Chichestee rugby is a family affair

Nick Shopland (centre) with son Joe just below him in the blue skull cap

Nick Shopland (centre) with son Joe just below him in the blue skull cap

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LIFE at Chichester RFC can be a family affair at times.

During the first half of Chichester’s game against Tring, Nick Shopland came on at prop alongside his son Joe, playing hooker.

Muscular Nick is in his mid-40s and did not play rugby until his late-30s, although he had been a British judo team member.

Fair-haired Joe was in the top-rated Millfield public school first XV and then spent two years in Australia, where he played in a good grade of rugby and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Chichester director of rugby Paul Colley said: “A father and son playing in a first-team game at national three level is a remarkable achievement and one which may well be unique.

“We will ask the RFU if they believe it is a first.

“Nick came to rugby late and after a few seasons working the dark arts of the front row, he has been a regular firsts player. He agreed to keep match fit and be involved with the ones in a support capacity this season.

“It was a fantastic moment in Chichester RFC’s proud history to see Nick scrum down with his son – well done to both.”