Sidmouth RFC juniors play host to French visitors
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth RFC played host to a contingent of young rugby players from across the channel this weekend.
A delegation of 23 players and eight adults visited the valley from Seguran, a team based near to Agen in the south of France.
They stayed locally at Ladram Bay, arriving on the Thursday night to spend three full days experiencing what Sidmouth has to offer.
On Friday they came to Sidmouth for traditional fish and chips before an afternoon at Sandy Park where they were treated to a full tour of the Chiefs’ stadium and its state-of-the- art facilities.
Saturday saw them exploring Sidmouth and having fun on the beach followed by hot chocolate and ice cream on Dukes’ forecourt.
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A Hayman’s pasty for lunch was the prelude to watching Sidmouth second team play Exmouth on the Blackmore where the French gave vocal and tuneful support to the Quins.
Saturday night was spent in the Blackmore clubhouse where they played skittles and met some of the local youngsters during what was a great evening.
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The French demonstrated the traditional ‘paquito’ dance, where players are passed over head down a line of seated teammates!
Jud Lascelles, Cara Monaghan and even the hefty Lee Sowden were all held aloft by the players!
It was down to rugby on Sunday. The Under-14 boys of Sidmouth, Tiverton and Seguran played a three-way round-robin on the Blackmore where flowing rugby, English guile and French flair were evident despite the sticky conditions.
In France, the boys and girls play together at Under-14 level, but this is not the case in England where the sexes are split.
Seguran had brought four girls over with them and they followed the boys onto the field where mixed sides from Sidmouth and Paignton incorporating the French girls played out an exciting match.
Presentations and an exchange of gifts followed as well as a warm invitation for Sidmouth to pay a visit in the future to the south of France.
Each French player and coach left with a Sidmouth RFC club tie as a memento of their visit.
Jud Lascelles, chairman of Sidmouth junior section, said: “It was fantastic to host Seguran.
“Thanks to all those who helped make the trip possible, particularly our volunteers and club sponsors Sidmouth Hotels.
“The entire weekend exemplified the spirit of rugby. Singing, fun games in the bar, sport and new friendships forged.
“I hope that this can be the start of an enduring relationship between the two clubs.”