14/04/23 | Under 15's
Friday 31st March 64 intrepid U15s and adults travelled to our close partners and friends Coimbra RFC in Portugal.
After the short flight – we settled into our digs for the weekend and adults and children alike enjoyed the Portuguese hospitality and fine weather.
We woke on Saturday morning to find some typical North West weather – cold, cloudy and rain! We felt right at home – however most of us had not packed for this! After being hosted for lunch we played 3 games – 1 against the local Coimbra district team and 2 against a touring Spanish team – El Salvadore RFCwho hail from the Spanish Rugby heartland of Valladolid.
Lymm started slowly, in typical tour style and lost our first game 3-1 to El Salvadore. After a quick discussion and re-organisation we took to the field for the second game versus a Coimbra district XV. The boys were motivated to give a better showing and we won the game after some good rugby 4 tries to 0. Next was an opportunity to play the other El Salvadore time. This time we took nothing for granted and we won this second game 3 tries to 1.
It was an incredible afternoon for players and adults alike and with the Portuguese Ladies cup final being played on an adjacent pitch – we settled in to getting to know our opposition and local hosts.
Despite some very poor attempts at Spanish and even poorer attempts at Portuguese we were all saved by the excellent English spoken by our hosts and other visitors and a bit of google translate we all had a great afternoon. Touring in the modern era!
Afterwards we all made our way back to Academica de Coimbras clubhouse after walking through this exceptionally beautiful city – it was a real treat – despite the steep hills – and it even stopped raining!
We exchanged gifts with our hosts and opposition, enjoyed the hog roast put on for us and the boys (and girls – yes that’s right up to U15s rugby is mixed) then spent time together building bonds in the way only rugby people do when together with an open bar. We may not speak each others languages but we can always find a way to communicate. A great end to a fantastic day.
Sunday dawned with a hot and sunny outlook – perfect for a day by the river! After lunch the boys decided to run their own training session and practise lifting various members of the back line in the line out – an experience only few enjoyed!
Some of the boys then braved the river Mondego whilst the adults relaxed and took in the scenery. Before we knew it we were whisked away back to the airport and home.
All in all a fabulous weekend was had by all with existing bonds strengthened between team mates and parents and new ones forged with our opposition in the true spirit of rugby.
Big thanks to Bev Scott-Herron for her exceptional organisational skills as well as the rest of the tour committee – Julian Llewellyn, Nick and Sam McFerrran, Mark Haase, Julie Jones and of course our chief fundraiser Keith “Tucker” Broadbent.
Also special thanks to our generous sponsors without whom the tour party would not have had any kit – Primrose Nurseries, BCN Group, Dassault Systemes and SGW Payroll.
Special thanks to Rui Loureiro who made sure everything ran so smoothly on the Portugese side. It was incredible thank you !