Saracens Rugby Club completes Indoor Rowing challenge

Fierce winds and choppy water prevented Saracens from taking to the water for their charity rowing race on the Thames, but that didn’t stop the reigning Premiership Rugby champions taking to the Indoor Rowing machines for a fast and furious 2000m team relay.

Forwards took on backs in the Indoor Rowing grudge match at London Rowing Club, and it was the lighter backs who took the glory despite a stronger start from the heavyweight forwards.

‘They got off to the better start using a little bit of tactics,’ said victorious back Adam Powell, ‘but the backs’ fitness and power came through and… we got the win!’

‘Changeovers let us down,’ added defeated forward Jackson Wray. ‘We were ahead for a lot of it but a couple of key changeovers let us down. It would’ve been nice to get out on the water, but at least we’ve worked hard. It’s a shame we couldn’t win but it was all good fun in the end.’

The rowing challenge was held as part of Saracens’ appeal to raise funds for the Hospice of St Francis, aiming to provide enough money to fund three full-time specialist nurses. It formed part of a six-event, sponsored campaign, which has already seen members of the rugby club’s squad abseil 100ft and walk across hot coals.

Saracens trained for the charity finale with three rowing sessions – one indoor and two on the water – all of which took place in their own time. So far, the team has raised over £3,000 for the Berkhamsted-based hospice.

‘It’s fantastic that the boys came out on their day off to support the Hospice of St Francis,’ said fullback and winger Chris Wyles, whose mother was cared for by the hospice in 2011. ‘It feels great… and shows good things about the club.’

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