The Inaugural Rhino International Rugby Festival at Browns Sports & Leisure Club in the Algarve was held on the weekend of October 4th and 5th and was a resounding success.
Taking its lead from the O2 Scrum on the Beach events held in Trafalgar Square and other venues around England in the summer, the centrepiece was a tournament held on the Browns purpose built permanent beach rugby facility in which local club Vilamoura triumphed 5-3 over the touring Kew Occasionals side in the final. Amongst a number of coaching events and clinics was a SCRUMSMART event focussing on scrummaging technique for beginners which used the Rhino Dictator machine which again is a permanent training feature for the many sides who visit Browns for warm weather training. This has in the past included the national squads of England, Australia and Ireland and a great many professional clubs from Europe and further afield. The machine itself is something of a collectors piece, being the one used in France by England to hone their scrummaging techniques to such a high level in sweeping aside Australia and France on their way to the 2007 Rugby World Cup final. Rhino have had a partnership with Browns to supply their contact and training equipment for some time, and both parties are keen to make this Festival an annual event, hopefully next year involving both union and league codes.