THE FINISHING touches to Sunday's Rugby Relief at Tewkesbury RFC will be completed by Gloucester Rugby and Worcester Warriors today - ahead of one of the biggest community events of the year.
Hospitality tents, bouncy castles and a range of coaching equipment will be installed today as both clubs prepare for a host of activities on Sunday.
The Guinness Premiership clubs will come together at Tewkesbury on Sunday, September 2 for a fabulous fun day, designed to not only raise funds for the victims of July's floods but to say a special thank you to everyone involved in the rescue effort.
Although the highlight of the day will be a touch rugby tournament that is open to both corporate companies and the general public - with players from both clubs on hand to pass on invaluable tips to teams taking part - Paul Rudland from Gloucester's community team was keen to emphasise there is more to the day.
"It is more than just a touch rugby tournament - it is going to be a fantastic social event and I would urge anyone in the area to come along on Sunday, have a beer and mix with the playing squads from both teams," he said.
"On Monday, we held our own Open Day at Kingsholm and it was one of the most popular ever. We are hoping Sunday's event at Tewkesbury is equally as successful because it really is designed for the community.
"Rugby Relief has grown hugely since it started and now all we need is the public to really get behind it - if that happens it will be one of the biggest community events of the year."
Rugby Relief starts at 11am and Gloucester's playing squad will be available to sign autographs and help with coaching tips from 1.30pm.
After the touch rugby event, an auction, a band and a hog roast will ensure the event carries on into the evening. The auction will help raise significant funds for the flood relief fund as items such as signed sporting memorabilia, a week's break in Ireland for 10 and hospitality boxes at both Kingsholm and Sixways are up for grabs, so come along and help raise as much money as possible.
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).