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Berry Bros wins big in charity touch rugby tournament

Berry Bros. & Rudd won big in yesterday’s Pol Roger Touch Rugby Tournament, which was held in London in aid of The Drinks Trust, and has so far raised more than £6k for the UK charity.

Liam McKeown and Cameron Gates from BBR touch rugby winning team

The wine merchant’s Try-ranosaurus Rex team beat Bath Rugby in a hard-fought final to become overall winner, after three hour’s worth of matches were played in west London, featuring 26 teams (listed, bottom), the majority of which were made up of members of the UK drinks trade.

Among the contenders in the tournament, which was organised and sponsored by Pol Roger Portfolio, were teams from Moët Hennessy and Pernod Ricard, along with Jeroboams and the WSET, while the players from Hatch Mansfield, which also competed, wore black armbands in memory of Phil Tuck MW, who tragically died in a cycling accident last month.

The sporting event was held to raise much-needed funds for UK drinks trade charity, The Drinks Trust, with monies collected in advance of the tournament via Justgiving and from a raffle held after the final, featuring more than 60 prizes donated by the partaking companies.

According to Pol Roger, so far the touch rugby tournament has raised £6,136 for the charity.

The event was made possible with not only due to the time and financial support of Pol Roger Portfolio, but also the generosity of the competitors, along with Welsh former professional rugby union player Jamie Roberts – who acted as referee. Thanks must also go to Battersea Ironsides for providing the pitch and venue.

Jamie Roberts took on the role of referee for the tournament

Speaking to db at the event, head of Pol Roger Portfolio James Simpson MW said it was the biggest tournament yet, having started in 2018 with 8 teams and grown to 26 today.

Describing it as “like a wine trade sports day”, he said that the whole tournament was conducted by word of mouth, and had reached capacity in 2023 with 260 players.

Considering the people taking place, many of whom were younger members of the drinks industry, he observed that the event represented the next generation of the wine trade.

Congratulating Berry Bros on its win, he joked that “it had to happen in their 325th year”, with the merchant conducting a number of events to celebrate the milestone anniversary, as well as to raise funds for Motor Neuron Disease (MND) – with BBR staff planning to cycle 325 miles from London to Epernay next month.

Pol Roger laid on 60 bottles of Champagne to toast the winners, while Timothy Taylor’s provided the beer.

Berry Bros & Rudd touch rugby team Try-ranosaurus Rex comprised (left to right): Cameron Gates, Liam Mckeown, Richard Verrall, Tai Jericevich, Alex Weller, Eddie Garner, Chloe Palmer, Henrietta Gullifer and Montgomery Rennoldson

The 26 teams were formed by the following companies:

  • Bath Rugby
  • Berry Bros & Rudd
  • Cult Wines
  • Freixenet Copestick
  • Gilbert
  • Hallgarten
  • Hatch Mansfield
  • J&B
  • Jascots
  • Jeroboams
  • Liberty
  • MMD
  • Moët Hennessy
  • Pernod Ricard
  • Pol Roger UK,
  • Remy Cointreau
  • Stannary
  • TGI Sport
  • The Spectator
  • William Grant
  • WSET

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