Haskell and Barnes spar at Python’s Annual Dinner

Annual Dinner Report – 13th October 2016

The stand out England player in both the 6 Nations and Australia Tour, James Haskell, and the second most experienced International Referee, Wayne Barnes, spoke at the Harrogate Python’s Annual Dinner. “Thanks to the support of our main sponsors HSBC, Ripon Select Foods, Slingsby Gin, Nationwide Structures, Don Controls and new sponsor Eralis we can attract top class speakers” said Julian Tatlow Club President and Dinner Organiser.

There were over 360 sponsors, members and guests at The Majestic Hotel. Wayne Barnes was the first to speak giving an amusing and informative description of his career to date. He made interesting comments around some of his more crucial decisions in Internationals which he punctuated with some very funny anecdotes. James Haskell, as everyone hoped, was larger than life during his speech. Dealing superbly well with a microphone malfunction, he described his early rugby career at Wasps, gave a hilarious account of his ‘interview’ prior to his move to Stade Francais, described the shift in attitude needed to play for The Highlanders and explained how the change in approach to England’s coaching regime had brought about a total turn round in England’s success. A thoroughly professional, entertaining and funny speech.

“We can’t thank all the people who attended enough” said Paul Day, Chairman. “Special thanks go to the Under 14’s from Harrogate Rugby Club for selling raffle tickets and organising collections from the tables. With particular thanks to their Team Manager Paula Yates and Team Coach Rob Blanden for helping so much on the night”, he added.

The Harrogate Pythons Annual Dinner has become a very popular event in the Harrogate calendar and this year raised approximately £11k for the club.

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