Amersham & Chiltern Rugby Club had a day to remember as they were coached by British & Irish Lions and Rugby World Cup winner Jason Robinson.

Players from the club's mini and juniors sections were invited to Oxford University Rugby Club to take part in Howden’s Big Rugby Day Out, where they took part in coaching sessions led by Robinson and tried their hands at a number of other rugby-based activities.

Amersham & Chiltern were invited to the event alongside a number of other Lions Origins Clubs as Howden kickstarted their principal partnership of the British & Irish Lions ahead of the 2025 tour of Australia and inaugural women’s tour in 2027.

Origins clubs are those that former Lions began their rugby playing career at, with Amersham & Chiltern the club that 2005 tourist Josh Lewsey got to grips with the game, with Howden shining a light on the fantastic work done at the community level.

“It’s fantastic,” said Mike Smith, Amersham & Chiltern mini and juniors coach.

“We are a relatively small club, so it is lovely to get invited. We have one ex-Lions player in Josh Lewsey. His shirt is in the clubhouse and to be invited to this means a huge amount to the children.

“They are going to be inspired. They already love the game, but the opportunity to see where things could go and to see other teams and other players as well, it is key for them.

"Events like this are hugely beneficial, because rugby is competing massively against sports like football, so for the elite to invest in grassroots and for Howden to put on events like this, it means we can stand a chance against other sports.

Amersham & Chiltern were one of seven Lions Origins clubs were in attendance at the event in Oxford, where Rugby World Cup heroes Jason Robinson and Maggie Alphonsi got hands on with some coaching.

There are currently 711 Lions Origins Clubs that have produced 855 British & Irish Lions, and Howden are holding them at the heart of their new sponsorship.

It is a cause close to the heart of Howden ambassador Robinson too, who believes such an initiative can only be good for the sport.

“Community is so important because without it we don’t have a game, it’s simple,” Robinson said.

“We need to build the players up, we need to inspire them, we need to get them playing at the highest possible level. There are so many people within the clubs who do so much work. 

“The international game is based on grassroots. The more we can do to support clubs the better, which is where Howden’s investment in the game is massive. 

“It’s not just the top level, it’s the grassroots. 

“We know all the benefits that rugby has to offer kids, especially being in a team. 

“The more we can do it; the more we can inspire, hopefully the stronger the game can be.”

Border Telegraph: Jason Robinson with youngsters at Howden's Big Rugby Day OutJason Robinson with youngsters at Howden's Big Rugby Day Out (Image: Howden)

Now the principal sponsor of the British & Irish Lions, Howden will be front and centre of the famous red jersey when Andy Farrell’s team reach Australia next year.

Head of global sponsorships Giles Morgan underlined the honour of such a prestigious place in sporting history and reaffirmed Howden’s commitment to both the elite and community game.

“We want to meet all the Lions Origins clubs and celebrate them, not just because of history but for the future as well,” he said.

“The rugby family is enormous in this country and as a new sponsor we want to earn the right to be on the Lions jersey. 

“We want to get to know the rugby community, right the way across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland and celebrating the origin clubs feels a great way to do that.”

As part of their partnership with The British & Irish Lions, Howden will be supporting the grassroots game