The TRU Team

Covering all levels of the game, Talking Rugby Union brings you news and views about the sport across the UK, Europe as well as globally.

Our contributors are freelance journalists, aspiring writers, volunteers, pundits and players as well as photographers. They all know about the game and we aim to bring you original content, combined with the main stories our readers want to hear about.

Talking Rugby Union covers everything from international rugby to the grassroots of our sport and TRU has continued to grow in all levels of the game.

We provide a mix of daily news with exclusive interviews and our sections such as Emerging Talent continue to be popular.

Since TRU was launched, there have been many contributors and they are keen to the maintain the progression of the website:

Intern roles with Talking Rugby Union

1/ Feature Writing/Intern - to assist our Chief Rugby Reporter (Chris Heal) in covering England's 2nd tier, The Championship. Researching topics each week during the season to produce informed and engaging content.

2/ Media/Video - to assist Creative Director in preparing Try of the Week and Facebook Montage

Candidates email:

Max Ashcroft - Max uses his black book of rugby names to get some of the very high profile interviews on Talking Rugby Union. Max was with Bath Rugby Academy and now plays semi-pro for Sedgely Park RUFC. Max is the founder of RedPanda.

Max Skofic - Max is a Slovenian rugby international, who scored a hat trick of tries on international debut. Our Creative Director, who's unique blend of art and sport can be seen in the clothing line he has developed for can be seen throughout the site.

Chris Heal - Our Head Editor. University of Sunderland Sports Journalism Graduate and freelancer at Sky Sports, Chris has been part of the team for three years. He focuses on National League and University rugby, but he has also conducted interviews with some big names in the game.  @c_heal

Gary Heatly - Gary has had a love for both rugby and writing for as far back as he can remember. Having cut his teeth in the ‘real world’ of journalism at the Midlothian Advertiser local newspaper for a couple of years between 2005 and 2007, he has since been kept busy covering sport, mainly rugby.

He was a member of the editorial team at SCRUM Magazine for 11 years until recently and now provides regular rugby content to various national and local newspapers, magazines and websites via his company GH Media as well as hosting a podcast @G_HMedia

Austin Halewood - Graduated from Loughborough University having studied English and played rugby in the BUCS competition. Austin has presented many of the news videos on Talking Rugby Union and is a regular contributor with news articles. Austin is focussing on his journalistic career and works with BBC Sport.

Alex Shaw - Alex graduated from the University of Kent in 2011 and has since written for a number of national and international rugby publications, as well as covering the NFL and NBA across the pond. He can be found on twitter (@alexshawsport) or the basketball court, in both cases, usually vehemently insisting he CAN dunk.

Lewis Hughes - Currently reading History at the University of Leeds, Lewis Hughes is an aspiring journalist who runs SharkTankRugby, a blog dedicated to coverage of his hometown rugby club Sale Sharks. Lewis also previously covered Ice Hockey for On Twitter as @lah_8

George Hartrey - A rugby mad Dad got George loving his local side Bath and he is now Content executive @FinalThird - creating programmes for @Harlequins, WRU and @EFL. He is also yet to figure out how to write and play simultaneously. @georgehartrey

Alex Hannah - Graduated from Staffordshire University in summer 2016 with a degree in Sports Journalism. Spent 2 years whilst at Uni working as Press Officer at Macclesfield Rugby Club. Avid Scotland fan, and keen to see them never pick up a wooden spoon again. @Alex_Hannah1

Matt Wood - known as our intrepid Aussie, Matt was on secondment at Leeds Met in 2013/14. He followed and reported on Leeds Met's journey to the BUCS rugby final at Twickenham. He is currently based in Melbourne and provides a local insight into Australian rugby.

Frank Nickson - founder of RP007s, a 7s rugby team in the northwest. Frank is responsible for the extensive photo library that is at the heart of Talking Rugby Union. At Nottingham Trent University.

Jeff Gordon - He is Talking Rugby Union's most prolific cameraman and his work can be viewed all over the site.

Rob Conlon - A student at Nottingham Trent University, Rob keeps an eye on BUCS rugby throughout the country. A former rugby league player, he also looks out for how the converts are adapting to life across codes. His blog can be found at @RobConlon94

Benedict Chanakira - Born in Zimbabwe, Benedict is an aspiring rugby coach who frequently writes on the game. His reasons behind these chosen paths are because, to quote, "of Paul Flanagan who is rugby's equivalent to Mourinho and a journalist for the love of interacting." He is also a huge fan of the Natal Sharks, England Rugby and is it the All Blacks or Springboks? He can be found on Twitter @bchanakira2 and his Google + is Benedict Chanakira 

Wade Cox - Originally from Port Alfred, which is situated in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Born and raised in a rugby culture and have always been a keen supporter, observer and analyser of the game. Studied a Bachelor’s Degree in Media, Communication and Culture at NMMU (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) in Port Elizabeth. Currently residing in Hong Kong, which has an exceptionally strong rugby culture, where he plays (touch mostly) and referee in my spare time @wadesgotit 

Frederic Wale - based in Rio, Frederic loves photography in his spare time. He rubs shoulders with Brazil's most famous sports stars and provides Talking Rugby Union the taste of Rio in pictures @fredericwale

Mark McConville - Freelance journalist based in Northern Ireland, Mark graduated from Sunderland University with a Sports Journalism degree and has a good knowledge of Pro 14 rugby. @MarkMac10 

Connor Hickinbottom - Connor is currently at the University of Huddersfield, and has a keen eye for Championship Rugby. @ConnorHicko



Greg Boon – @ashesrugbyboy

Kitcho Evangelidis - @kitcho7

Garry Irwin – @girwin90

Danny Till – @dannyjt10

Ashley Lambell – @ntfcash

Nik Hughes – @nikhughes23

Matt Davies – @hogyn_or_gog

Bethan Borrett – @MissBorrett

Alan Dymock – @alandymock

Sam Rogers – @samrogerssj

Ian Mitchelmore – @ian_m_92

Thomas Davies – @ThomasODavies

Tom Dowler – @tommyd91

Thomas Cummings – @tj_cummings

Martin Young – @martinyoung19

Karl Jones – @karljones_

David Nicoll – @dtnicoll

Alex Shaw – @rugbyunionbant

Murray Kinsella – @murray_kinsella

Sam Verralls – @the_Verralls

Ryan Woolacott – @crazedsaint

Danny Murray – @danjomurray

Alex Ferentinos – @AlexFerentinos7

David Blair – @viscount_89

Plus many others writers, who are appreciated for their fantastic work. Thanks!


The TRU Team - Image Gallery

Max Skofic reaches out to score on international debut for Slovenia (he would score a hat-trick in all)
A rare event as Max Ashcroft plays alongside Max Skofic at Kinsale 2011
Max Skofic and Austin Halewood meet former England captain Will Carling
Austin Halewood with his Dad, playing snowy rugby
The team alongside the Heineken Cup
Benedict Chanakira chats to Scotland's Dave Denton
Intrepid Aussie, Matt Wood, talks rugby union with Frank Nickson