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As the rain and wind lashed down on the South of England on Sunday, players from Racal Decca RFC – the world’s smallest rugby club – might have been forgiven for giving their fixture a miss.

But of course they didn’t. These are the players who play for the love of the game, whose dedication and drive to get out there and take part – on dubious pitches, in sodden conditions, without a fan in sight – is the heart and soul of rugby.

On Sunday, their grassroots passion was rewarded in an extraordinary way.

Since 1959, the UK's Racal Decca RFC have operated a one-team club, bringing together players of all ages and experience levels with one thing in common: a love of the game.

We wanted to bring the smallest club in the world to the global stage. So we took some of the biggest names in rugby to give the lads at the ultimate grassroots club a hand on match day.

Rugby World Cup 2003 winner Jonny Wilkinson took kicking tee duty, former Australian international Matt Giteau was in charge of pumping up the balls, and current England player Mike Brown was the waterboy. Elsewhere, New Zealand’s Brad Thorn and Ireland’s Shane Horgan were on hand to serve the half-time oranges, and England heroes Sir Clive Woodward and Will Greenwood both gave rousing team talks to Racal Decca and their opponents Streatham-Croydon 3rds. With 50mph-gales gusting across the pitch and the rugby stars watching on, Racal Decca put in a tenacious performance and emerged 32-15 victors.

The game was a trip down memory lane for our rugby stars, reminding players like Horgan of their early days of grassroots rugby. “[Local games] bring you back to when you first started, playing for the love of the game,” Horgan said. “This is where rugby lives and dies”.

Our support for grassroots rugby continues throughout 2015 and beyond. #WeDealInReal

Today has been a fantastic and enjoyable reminder to me and all the players involved of the true heart of the Game. It was great fun to lend a hand and reward these two special teams.

BRYAN HABANA
SOUTH AFRICAN RUGBY INTERNATIONAL