AN inclusive rugby club is being set up in Colchester.

Sam Biscoe, founder of the Colchester Kings, East Anglia's first inclusive rugby team, said the ambition for the team is to provide a welcoming and inclusive space for everybody.

He reluctantly joined a similar team in Southampton but Sam said he quickly realised the benefits of an inclusive rugby club - making friends, learning a new skill and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.

After his cousin became pregnant and Sam landed a job as the head of marketing at the Mercury Theatre, he moved to Colchester.

His cousin's partner plays in the first team at Colchester Rugby Club, eventually introducing Sam to Maggie Whiteman, president of the club.

After Sam explained the importance of an inclusive rugby team and the representation it brought, Maggie was interested in setting up the first LGBTQ+ team in the region, feeling it was time for such a club in Colchester.

Club founder Sam said: "As a gay man I would never have played rugby, my mum would even write me letters to get me out of it in PE.

"I was bullied at school and had to drop GCSE drama, as the bullying eventually got that bad. With natural discrimination and internalised homophobia, sports aren’t always welcoming.

“With Jake Daniels coming out, this feels very timely. Sports aren’t always a welcoming environment, seeing that only one English sportsman has come out.”

Sam believes the formation of the club will benefit Colchester’s LGBTQ+ community.

He said: "It's super important, just having something for the community.

"With sport there is something about respecting each other through teamwork, providing a way of meeting people and getting some exercise.

“I’m not massively into the rugby part of it but it’s the importance of bringing together a community which allows people to achieve something that they would never be able to do.”

Sam hopes by being located just off of the A12, the club will draw in people from across Essex.

The Colchester Kings try outs will take place on Wednesday, June 1.