No honeymoon when England come calling

Newly married Mr and Mrs Webber
Newly married Mr and Mrs Webber

After enjoying ‘the best day of his life’, Pocklington’s rugby star Rob Webber is back training in the hope of forcing his way into England’s World Cup squad.

He and his fiancee, Lauren Humphreys, decided way back that they wanted to get married in the summer of 2015, and identified late July as the right time. However, the timing became critical when England rugby coach, Stuart Lancaster, set out an extensive warm-up programme for his World Cup squad that lasted through the summer months.

It resulted in a whirlwind couple of weeks for Rob, but after just managing to squeeze eveything in he is now both happily married and looking forward to playing for England against France at Twickenham on Saturday (15 August) after surviving the initial cut on Friday where seven players’ hopes were dashed of playing in a home World Cup.

Rob played in the Premiership final with his club side, Bath, on 30 May, a 16-28 defeat to Saracens at Twickenham, before joining the training camp in Surrey with England.

In mid-July he was jetting out across the Atlantic for two weeks of altitude work in the Rocky Mountains, described by the England players as the “toughest ever.”

Rob flew back from Denver on 27 July there was just enough time to fit in his big day. He and Lauren tied the knot on Thursday afternoon at a ceremony in Bath, surrounded by family, friends and England teammates followed by more celebrations on the Dorset coast.

His best man duties were jointly carried out by his brother, ex-Pocklington captain, Mat, and another former Pocklington prop, Nick Hobbs, while Lauren was attended by six bridesmaids. Rob described it as: “the best day of my life”, while proud mother, Gwen, from Aughton, added: “It was wonderful, eveything went perfectly.”

There was no time for a proper honeymoon however with Rob going straight back into training with the England squad ahead of the three World Cup warm-up matches against France followed by Ireland.

All of his hard work on the training pitch has been rewarded with him being named in the starting XV for the first game against France on Saturday.

Rob will be hoping he can do enough to be named as one of, an expected, three hookers for the squad though he faces competition from Leicester’s Tom Youngs, Exeter’s Luke Cowan-Dickie and Saracen Jamie George.

The former Pocklington School pupil has 12 caps for England, scoring one try. The Rugby World Cup campaign starts on 18 September when England take on Fiji in the curtain-raiser at Twickenham.