The Wrong Type of Rugby Fan?

We’re generally pretty positive about all things Richmond Upon Thames.   It’s a beautiful leafy Borough with great restaurants, pubs and cafes… and more sport than you can shake a stick at.

However, we’re starting to get a little bit miffed by some of the rugby crowds.

It started off just being a little bit inconvenient not being able to park on our road sometimes, or having to deal with a road closure.  But recently the crowds seem to be getting more and more inconsiderate, and the worst culprits are the Army v Navy and Rugby Sevens matches.

Why those two specifically?  The fans appear to be younger, drink more beer and have less interest in the game itself – almost as if they’re just out for the day with their mates and it just happens to be a rugby game.  The fancy dress is fun, but it also acts as a disguise, giving people the feeling that they can do things they wouldn’t normally do in their own clothes / persona.

The morning after the most recent Rugby Sevens day the town was drowning in litter.  Beer cans, broken bottles, plastic wrappers – you name it.

photo by John Cadogan (Twitter)

photo by John Cadogan (Twitter)

photo by John Cadogan (twitter)

photo by John Cadogan (twitter)

Of course not every fan who attended the Sevens created a problem. Thousands were perfectly well behaved. But clearly not all, and a higher percentage seemed to be littering and relieving themselves than normal.

With the World Cup being hosted by our Borough later this year we’re starting to get concerned about the impact of all these supporters constantly arriving on our doorstep – both heading for the Stadium and the Fan Zone.

Will the Council and RFU manage this process effectively?  Will they have a more efficient clean-up process so that we aren’t wading through rubbish every morning? Will we have to foot the bill as taxpayers or will the arriving rugby fans do so?

Some of our followers on Facebook seem to share our concerns:

What do you expect! Not enough bins, no cleaners around, people Pissing all over and utter carnage. Not exactly a new thing in Twickenham is it. They should have it down these days. Roll on the world Cup eh!

It’s not difficult to identify the matches which are problematic – Army/Navy, Varsity Match, Rugby Sevens i.e. those with cheap tickets which attract a younger crowd, maybe less keen on rugby, out for a big drinking day. There should be more security and cleaning for those particular matches as they are out of the ordinary.

I saw it this morning as well. A complete eyesore. It needs to be cleaned up much quicker than this. Why aren’t more fines handed out for littering? A lot of it also gets washed into the Thames when the tide comes in only to be washed up again at a later date. I hope it’s the RFU paying for the clean up and not council tax payers.

Twickenham rugby ground made enough money yesterday on entrance fees, booze and food to employ private cleaning contractors. There venue caused the mess they should foot the bill. Saw some wicked costumes though…..

Please Mr RFU, make this a more pleasant experience in the future. Control the crowds, live up to your promise of zero tolerance, and make sure that the streets are cleaned before we’re walking with our kids the next morning.