Maidenhead RFC will be honouring former junior member Issy Phipps when they go for Papa Johns Community Cup glory at Sixways Stadium on Saturday.  

Phipps, who played touch rugby for England U18 Ladies, passed away suddenly during the week, rocking the club ahead of their Papa Johns Men’s Regional 1 Plate Final against Macclesfield.  

The fixture will bring the curtain down on the action at Sixways, with the bowl and shield finals also taking place on the day of the King’s Coronation.

Maidenhead Club Chairman Stephen Bough hopes two rugby families can unite to pay a fitting tribute to Phipps. 

“We’ve lost a very valued and loved junior member and so we will be holding a minute's silence before the game,” said Bough. 

“We’ll have her name on our shirts and as she also spent time at Reading Rugby Club, we'll be wearing odd socks for both Maidenhead and Reading just to remember Issy.” 

Maidenhead have happy memories of travelling to Worcester, with their Colts having won the National Cup at the same ground back in 2018. 

The senior side are now bidding to create more history in the West Midlands and after a fifth-place finish in the league, Bough’s side are determined to finish their campaign on a high.  

“It's very exciting. I know the boys are excited about it and playing in a big stadium is always fun,” he said. 

“I don’t think we've ever played them before, so it's always nice to play new clubs and meet new people. 

“We've loved playing in the competition and we committed to it right from the start. 

“After the league season was condensed, there were two fewer home league games so the guys haven't run out of rugby puff yet and they were still ready to play a few more games. It has been fantastic for us.” 

Opponents Macclesfield are looking to add a second piece of silverware to their cabinet following their Cheshire Cup triumph earlier this season. 

Stephen Branch will be handing over the reins as Club Chair later in May and a win at Sixways would represent the perfect swansong. 

“I'll be the proudest chairman in the world if the boys do well,” he said. 

“Even if they don't win, the fact that they've done so well in the Cheshire Cup and got to The Papa Johns Community Cup final, I’ll be proud as punch whatever happens. 

“The whole day will be a great experience. The boys and the coaching staff are determined to enjoy it all, it's not just about the game, it’s about soaking up the whole event.” 

The action begins at Sixways with Banbury taking on West Bridgford in the Bowl Final before Wirral meet Launceston in the Shield showpiece.  

Over 500 clubs have competed for a place in one of the 29 Papa Johns Community Cup finals across the women’s and men’s game. 

Following the excitement of the Papa Johns Women’s Community Cup and Men’s Regional 1 Championship Finals last weekend, where Driffield RUFC, Dings Crusaders, Cheltenham Tigers 1st XV and 2nd XV, Workington Finches and Drybrook all triumphed, a further 23 finals will take place across the country on Saturday and Sunday in another celebration of grassroots rugby where players and supporters will make memories to last a lifetime.  

Alongside Sixways Stadium hosting the Papa Johns Finals, the StoneX Stadium welcomes Counties 1, 2, 3 and 4 and Regional 2 men’s teams competing in the Papa Johns Men’s South Plate, and the Darlington Arena plays host to the North Plate Finals. 

The rugby action continues nationwide on Sunday 7 May, with the Papa Johns North Shield finals at the Darlington Arena, while the StoneX Stadium will host the South Shield finals and Twickenham Stadium will welcome Regional 2 and Counties 1, 2, 3 and below, sides competing for the Papa Johns Men’s Championship trophy. Full fixtures are available to view here 

The new competition was created to provide a crescendo to the end of the grassroots season, keeping players engaged throughout the spring and giving clubs a chance to compete for silverware whatever their final league positions. Entry is free for all supporters on Saturday and Branch feels the experience of playing in a national cup final at a national stadium is one all players will cherish. 

“It will absolutely be the highlight of some of their careers, for sure,” he added.  

“To have the opportunity of playing on a big pitch in a stadium is absolutely fantastic. If I were a player, I'd be loving it.” 

For team’s that win their Papa Johns Community Cup Final matches, they won’t only be able to take home the coveted trophy, they will also be entered into a ballot to win a visit from a Red Roses Coach & a free Papa Johns pizza order. 

Entry to all of the finals is free to the public. For more Papa Johns Community Cup action follow @RFU Twitter and #PapaJohnsCommunityCup