READING RFC were represented at Twickenham – but not for the usual fifteen-a-side game.

In order to promote walking rugby nationally, four players from Reading’s Walking Rugby group were invited by the RFU to provide a demonstration on the Twickenham pitch to the RFU council and senior staff members so they could experience first-hand exactly what was involved and how enjoyable and energetic this game can be.

Among those present were former England hooker and now RFU President Peter Wheeler, former England scrum-half Nigel Melville and current international referee JP Doyle.

Reading’s representatives were Graham Lyke and Brian Dilley, who were both former first XV captains, along with ex-players Mike Wickson and Paul Alexander.

The team felt privileged to be given the opportunity to both referee and play on the Twickenham pitch on what was a particularly memorable evening.

Alexander, Walking Rugby team administrator, said: “The session was very well received and those present appeared to enjoy their first experience of walking rugby. Additionally, the feedback received following the event indicated the demonstration had been a huge success”.

Walking Rugby is a wholly inclusive minimal-contact game which is suitable for men and women of all ages and abilities.

The Reading RFC team, which was set up in November 2015, is currently the only Berkshire club to play the game and includes many who have never played any form of rugby before and several recovering from serious health issues.

It is also a form of rehabilitation for players returning from injury and is a great way of enjoying yourself, staying active and being part of a very social group and meeting our aim of fun, fitness and friendship.

Alexander continued: "We have found a very positive reaction to Walking Rugby from most of those who have tried it, be they lapsed players, ex-players who thought they were now too old to participate in any form of rugby or newcomers who are attracted to the sport but want a minimal-contact, easy entry level.

"Walking Rugby at Reading has gone from strength to strength since its introduction, with more than 170 people having tried the game at some point. We now have a core of around 50 players who turn out regularly over the three sessions held each week."

The main weekly session takes place on Tuesday mornings between 10.30am-noon.

From April to the end of October, sessions are held outdoors at Reading Rugby Club in Sonning Lane, but from November to the end of March they are indoors at Woodford Park Leisure Centre in Haddon Drive, Woodley.

There are also outdoor sessions held at Sonning Lane throughout the year on Wednesday evenings (7.30pm-8.30pm) and on Sunday mornings (11.30am-12.30pm).

For further details, contact Mike Wickson on 0118 969 5999.