IRONSIDES U13s TOUR TO LYONIronsides U13s ventured overseas for the first time this year for their age group tour to Lyon.
The Squad gather before their first game.
St Priest Rugby
On Saturday morning we travelled to the St Priest to the south-east of the city, where we received a very warm welcome. Ironsides teams played two matches against their U13s and U14s who in the French youth system play as a single age group. The St Priest had a photographer taking photos all day which can be viewed here.
Tour Captain Angus Robertson shakes Hands with his St Priest counterpart
Both games were balanced contests played in great spirit and resulted in a close win and narrow loss for our boys. Ironsides largely dominated the breakdown and played some good passing rugby, but could not fully contain the St Priest attack led by a talented, skilful fly-half and a physical No.8.
Ironsides and St Priest Teams fly their national flags
After the games St Priest welcomed us back to their clubhouse for a delicious lunch, where gifts and man of the match awards were exchanged.
In the afternoon, St Priest had a French Federation tournament with 3 other local teams. Although unfortunately we were unable to enter an Ironsides team in the tournament, our hosts asked if any of the Ironsides boys would be keen to play for St Priest to strengthen their squad. Seven of our boys stepped up for their big money transfer to the French league!
Tom Chamier, Ben Abraham, Seb Palmer-Worrell, Will Freebairn, Ben Townrow, Guy Paton-Smith, Freddie Godber and Freddie Deal pull on the “Sang et Or” shirts of St Priest rugby.
Despite a little bit of a language barrier, the magnificent seven were soon combining well with their new St Priest team mates – who looked like they were enjoying having some of our most talented young players on their side. Allez St Priest!
As one Ironsides Dad later remarked: “My highlight of the tour was seeing a bunch of French and English lads who had never met each other before, playing rugby against and then for each other. No finer example of rugby values. Brilliant!”
The combined St Priest / Ironsides Squad celebrate victory
Club Sportif Bougoin-Jallieu (CSBJ)
On Sunday morning another warm welcome awaited us from Club Sportif Bougoin-Jallieu (CSBJ). Any doubt that this would be a challenging day of rugby were quickly put to rest by the CSBJ head coach who reminded us of the pedigree of his club. Although their senior team are no longer playing in the French top flight, they are justifiable proud of their role in developing young players including some 40 French Internationals such as Sébastian Chabal, Morgan Parra, Pascal Papé and Julien Bonnaire.
After enthusiastic renditions of the Marseillaise and God Save the Queen, our boys took to the field for an extended game over three “thirds” with rolling substitutions.
Ironsides and CSBJ line up for the national anthems
The standard of the CSBJ team was very strong and the Ironsides XV quickly found themselves a couple of tries down. There was no question of heads dropping however: in true Ironsides style our boys kept playing for each other and rallied as the match went on. Over the whole match CSBJ came out on top but Ironsides won the second “third” and scored some great tries through a mixture of dogged work at the breakdown, tough tackling and imaginative passing play. Overall, it was an excellent learning experience for our boys.
Will Freebairn makes a break Cam Abbasian gets quick ball from the scrum
Following the match we enjoyed the kind hospitality of the CSBJ and raised a toast or two to another successful Ironsides tour: great fun and great rugby!
Thanks to our sponsors
We’d like to say a big thank you to our generous tour sponsors:
Find out more about how they can help you meet your investment goals at:
- LGT Vestra
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