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England call-up for Browne, as he heads to South Africa

Rich Browne has been chosen to represent England Deaf Rugby on their tour to South Africa next month.

A local plumber by trade, Browne played at the Deaf Rugby World Cup in Argentina last year in a career highlight.

This year, the Thatcham player has had to recover from a knee injury in a race to make the tour squad.

Rich Browne of the England Deaf Rugby Team
Rich Browne of the England Deaf Rugby Team

The side provides a platform for deaf and hard of hearing players to compete at the highest level, demonstrating that hearing impairments are no barrier to excellence in rugby.

However, the team only gets funding from the RFU for their kits, so players have had to fund their travel and accommodation themselves.

Thatcham Rugby Club, local businesses and generous individuals have helped to fund Browne over the years, covering his travel and accommodation in Argentina last year.

Able to cover his travel costs to South Africa, Browne and his family were keen to express thanks for the support they’ve been shown.

“We would like to thank again, the very generous firms who have sponsored him and all the friends who kindly contributed to a funding page to help”, the family said.

“Good luck Rich and the England Deaf Rugby Men’s and Women’s Teams!”

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