As part of the company’s ongoing passion for supporting local sporting teams, Hart Biologicals will be helping Hartlepool rugby to make its second tilt at a major overseas tournament by entering the Bangkok International Sevens again.
Alby Pattison, Managing Director of Hart Biologicals who sponsor the event said: “We’re happy to support the Bangkok International Sevens tournament once again as it’s a great opportunity for developing rugby nations to play competitive rugby against more established nations such as New Zealand, Australia and England, at club level.
“I’ve always been passionate about local sport, as someone who played football and cricket in various leagues around the country as I moved jobs.
“Local sport is a great way to play a good level of competitive sport but also has a community and social side that is just as important.”
The united town side, formed of players from the clubs of Hartlepool & District RFU, will take part in the prestigious event in Thailand on November 10-11.
Hartlepool clinched the competition's Shield Trophy 12 months ago in the Thai capital, defeating Laos team, Lao Nagas 19-5.
The town's crack at the Bangkok International Rugby Sevens has been the inspiration of Hartlepool Rovers treasurer and the boss of Hart Bio, Alby Pattison MBE, and John Bickerstaff, the team manager.
A provisional 14-man squad has been announced including five of the men who took part in their maiden attempt.
“We’ve named a squad of 14,” said Bickerstaff. “The competition is still something like 12 weeks away so there may be a change or two but we’re happy with the balance of the squad.
“We’ve retained some of the 2017 team and added some new blood and some young blood which we’re excited about.
“We came home with some silverware last year and we’ll be looking for another great result this time. We know what it’s all about now, so we’ll be even better prepared.
“The competition takes place in ‘Movember’, a cancer awareness campaign to recognise the effects of cancer within men so we have linked up with Prostate Cancer UK and we’ll be looking to raise money and awareness of that charity too.”
The squad has been based on five Hartlepool & District RFU clubs. Rovers provide eight of the squad, Steven Barnfield, Ryan Foreman, Aaron Jeffrey, Patrick O’Callaghan, Taz Pelser, Alex Rochester, Adam Smith and Callum Whitehead.
West hooker Aidan Jackson-Smith is joined by flanker Lee Maddison, while there are two players from Horden & Peterlee, Brad Green, who played in the 2017 Bangkok International Sevens, plus Sean McCallum, whose brother Jack starred for the squad 12 months ago.
Shane Jeffrey will represent BBOB, while last season’s Hartlepool player of the tournament, Cameron Lithgo, will carry the Seaton Carew flag.
Alby, concluded: “Rugby is a fantastic sport to be involved in, as clubs often develop their own playing teams through internal development of junior sides, bringing the discipline and ethos of rugby to the players at a young age
“I was a member of West Hartlepool for a number of years and then moved to Rovers when my son started to play and was one of the coaches of my son’s team at Rovers from the age of 9 to 17 and saw first-hand the social development and team ethic of the players through this so to be able to encourage this on a global level is a brilliant opportunity.”
The Bangkok 7’s will take place in Thailand on November 10-11.