The inaugural season of the Papa Johns Community Cup comes to a thrilling conclusion this weekend as 23 finals take place across the country. 

There was plenty of excitement last weekend at the Papa Johns Women’s Community Cup and Men’s Regional 1 Championship Finals, where Driffield RUFC, Dings Crusaders, Cheltenham Tigers 1st XV and 2nd XV, Workington Finches and Drybrook triumphed. 

And the second set of Finals Days are set to be another celebration of grassroots rugby where players and their clubs will make memories to last a lifetime.  

The home of English rugby will play host to four finals on Sunday, culminating with the Papa Johns Men’s Regional 2 Championship Final when Horsham are heading to Twickenham en masse for their showdown with Old Northamptonians.  

“We’re expecting around 1000 people to make the trip, we filled up 12 supporters’ coaches in 48 hours,” said Horsham chair Richard Ordidge. 

“We could fill up a lot more but there aren’t enough coaches available in Sussex. 

“Our average crowd is about 150, which looks disproportionate, but not only have we got the whole club involved, we’ve got the town rallying round and it seems to have paid off as there’s huge interest.” 

Opponents Old Northamptonians have their own party to throw and are determined to close out their centenary season in style.  

Director of Rugby Richard Blank said: “We are hugely excited. For pretty much everybody it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

“It’s a huge honour for us to play in the final match at Twickenham and effectively close out the whole competition. 

“It gives us a day to experience, we’re expecting about 400-plus fans and we’re looking forward to the final chapter of a hugely enjoyable journey.” 

Elsewhere at Twickenham on Sunday, North Bristol play Gloucester Old Boys, Wensleydale play Teddington and Harlow look to finish their season unbeaten against Old Alleynians.  

On Saturday, Sixways hosts the Papa Johns Men’s Regional 1 Bowl, Shield and Plate Finals, with Banbury facing West Bridgford, Wirral taking on Launceston and Macclesfield going head-to-head with Maidenhead. 

Macclesfield Chair Stephen Branch will soon be stepping down from his position and says he would be overjoyed to bow out on a high.  

“I’ll be proud as punch whatever happens, the whole day will be a great experience,” he said.  

“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.” 

Elsewhere on Saturday, 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. 

Old Patesians go up against Harlequin Amateurs, Chipstead play Bream, Reeds Weybridge battle Battersea Ironsides and Twickenham face Longlevens. 

Reeds Weybridge are coming up against a familiar foe in their showpiece against fellow Regional 2 South East side Battersea Ironsides - who they finished two places and six points above during the league season - but an unknown surface could level the playing field.  

Director of Rugby Nige Connell said: “We are super excited, we are not used to 4G, so that will be something new for us, but we have a couple of buses of supporters already booked. 

"It’s ironic that the tournament has gone all over the country and we are playing Battersea in the final, who we know very well." 

The action continues in the capital on Sunday in the South Shield finals as Chess Valley play Dartmouth, Wells meet Vigo, Thanet Wanderers clash with Crowborough, and Beaconsfield take on Dartfordians. 

There’s a double header at Darlington Arena too with the North Plate finals on Saturday and the North Shield finals on Sunday.  

Burley play Thornton, Lutterworth entertain Percy Park, Wath Upon Dearne meet Ripon and Aldwinians go up against Widnes on day one before Rolls Royce clash with Bury, Bramley battle Phoenix Belper, Newcastle (Staffs) take on Huddersfield Laund Hill and Newbold-on-Avon encounter Winnington Park.  

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

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. 

Through the Papa Johns Community Cup, clubs have been able to play different opposition and visit new places, while others have reignited old local rivalries.  

Alongside the incredible array of talent on display, rugby’s values of teamwork, respect and enjoyment have been at the fore across endless close encounters throughout the campaign. 

Winnington Park chairman Paul Dean believes the competition offers all players a chance to write their name into club folklore.  

“It means a lot,” he said.  

“We're organising transport for our players, coaches and then one for our supporters and I think we're going to get quite a lot of people going at short notice, which is great. 

“If we win it's going to be very, very enjoyable. It’s definitely up there in the history of the Rugby Club.” 

As well as lifting a trophy, all 29 teams that win across the Papa Johns Community Cup Finals will be entered in a prize draw to win a visit from a Red Roses’ coach and a free Papa Johns pizza order.  

Other teams who competed in the Papa Johns Community Cup competitions also have a chance to win by submitting their best try from the competition. 

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