’s plans for a schedule culminating in a Dubai 7s appearances for the side.

Founded by Zein Jallad and Fraser MacDonald-Lister, the Mo Bros Rugby joins an effort that regularly raises six figure sums for the charity.

Oswin Croft, fundraising manager for sport at Movember, commented:  “Mo Bros Rugby unites the most passionate Mo Bros from the top rugby teams supporting Movember – teams which together raised over £100,000 in 2020 for men’s health.
“The game at Richmond united a group of guys together who are generating thousands of conversations through their clubs about Movember and men’s mental health.”

Nick Darke, a coach at Richmond Rugby, who helped arrange the fixture said: “We had players from all over the UK come to play in the side and, for the first-ever fifteens fixture, it went really well. We even had 20 players from Farnham RFC who walked overnight to Richmond, 30 miles away, to help raise awareness.
“This is the starting point and next year we’ll be really cranking it up, with more tournaments, an annual match and maybe an overseas tour.

Commenting on the Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award nomination, co-founder and captain Fraser, said: “We are really honoured and delighted to be nominated for the Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award this year – the nomination of course recognises not just our team and its efforts but also everyone in rugby who does their bit for Movember each year.”

Mo Bros Rugby completes the shortlist for 2021 Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award, joining Chew Valley RFC, UMRio Rugby of Brazil and Kenya’s Rugby Gem in the final. The winner will be announced w/c 20th December, 2021 via Rhino social media channels.

The Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award, now in its seventh year, recognises clubs, organisations and individuals globally who show the true spirit of rugby at community level.

Past Winners:
2015: TAG RUGBY TRUST (UK)
2016: KAMPUCHEA BALOPP (Cambodia)
2017: SKRUM (Eswatini/Swaziland)
2018: SHIBUYA INTERNATIONAL RUGBY CLUB (Japan)
2019: KHELO RUGBY (India) 
2020: RICHMOND RUGBY (UK)

December 13, 2021 — Alex Mead
Kenya’s Rugby Gem shortlisted for Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award

Kenya’s Rugby Gem shortlisted for Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award

A rugby programme in Kenya that helps to keep at-risk children off the streets and into a scholarship is the third organisation to reach the final of Rhino’s prestigious award.

In the Kenyan market town of Nanyuki, some 200km north of Nairobi, IT worker Dennis Gem has been helping to save lives through rugby.

For more than a decade, his self-started, self-funded Rugby Gem programme has worked in the most deprived areas of first Mombasa and now Nanyuki, targeting children from orphanages and giving them something to do outside of school. “Most of the kids are from deprived homes and orphanages and, for those in Mombasa, in areas with big drug problems,” explains Dennis. “The end result for the majority of these kids is drugs, crime, jail, prostitution, early marriage or death. There’s a good number of kids in my team who have had saved their lives through rugby.”

Gem Rugby Kenya

Dennis began his work when he was in Mombasa, and found a big group of children making a lot of noise outside of church. Their Sunday school teacher had been absent, he took over the lesson and introduced rugby, a sport he played at high school.

When work took him to Nanyuki – he works in IT for the British military – having set up a coach to take over in Mombasa, he launched another programme and now has 450 children involved. He’s even managed to source funding and support from his employers. “Dennis gives children an opportunity to be safe for a few hours,” explains Major Richard Crane, of the British Army Training Unit. “He works with the local orphanage managers to help bring them into his programme, and he also checks on their progress in school too – he’s like a foster dad to 450 kids.
“It’s a part of Kenya that has a lot of problems: child slavery, prostitution, drugs ...  and orphan children are always targeted,” continues Richard, a rugby players himself who has been a big supporter of Rugby Gem since he was stationed in Nanyuki. “Dennis catches an awful lot, but there’s a lot more that slip through and so we still need more support.”

Rugby Gem goes far beyond the sport too. “He’s developing rugby at all levels, there’s even a three-year-old playing and it goes up to under-18s, boys and girls.
“It’s not just the rugby, he uses the sport to then try and get them scholarships into schools and colleges and he’s managed to develop players for the Kenya national sides too.”

The success on the pitch is impressive with Kenya’s vice captain Jeffrey Oluoch among his students, together with Solomon Maleu of the under-20s. On top of that, two girls have been called up to the national sevens side, nine were selected for the Kenya under-20s girls, and two for the boys. The recently cancelled Youth Olympics was set to feature no fewer than six of his girls in the Kenya sevens side.

Dennis also runs the Nanyuki Jackals, a men’s side in the third tier of Kenyan club rugby that often includes a number of his students, together with members of the military. “Without Dennis, those kids would be on the streets,” says Richard. “It’s really made a big difference to lives and saved lives too.”

The Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award, now in its seventh year, recognises clubs, organisations and individuals globally who show the true spirit of rugby at community level.

Past Winners:
2015: TAG RUGBY TRUST (UK)
2016: KAMPUCHEA BALOPP (Cambodia)
2017: SKRUM (Eswatini/Swaziland)
2018: SHIBUYA INTERNATIONAL RUGBY CLUB (Japan)
2019: KHELO RUGBY (India) 
2020: RICHMOND RUGBY (UK)

December 07, 2021 — Alex Mead
UMRio shortlisted for Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award

UMRio shortlisted for Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award

A charity that uses rugby to help provide educational support in one of the poorest favelas in Brazil has become the second organisation on the 2021 Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award shortlist. 

UMRio was set up in 2013 and works within Rio’s Morro do Castro favela where 87% live beneath the poverty line and 61% live on less than US$1 per day.

Rugby is the funnel through which UMRio brings young people in to help support them with their educational needs. The organisation not only helps deliver the values of the sport, but also provides catch-up educational courses (including support for entrance exams, one-to-one tuition and English classes), job readiness training, individual mentoring and healthcare services (which includes psychological support, as well as dental and general health consultations).

The brainchild of former Oxford University RFC player Robert Malengreau, UMRio has helped more than 1,000 young people. Trustee and current Gloucester coach Dom Waldouck, who went to Rio as part of his Masters course, said of the scheme: “UMRio essentially uses rugby as an attraction tool to bring people into a productive education space.

“The sport itself teaches great values, and there’s a great community within the rugby network, and from that basis UMRio makes a real difference. There’s a lot of organisations that talk a good game, but UMRio not only makes positive change with individuals through their research-led work, but then constantly monitors the outcome of the participants.”

Waldouck has seen first-hand some of the people to benefit. “We had one gang member who joined UMRio and was pulled back to the gang, but then came back because, he said, ‘UMRio was his family’. In the favelas, one of the reasons people join gangs is for that sense of belonging, and that UMRio was able to provide that is huge.
“The other need [for joining gangs] is money and UMRio have also been able to provide stipends to vulnerable children, so they’re also trying to address the other issues too.”

Even during lockdown, UMRio reached out to those on the programme, distributing tablets to those that didn’t have a digital device and continuing the coaching and education online, including remote fitness sessions led by Team GB sevens captain Tom Mitchell.

“UMRio makes a tangible difference,” continued Waldouck. “When I first went there my guide was a former UMRio member who was now studying at university to be an English teacher. As he gave me the tour of the favela, we walked past a man smoking crack and he said ‘that’s my dad’. To see what he achieved was amazing, and when I met him again, he said his dad is now drug-free – he’d inspired his own father to make a change.”

UMRio is now the second nominee for the 2021 Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award, joining Chew Valley RFC. RegClark, CEO of Rhino, said: “It’s incredible what UMRio have achieved in eight years, significantly changing the lives of so many people in the poorest of conditions.

“They’re fully deserving of every recognition that comes their way as they are considerably changing the lives of those they work with for the better.” 

The Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award, now in its seventh year, recognises clubs, organisations and individuals globally who show the true spirit of rugby at community level.

Past Winners:
2015: TAG RUGBY TRUST (UK)
2016: KAMPUCHEA BALOPP (Cambodia)
2017: SKRUM (Eswatini/Swaziland)
2018: SHIBUYA INTERNATIONAL RUGBY CLUB (Japan)
2019: KHELO RUGBY (India) 
2020: RICHMOND RUGBY (UK)

October 29, 2021 — Alex Mead
Chew Valley RFC shortlisted for Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award

Chew Valley RFC shortlisted for Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award

A scheme that uses rugby to provide mentorship for children from difficult backgrounds or suffering from mental and physical illness has been shortlisted for the 2021 Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award.

The Star Scheme, set up by Somerset side Chew Valley RFC, aims to remove the barriers to playing that exist for some children and then offer a structured support network with trained mentors to aid their life beyond the rugby pitch. “We’re really just formalising what already exists: young children benefitting from mentorship through rugby,” explains Dan Wooler, manager of the Star Scheme at Chew Valley RFC. “Coaches are already role models and mentors for young players, so we know the benefits that can be gained from our sport.
“Within every age group of our club, we have children who have experienced difficulties, and this scheme means there’s now a pathway for similar children to discover and benefit from rugby.”

Coaches are already role models and mentors for young players, so we know the benefits that can be gained from our sport.

The initiative, which has been supported by the Bristol Bears Foundation and Barnado’s, together with former players Jason Leonard and Gareth Chilcott, has seen Chew Valley RFC provide their coaches with formal training to help support children and also employ a community liaison officer in a paid role. “The officer is trained and experienced at dealing with kids from difficult backgrounds,” explains Dan. “They’ll work with the player, parent(s), teachers and the coach to create a personal development plan that will help them become responsible adults and leaders in the community.”

