RUGBY rivals Milford Haven RFC and Haverfordwest RFC have joined forces in raising money for the Ronald Mcdonald House Charity, in support of popular player Dan Birch and his wife Naomi, whose baby girl has been receiving care at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff.

Players, members and supporters from both clubs, along with those connected to Milford Haven AFC and CrossFit Pembrokeshire, are taking part in a 1,000 Mile Running Challenge - and the fundraising event is quickly gathering pace.

“For those of you that may not be aware, our First Team Club Captain and his lovely wife Naomi recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl called Ocean,” said a Milford Haven RFC statement.

“Ocean was born prematurely, and has been receiving expert care at the Heath Hospital in Cardiff, during which she has had to undergo a number of operations. This has obviously been both a worrying and challenging time for Dan, Naomi and their families.

“Thankfully Dan and Naomi have been supported by the Ronald Mcdonald House Charity, which has given them accommodation to stay close to Ocean for the past 10 weeks. It costs the charity £25 per night, so it is the aim to raise funds to cover their entire stay.

“In addition to ourselves, Dan's former clubs Haverfordwest RFC and Merlin's Bridge AFC will be taking part, as well as members of Crossfit Pembrokeshire, who Dan and Naomi are also affiliated.

“In support of the Charity, our club will be taking part in the 1,000 mile challenge, which we hope to complete by March 2021. We are asking our players, members and supporters to participate in this worthwhile challenge.

“So dust off those running shoes and get involved in the fabulous fund raising event. Should any one wish to record their mileage, they can use the Strava link (on the club’s official social media).”

Meanwhile Haverfordwest RFC has thrown it’s full backing behind the fundraising challenge, and has set up a JustGiving fundraising page, and its own Strava page to offer some friendly competition, and most importantly raise money for the Ronald House Charity.

“A good mate of ours, and former blue Dan Birch and his wife Naomi have recently given birth to their beautiful little girl Ocean. To say the last few months have been tough is an understatement,” said a Haverfordwest RFC statement.

“To show our support to Ocean and the Birch family we have decided to set ourselves the challenge of running 1,000 miles as a team by March.

“Our main goal is to raise as much money as possible for the Ronald Mcdonald House in Cardiff, a place that Dan and Naomi have called home for the last 10 weeks.

“Due to Covid, this is the only place that allows them to be together and close enough to visit Ocean in the Neonatal intensive care unit at the Cardiff Heath hospital.

“We've all missed a bit of competition since lockdown began almost a year ago, so to raise as much money as possible we are challenging Milford Haven RFC, Merlins Bridge AFC and Crossfit Pembrokeshire to see which club can knock out the most mileage and raise the most money.”

Milford Haven RFC and Haverfordwest RFC have agreed to use the one JustGiving Crowdfunding Page, a link to which can be found on the respective clubs’ official Facebook and Twitter accounts: