Stonehouse is driving ahead

PUBLISHED: 15:18 09 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:11 06 May 2010

Andy Stonehouse with his EDRU sponsored car

Andy Stonehouse with his EDRU sponsored car

Hitchin Rugby Club s Andy Stonehouse is a man on a mission. Stonehouse, who lives in Knebworth and is profoundly deaf himself, has been made development officer of the England Deaf Rugby Union (EDRU). His role is to visit schools, colleges and rugby clubs

Hitchin Rugby Club's Andy Stonehouse is a man on a mission.

Stonehouse, who lives in Knebworth and is profoundly deaf himself, has been made development officer of the England Deaf Rugby Union (EDRU).

His role is to visit schools, colleges and rugby clubs in England who have children with hearing loss.

He will encourage them to play rugby without any barriers as part of 'social inclusion' and also provide deaf awareness workshops to the coaches.

Stonehouse, who is also the first XV team manager at Hitchin, said: "I have the EDRU logo displayed on my car so when I am driving around in the Herts area, the public will look and be more aware that we do have an England Deaf Rugby Union, which is an associate member of the RFU."

Boys and girls aged seven upwards who might be interested and want to play rugby are welcome to contact Andy by email youthdeafrugby@aol.com or send a text message to 07709 351786.

Or check out the EDRU website which is www.englanddeafrugby.com

Stonehouse has organised a fun rugby day for children with hearing loss at Hitchin Rugby Club on Sunday, November 26, from 10am to midday.

All children with hearing loss are welcome and the contact details are the same as above.

At the weekend, the England Deaf Rugby Squad travelled down to Swansea to play against Wales Deaf Rugby.

To complete a bad weekend for our national sides, England were beaten 65-0 as they were missing five regulars at short notice.

Wales were the world deaf rugby champions in 2002, beating New Zealand 28-14 in the final at Eden Park, Auckland.

England will now get ready to face Scotland for the first time on Saturday, November 18, in Glasgow.

P Businesses or organisations are wanted to sponsor the England Deaf Rugby squad.

Anyone interested should contact director of rugby Tony Stoyles on 07703 581731 or edru@btinternet.com, or the secretary Lyndon James on 07748 966643, 01354 692598 (home) or Lyndon.James@btinternet.com

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