To remove barriers, Chew Valley RFC has partnered with local taxi and minibus firms to provide transport for players on the scheme, together with raising funds to cover the cost of kit, subscriptions and meals.  They’ve also developed a support group for the parents of the children on the scheme. “We held our first event at a local school and over the course of a day, we coached 240 kids,” says Dan. “And from that we had 24 applicants to join the scheme.”

Chew Valley RFC Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award

The goal of the Star Scheme, aimed at children from five through to seventeen, is to not only target schools in deprived areas of Bristol, Bath and Somerset area, but also help other clubs set up their own programme. “We’ve already been approached by three clubs asking how to set up a Star Scheme,” says Dan. “This is something that we want to roll out not only regionally, but even nationally, as we feel it’s so important.”

“Rhino are delighted to nominate Chew Valley’s Star Scheme for our Grassroots Rugby Award 2021,” says Reg Clark, CEO of Rhino. Dan and his team deserve every encouragement and support for this excellent initiative.”  

The Rhino Grassroots Rugby Award, now in its seventh year recognises clubs, organisations and individuals globally who show the true spirit of rugby at community level.

Past Winners:
2015: TAG RUGBY TRUST (UK)
2016: KAMPUCHEA BALOPP (Cambodia)
2017: SKRUM (Eswatini/Swaziland)
2018: SHIBUYA INTERNATIONAL RUGBY CLUB (Japan)
2019: KHELO RUGBY (India) 
2020: RICHMOND RUGBY (UK)

September 28, 2021 — Alex Mead
Five nations come together for Rhino Trophy

Five nations come together for Rhino Trophy

On the eve of the British & Irish Lions warm-up match against Japan, five nations battled it out for the Rhino Trophy at Royal High RFC in Edinburgh

As official supplier to the British & Irish Lions, Rhino has been at the heart of the team’s preparations, but the Saturday morning before the clash against the Brave Blossoms, they hosted a mixed touch tournament involving Royal High RFC, London Japanese RFC, London Irish RFC, Kew Occasionals RFC and invitational side the Welsh Barbarians.

It was great to see all five nations involved in the Lions match represented so well at social level at such a wonderful grassroots club.

“The spirit of the tournament reflected what the British & Irish Lions is all about,” said Reg Clark, CEO of Rhino. “There were great performances from all sides on the pitch and great camaraderie off it too, a great rugby day, brilliantly hosted by Royal High. It was great to see all five nations involved in the Lions match represented so well at social level at such a wonderful grassroots club."

The tournament was won by English side the Kew Occasionals, narrowly defeating the Welsh Barbarians in the winner-takes-all final game.

Rhino Trophy winners Kew Occasionals
Rhino Trophy winners Kew Occasionals, who beat Welsh Barbarians to secure the title
June 28, 2021 — Alex Mead
JOB VACANCY: Rhino Content Manager

JOB VACANCY: Rhino Content Manager

Rhino Sport is looking for a content manager experienced in managing Shopify and CRM platforms, together with data and analytics tools, to work alongside the Product Development, Sales & Marketing teams to maximise the product and content pages of Rhino’s e-commerce platform. 

Your duties will include:

  • Creating and publishing all product pages on rhino.direct
  • Tracking and analysing all traffic to the website
  • Delivering the analytics and data to optimise all content across the Rhino ecosystem, including social media, ECRM and rhino.direct
  • Manage paid search and social implementation
  • Auditing on-site search regularly for popular terms our audience will search for within our website
  • Drive business results by identifying opportunities to develop and strengthen our product marketing materials and messaging by persona, industry and country-specific requirements
  • Optimise materials for organic search and for all content channels that include online, social media & email.
  • Organic and Paid marketing through social and search engines.

Requirements

  • Two years’ experience in e-commerce
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Proficiency with popular content management systems
  • Experience with SEO, Coding & HTML preferable, but not required
  • Experience with paid social and search preferable, but not required
  • Confident self starter
  • Excellent people skills to interact with colleagues, cross-functional teams, internal clients and distribution teams

 

Job Specifics

– Full time, Monday to Friday, 8.30am - 5.00pm with
– 20 days annual leave 
– Salary: from £20k per year

Benefits include

Casual dress - Rhino clothing supplied

Company pension

Deadline for applicants: 30.07.21

Email your CV and covering letter to marketing@rhino.direct

June 10, 2021 — Alex Mead
Six more years for Rhino and England Rugby

Six more years for Rhino and England Rugby

Rhino Rugby and England Rugby have today announced their partnership, dating back to 1981, will continue for a further six years.

