I was approached a few weeks back about the possibility of me reviewing a new rugby app, which, coincidentally enough, I'd actually downloaded a few days earlier, so I figured, "whats the worst that can happen?" and said yes. Now we get a fair few requests to review things, and generally, I avoid them, because they aren't always the greatest product and I was bought up with "if you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all", which, I of course, live by 100% without exception........ (ok, my regular readers will know that's a big old lie, but I'll add this bit in case of newbies!)
Right, the app....
Firstly, It's a free download. Secondly it aims to promote grassroots rugby across Britain and Ireland.
Upon downloading and signing up, you are asked to choose your club, and there are hundreds, if not thousands of clubs to select, unfortunately for me, Gloucester isn't one, so I went for my home town club, Coventry as my default. This gives you a fantastic, one touch access to all the social media new of the chosen club (and with Coventry signing Tuitupou and Narraway recently, what a great choice to follow their feed!!) You can also check on events, club offers and there's even a upporters network on there.
After choosing your club, you can still search for other clubs and get similar levels of access, the last club I ever trained with, albeit briefly due to injury, are on there, so had a good snoop on how they're doing nowadays, even though they currently have 0 followers on the app, the social media feed is still there!
The next tab on the homescreen is Fixtures, which gives you a rundown of the local fixtures nearby, always good if you (unlike me!) get weekends off work and fancy a fix of rugby! This also has a 7's tab and a map view to show you where the matches are happening. It's a pretty simple notion, but very thorough and well laid out.
The third tab, I'll come back to, and skip to the 4th, The Clubhouse, which splits into 3 sections, Viewpoint, E4R's take on the headlines and gossip from the rugby world, Big Interview, which explains itself and Teamtalk, where the focus is on Grassroots news. Again, simplicity done well, you want your news, its literally 3 clicks on the app..... brilliantly fast, at your fingertips stuff.
Tab 5 is the performance room, which again split into 3 and covers Coaching, Training and Nutrition, so you can get plenty of hints, tips and tricks from the pro's to take to your grassroot club, which makes this app a coaching tool in it's own right!
The final tab is the E4R store - which is currently non-operational.
OK. back to the third header, Member Offers. Again, to point out, this app is totally free to use and download, HOWEVER, there is an option to become an E4R member, i believe it's £2.99 per month and £29.99 per year, but there are huge discounts on offer from everything ranging from local butchers to international flights to jewellery. You get a virtual card with your name and membership number on it,and you would only need to use it to get £30 a year minimum as a discount to make it pay for itself.
This is a review, not a sales pitch though, so I'll move along now!
E4R have amongst their founding members Tom May and Carl Hayman, so you know it's made for proper rugby fans when name like that are involved, and to be honet, I think whether you take the free download or pay for the VIP upgrade, this app is a must, especially if you are involved with grassroots rugby, as their website claims, it puts the club in your pocket, which in fact is a lie, as a it puts ALL clubs in your pocket!!!
A very effective, attractive layout, simple to follow through the various tabs and in the three or so weeks I've had the app, no crashes, no pop up ads, no freezes. It's a quality product that I highly recommend!!