PRIDE was in abundance as Southampton’s only gay rugby team claimed a top four spot in this year’s Turing Cup.

Teams from across the country came to Millbrook RFC’s pitch in Lordshill recreation ground to join home side Wessex Wyverns and go to battle in the event, whose formal title is the UK Gay and Inclusive Invitational Rugby Championship.

The tournament was won by Northampton Outlaws, with Bristol Bisons second and Birmingham Bulls third.

The other teams completing the first event in Southampton was Cardiff Lions and Kings Cross Steelers.

Following the Saturday afternoon event, the teams went out to celebrate across the city with after parties in The London, The Edge and The Box Bar.

Secretary Piers De Hondt said the day was a huge success.

He said: “There were a great number of people who turned out in high spirits.

“The weather made conditions a bit slippery but the supporters braved the conditions to cheer on the teams. It was fantastic.

“During the after party we had a raffle and prize giveaway as well as a ‘Blind Date’ type show.

“We are so lucky to have had the support of everyone including Hampshire RFU.

“Without their help days like this would not be possible.

Piers added: “It was a fantastic advert for LGBT rugby and off the back of it we had loads of good feedback, positive comments, so in all it was fantastic for us.”

The event has been named in in honour of the Second World War cryptologist and mathematician whose early computer work helped win the war – but who was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts.

It’s now in its third year and Wessex Wyverns now have a host of other tournments, including one in Amsterdam, coming up before the summer.

Prior to the game, Piers saidL “I had never played rugby before but I met some people and they asked me to go along - and I actually thought this is quite good fun. There is a sort of idea that gay men don’t play sport but, of course, that’s completely untrue.

“There have been several people coming out and all teams are inclusive – but how many teams have out gay players? Nigel Owens is a referee and an out gay man but in terms of out gay players there aren’t very many.”

It’s a friendly league and this year English Rugby will also supported the event as part of the Rainbow Laces campaign - an initiative by LGBT charity Stonewall which has seen football and rugby players across the country brighten up their laces in support of tackling homophobia.

Action shots taken by Chris Moorhouse.