Rhino Rugby first supplied a scrummaging machine for use by England ahead of the 1981 Five Nations and today they remain a Official Supplier and Partner having renewed their Official Supplier and Partner agreement with the RFU for another six years. Rhino have been an Official Supplier since 1984.


England train on the original Rhino Powerhouse machine during the 1981 Five Nations tournament

Rhino, who have also supplied these products to five Rugby World Cups, including the last three, are the undoubted world leader in this product area.  CEO Reg Clark commented:  “Rhino is very proud of our longstanding relationship with England.  We enjoy in particular our interaction with the coaches in keeping the sides supplied with all the latest developments in our field.”
 
RFU Chief Commercial Officer Simon Massie-Taylor said: “We’re delighted to renew our partnership with Rhino who have been a long-standing and valued partner of England Rugby. Rhino have a strong rugby heritage and are committed to rugby at all levels. We look forward to celebrating our 40th anniversary with them.”

View the full range of Rhino scrum machines.

December 10, 2020 — Alex Mead
Rhino warehouses destroyed in Cardiff fire

Rhino warehouses destroyed in Cardiff fire

Rhino has lost a large percentage of its stock after a fire in a neighbouring unit spread to its warehouses in Cardiff.

The blaze took around 80 firefighters and 12 fire engines to control on the evening of Sunday 8th November. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the fire, but it has resulted in the loss of a large percentage of Rhino's stock.

Dave Reynish, managing director, Rhino said: “This is devastating news for us, but we wanted to reassure our loyal customers that we have already re-ordered fast-selling stock lines to minimise delay. It is very much business as usual and we continue to take orders across our entire range on rhino.direct.

“We will be contacting anyone affected with an update and, as all of our scrum machines, hit shields and tackles bags are made in the UK, we are working hard to ensure the delays are kept to a minimum.”

Rhino's central HQ in Cardiff was unaffected by the fire.

For more information, please email help@rhino.direct

November 09, 2020 — Alex Mead
Rhino partners with iconic Welsh rugby club

Rhino partners with iconic Welsh rugby club

Rhino has signed a deal with Newport RFC to supply playing kit for the forthcoming Welsh Premiership campaign.

In a new partnership for Rhino, long-term official sponsor of the Welsh Rugby Union, the Black and Ambers will be joining a family of world-famous rugby clubs and unions that now includes the likes of the British & Irish Lions, Cardiff Blues, England Rugby, Rugby Europe, Global Rapid Rugby and Asia Rugby.

Kevin Jarvis, Newport RFC’s commercial manager, said: “I'm excited to see how the partnership between Newport RFC and Rhino develops. Rhino has a proven name for quality in playing kit, merchandise and rugby equipment. Our discussions and plans with Rhino have all been extremely proactive and we know that both players and supporters alike will love the new Rhino products. The new kit looks superb and we are very impressed with the wide range of off-field merchandise available to our squad and supporters.”

Dave Reynish, Rhino’s managing director, added: “The heritage of Newport RFC is incredible, and we’re very proud to be working with them and producing their famous Black and Amber kit. There have been so many great moments at Rodney Parade, from cup and league wins to victories over the All Blacks, South Africa and Australia, that we can’t wait to play a part in the club’s history.”

Rhino now supply hundreds of sides with playing kit across the UK which, coupled with their status as the No.1 technical training equipment supplier and match ball supplier to 78 rugby playing nations across the world, demonstrates the sporting strength of the brand.

The new kit is set to be unveiled later this month, with the first league game away to Ebbw Vale on Saturday 7th September.  

 

 

 


 

August 20, 2019 — Alex Mead
Rhino renews official supplier deal with Hong Kong Rugby Union

Rhino renews official supplier deal with Hong Kong Rugby Union

Rhino today extended its status as Official and Exclusive Training Equipment Supplier to the Hong Kong Rugby Union.

 

Hong Kong Rugby Union has made huge strides in world rugby in recent years, including narrowly missing out on qualification to the Rugby World Cup 2019 at the final repechage state.

“In Hong Kong and across Asia, rugby is on the move – and there’s no better partner for that journey than our friends from Rhino,” said Robbie McRobbie, CEO, Hong Kong Rugby Union. From grassroots to elite rugby, Rhino is always the first name on the HKRU team sheet!”

Rhino Group CEO Reg Clark added: This agreement will extend our relationship with the HKRU beyond 10 years. ‎It's a pleasure to deal with them and we are delighted to further cement our presence in the dynamic Asian region.”

Pictured (above) at the signing of the agreement at the offices of the HKRU are (left to right): Rhino Asia Chairman David Walter, Rhino Group CEO Reg Clark, HKRU CEO Robbie McRobbie and CCO Rocky Chow.
January 22, 2019 — Alex Mead