TWO Risborough regulars grabbed the chance to strut their stuff on the big stage at Twickenham Stadium.

Hannah Gale and Emily Ingram were rewarded for their dedication to grassroots rugby with a place at the NatWest RugbyForce invitational, played at the home of England Rugby on Sunday.

The duo were coached by Will Greenwood and supported from the sidelines by Red Rose royalty in George Ford and Paul Grayson.

A tasting 20-5 victory on the hallowed turf meant it was a perfect day for scrum-half Gale, 28, who explained how the opportunity was the perfect way to cap off a great season.

She said: “I captained Risborough this season and got into the Oxfordshire county side for the first time, so to finish off the year like this is amazing.

“We normally put up the posts back at our club, so it’s been very different.

“I couldn’t really eat much in the morning because I was so nervous. It’s been amazing being in the dressing room and in the tunnel.

“Will’s been amazing. All his tips have been really motivating and encouraging and are things I can take back to my club.”

Prior to their Twickenham debut, players were invited to regional training sessions, where they were given elite coaching from the likes of Greenwood, Maggie Alphonsi, Grayson and Steve Borthwick.

This year NatWest, the Official Banking Partner of England Rugby, is continuing to make it easy for all in the grassroots rugby community to access the sport that they love.

As part of this commitment, NatWest has evolved RugbyForce for 2019 by introducing the NatWest RugbyForce Invitational fixture.

All registered grassroots clubs were automatically entered into a draw for a chance to have players from their club invited to receive exclusive access to elite rugby coaching and the opportunity to play a game at Twickenham.

Greenwood hailed the initiative and underlined just how special the day was for their charges.

He said: “Life’s about experiences and sharing something with your friends. You can see how happy this opportunity has made everyone here and their enthusiasm is infectious.

“I remember my first game at Twickenham in a County final back in 1990 and the idea of running around the pitch you’ve seen hundreds of times is unbelievably special for these men and women.

“What this has done for them is truly incredible. This is their moment to be on the pitch, on the inside of the white lines and to do the same things that Katy Daley-Mclean or George Ford might do.

“It’s the highest peak they’re likely to summit in the game of rugby, so it’s a special day and I’ve had lots of fun being involved.”

NatWest is the Official Banking Partner of England Rugby. This year NatWest RugbyForce is making it easier for grassroots clubs to access rugby through its NatWest RugbyForce Invitational fixture, offering grassroots players the chance to play at Twickenham. @NatWest_Rugby