Being an incredibly influential rugby writer these days [!?;)], it came as absolutely no surprise to me to receive an email this week from someone called Haran Ramachandran of the rather splendidly named Splendid Communications.
What Haran was after was some free publicity for his client, Guinness, who are obviously short of a bob or two and apparently can't afford to pay me the going rate of a lifetime's supply of their very fine beverage.
In normal circumstances I would snort with derision and send Haran to the back of the lengthy queue of blue-chip companies who are hammering on my door with their lucrative advertising offers. In this case, however, I may be willing to make an exception as Guinness have actually come up with a half decent idea that may be of interest to my 2 regular readers.
The project is called Club Together, and what it does is offer members of non-professional rugby clubs in England, Scotland and Wales the chance to play at Twickenham on 31st May as part of this year’s Premiership final. All you need to do is explain to a Guinness "expert panel" - in no more than 100 words - how your rugby club has increased the number of adult participants at your club during season 2007/08. Of course, if your club had failed to increase its membership, then you've no chance of winning - but if your club has increased its membership and you're eloquent enough to explain exactly how, then you could win the chance to select two teams made up of members of your club to receive a training session from a Premiership Director of Rugby before the final, plus tickets to the final, team kit and a commemorative photo - if, that is, you can round up the 30 members of your club who haven't already buggered off on holiday.
To apply to you'll need to go to the Club Together website.
Haran, mate, I'll email you my address for the Guinness delivery - if I'm not in please just leave it behind the side gate ;).