End of Season Gala Weekend…..So what happened…

The Woodbridge Rugby Club End of Season Players Gala Dinner and Club Gala Dinner was an absolute hit, highlighted by the presence of none other than the legendary Zinzan Brooke, ex ALL Blacks player.

Both were glorious evenings with the sun setting over Hatchley Barn, where guests arrived to a reception on the terrace overlooking the clubs pitches, which has been complimented on throughout the season I might add, by players and visitors alike.

The atmosphere was fantastic as the evening unfolded with a series of awards recognising the outstanding performances of both the Warriors and Amazons.


The list of accolades was impressive, showcasing the talent and dedication within the club. Jake Hateley earned the coveted Players Player award, while Freddie Wiseman was recognised as the Coaches Player. Luca D’Angelo’s improvement didn’t go unnoticed, earning him the title of Most Improved, and Tom Lomas’s resilience and endurance earned him the Ironman award.

On the women’s side, Kyle Smith was honored as Players Player, with Ava Cobbold receiving the Coaches Player award. Rosie Dewberry’s remarkable progress throughout the season earned her the Most Improved title.

During the Q&A session Zinzan regaled the audience with tales from his illustrious career on the pitch. From his iconic drop goal in the 1995 Rugby World Cup to his countless battles on the field, Brooke’s anecdotes painted a vivid picture of his journey through the sport. Among the memories he shared and following a direct question from Jason, he fondly stated that Cardiff Arms Park, as one of his favorite stadiums, second only to the legendary Eden Park. His reminiscences offered a glimpse into the passion and reverence he holds for the game and the iconic venues that have shaped his rugby legacy.

The festivities didn’t stop there. The morning after the first gala, Zinzan and Jason led a training session for the younger members of the club, providing invaluable insights and inspiration. A number of drills across a number of small groups concluded with a 10mins each way game of touch.


Saturday night’s gala dinner was the culmination of the weekend’s celebrations, featuring a lively Q&A session with Zinzan himself, a generously funded raffle with prizes from Adnams Woodbridge, Reubens, the Woodbridge Deli to name a few and an impromptu auction of signed shirts and rugby balls which raised over £1000! With that all done, we were entertained by the infectious beats of Flaming Cheek, ensuring everyone was up and dancing.

And let’s not forget about the culinary delights that graced the event. The food was exceptional, satisfying even the most discerning palates, while the beer flowed generously throughout the night. However, it seems the bar was once again almost drunk dry as we nearly ran out of wine on Saturday night. Despite the near drought, spirits remained high, adding to the jovial atmosphere of the evening.

Throughout both evenings, the Chairman took the opportunity to reflect on the season, celebrating the numerous successes across all age groups, from the Juniors/Minis to the Seniors. It was a fitting conclusion to a season filled with memorable moments and achievements for the Woodbridge Rugby Club.

As with all the events that take place at Hatchley Barn, this weekend wouldn’t have happened without a small army of volunteers who help bring it all together…So a BIG shout to Jaz, Sam, Claire, Hannah, Jo, Fran and Tim for helping with ticket sales and setting it all up followed by the big clear up. Thank you to Tracy and team behind the bar as well for keeping the drinks flowing.

A further thanks goes to Jason Turner, the weekend’s MC!!…it certainly about who you know! Not only did you convince Zinzan to join us but on behalf of Nexergy Holdings has sponsored his visit to sunny Suffolk.

We would also like to thank The Bull Hotel Inn for hosting Zinzan as well.

Thank you to ALL that attended both events, a great time had by all.  Whilst the season may have finished, we are still open for the Summer!!

  • Summer Touch Rugby Pitch Up and Play – Every Wednesday Nights at 7.15pm starting Wednesday 29th May
  • 2nd Beer Festival – 21st – 23rd June – Early Bird Tickets on sale now too!!
  • Other events are being planned too so watch this space!

Link to the Friday Night Photo Booth (Code is 9845) please note these expire on the 17th June ’24 – CLICK HERE, 


Link to the Saturday Night Photo Booth (Code is 1755) – CLICK HERE


The official photos are in!! Please see Silver Hart Photography – thank you Claire for these fab photos!



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