Our 1st and 2nd XV rugby teams had a successful and action packed time on their tour of Italy.
The touring party, which was made up of players from the fifth year and sixth form, boarded the coach to Manchester Airport looking the part in their matching polo shirts.
The boys landed at Marco Polo Airport in Venice before heading to their home for the week – Getur Sports Village in Lignano Sabbiadoro.
The first full day of the tour started off with breakfast and a light training session as they got ready for their first matches of the trip later that evening. Pordenone were the opening opposition and it was a positive start for both teams as they recorded strong victories.
The next morning the boys travelled to a rainy Venice where they visited St Mark’s Square. After soaking up some culture the group made their way to the venue of the 2nd XV’s second match. The squad put in another solid performance against the opposition from Portogruaro and their hard work was rewarded with another impressive victory.
The following morning the players cooled down in the pool for a recovery session before taking in the European Rugby Challenge Cup game between Benetton Treviso and La Rochelle in the afternoon.
The next day saw the touring party travel to Verona where they had a tour of the city and visited a number of landmarks including Romeo and Juliet’s balcony.
The rugby boys spent the penultimate day of the trip preparing for the last games of their tour against Udine and both teams signed off in style with two comprehensive wins. The 2nd XV took part in a very hard fought game but produced their best performance of the season to come away with a positive result whilst the 1st XV played superbly to see off a tough challenge from a spirited home side.
With impressive wins and useful experiences – both cultural and sporting – accumulated, the boys enjoyed a hearty breakfast before making their way back to England.
1st XV captain and Head Boy George Chatterton really enjoyed the experience of playing abroad: “The tour was really good and it was a great team bonding opportunity. Spending a week away together made the players become tighter knit and this showed with performances on the pitch improving as the week went on. It was also good to play teams with a different style of rugby. The Italian teams we faced focussed more on set pieces and this was a good challenge for us.”
Fellow upper sixth pupil Henry North echoed George’s statement: “The tour is something that I would definitely recommend. The standard of our play was pleasing – especially in the final game – and it was also great to experience a different culture. I was really impressed by the amphitheatre.”
Mr Hugo Corbett, Head of Rugby at the school, said: “The Italian tour was a great experience for the boys and they were a credit both on and off the pitch. The welcome we received from all of the host teams was great, the hospitability was fantastic and we were made to feel really welcome wherever we went.”
The school would like to thank the following companies who helped with sponsorship for the trip: