Fill Your Boots – Making Grass Roots Games Happen

Fill Your Boots - Making Grass Roots Games Happen

Fill Your Boots is a grass roots rugby player-exchange program ,which has been running successfully for two years. It is a social media experiment which has generated plenty of co-operation and involvement, bringing like minded fans and organizations closer.

Whether you are a rugby club in need of extra bodies to ensure your match takes place, or a player looking for a run, they help you find a game.

Fill Your Boots – Making Grass Roots Games Happen

The volunteer organization have over 700 rugby clubs from all over the world who follow them on Twitter. Active across many platforms, there is a weekly newsletter and clubs and players are encouraged to engage with the organization. There missions statement is:

Each week, lots of Rugby clubs around the country struggle for players. Games are always being cancelled due to lack of players available. What happens to those players that do not get that game time?

If you are without a fixture, why not see if other local clubs need extra bodies for their matches. Together, we can #MakeGamesHappen by offering our services to other clubs.

The initiative has been well received. In 2017, Fill Your Boots was nominated for the England Rugby Mitsubishi ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award.

Fill Your Boots

Any organization that can both help teams to participate, and to bring players who might not be able to play, has to be applauded.

Last Word on Rugby spoke to concept originator Sean Phelan, and asked him:

How did the idea come about?

Racal Decca is “the world’s smallest club” and we struggle to field a XV each week. Racal Decca formed alliances with other clubs including Streatham Croydon to share players if one of our games was at risk of being cancelled. It was highly successful, more games were being fulfilled, meaning more games for everyone involved.

Sean is experienced personally at the situation which faces sides across Britain, and right across the rugby globe. “As a captain, it was an embarrassment to turn up with 12 players.

It got me thinking that this could be successful if more clubs like Racal Decca had a player exchange, where clubs that needed extra bodies and players that needed game time could go to find each other. Over 700 Rugby clubs now follow us on Twitter.

The goal is simple, to make more games happen.

Some weeks we will fail, some weeks we will succeed, but rest assured Fill Your Boots will work as hard as possible to Make Games Happen.

We asked Phelan ‘how does Fill Your Boots works?’

It’s Simple. Whether you are a rugby club or an available rugby player, send us a message via our social media channels, we will then send out your requests via our social media outlets. Clubs and players can contact us via:
Twitter – @fyb_rugby
Instagram – @fyb_rugby

To make Fill Your Boots successful for clubs, we need to reach more people. The more people that follow our Twitter or Like our Facebook page, the better chance we have of helping more clubs each week. We don’t have a marketing or advertising budget, just one bloke with a phone who cares enough about the sport!

“A grassroots operation for grassroots clubs!”

The ‘Last Word’ on Fill Your Boots

At Last Word on Rugby we offer opinion and analysis on all the high profile games and tournaments, but without the ‘average guy’ playing the game at grass roots level, the game wouldn’t be the same for any of us.

Our group of writers and Editors fully support any initiative that keeps the game strong and makes sure that the starting whistle can be blown for more and more games.


‘Want to play? Don’t have a team?’ then reach out. Contact Fill your Boots via any of there channels, and help make the game happen.

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