Wednesday , 19 June 2019

Scottish couple in Gay Rugby World Cup bid Down Under

Bingham Cup

A gay couple from Scotland are bidding for Rugby World Cup glory ‘Down Under’ this August.

Robert Forrester and his partner Nathan Colom, from Fife, will be joining a squad heading to Sydney, Australia for the Bingham Cup – the World Cup of Gay Rugby from 24th August.  The pair already play for Scottish rugby sensations Caledonian Thebans RFC and told KaleidoScot they can’t wait to get on the pitch.

“We are so excited to be taking part!”, said Robert, who is also Thebans’ Chairman. “The standard of rugby is extremely high and with the possibly of 30 teams from all over the world it’ll be tough, but we have a good chance.”

Although teammates from the Scottish side cant join them in Australia, the boys will be scrumming with fellow UK rugby giants The Manchester Village Spartans for the 10,000 mile journey.

“Manchester is a very strong team indeed and we’ll be joined, representing Europe, alongside teams from London and Amsterdam. It’s set to be a great tournament”, Robert added.  The pair are no strangers to big matches, though, with Thebans taking the 2013 Union Cup title and finishing 2nd in their group at the last Bingham Cup Championships.

The Bingham Cup is named after Mark Bingham, a member of the San Francisco Fog gay rugby union team, who was tragically killed in the 9/11 attacks onboard Flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania. It’s believed Mark was one of the heroic passengers who confronted the hijackers and his strength and resilience are celebrated in this sporting festival, held every 2 years.

Robert (right) and Nathan hope for World Cup win
Robert (right) and Nathan hope for World Cup win

The Championship attracts almost 2000 players, officials and supporters from 16 countries for a 7-day rugby spectacular.  Outside of the usual set matches are a number of social events to keep the players and supporters entertained. This years programme boasts a Drinks Reception at the Sydney Opera House; traditional Aussie pool party; and even a torchlight football match on Bondi Beach.

Back in Scotland, Thebans XV have been enjoying a break after a successful season, with their membership numbers swelling to over 100 and training now taking place at the home of Scottish Rugby, Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

“This is one of the most amazing brotherhoods in sport”, Robert tells us, “Its a great band of brothers all over the world who look out for each other and just love rugby. I know Scotland has a strong chance if they were to bid for the World Cup in future years.”

The Bingham Cup kicks off on Sunday 24th August and you can keep up to date on Robert & Nathan’s progress by following Manchester Spartans on Twitter.

About Stuart Duffy

Stuart Duffy
Stuart is a Glasgow-based journalist covering LGBTI issues and has been published in ScotsGay Magazine, Gay Star News, Pink News as well as numerous local publications over the past 18 years. Brought up in his hometown of Cowdenbeath in Fife, he has studied Radio Broadcasting and Event Management and has worked with leading businesses such as BSkyB and most recently Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He has a keen interest in politics, current affairs and entertainment and when he's not writing Stuart is usually found in the City shops with his partner and young daughter.

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