Volunteers from across the country, all nominated by their local rugby communities, were invited to the Mitsubishi Motors England Rugby Training Centre where Eddie Jones took part in a Q&A. This was followed by an awards ceremony at Twickenham with every volunteer recognised and celebrated for their contribution to the growth of the game.

Alex Breading from Canvey Island RUFC, Elliot Fortey from Longlevens RFC and Claire Maccarron from Warminister RFC were all named as 2018 winners.

Since last September, Breading has grown Canvey Island’s youth section from zero to 100 regular players, with his drive to make the club successful described as ‘inspiring’ by those at the club.

Maccarron, who was unable to attend the awards but was presented with her prize through a video presentation, began the Pink Panthers, a girls rugby team at Warminster, starting with just three players and which has now grown to over 20 across all age groups.

Without Fortey’s efforts, there would be no provision of rugby to disabled adults and children in Gloucestershire. Fortey has worked tirelessly to develop mixed ability rugby sessions for adults and children with disabilities.

Rob Lindley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, praised the work of the winners as well as all the volunteers around the country who are the foundation of the sport. He said: “Their dedication and passion for sport is not only vital to running the game at a local level, it is fundemental in the development of the sport as a whole.”

Each of the winners won a Mitsubishi vehicle of their choice for a year, presented by Lindley and RFU President Chris Kelly.

To find out more about the Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Recognition Programme please use this link.