Rugby Tour - July 2019
At the beginning of the summer holidays and in the early hours of the morning, Mr Windo, Mr Holdsworth, Mr Bell and Dr Short, along with thirty-five boys, assembled for their departure on a two-week rugby tour to Canada. Following a ten-hour flight, the team arrived in Vancouver mid-morning and continued their journey on the ferry over to Vancouver Island for the first leg of the tour. For their first excursion, the boys climbed aboard jet boats for an exhilarating ride, followed by whale watching.
Before departing the UK, Mr Windo contacted a former teammate, Kingsley Jones, the current Canadian National coach. Kingsley very kindly allowed the boys to watch the Canadian team train as they prepared for the forthcoming World Cup in Japan. The boys received a guided tour of the facilities, met the squad and trained at the ground. The following morning, the tour party hired bicycles to explore Stanley Park, a 400-hectare natural rainforest. Everyone enjoyed following the paths through the forest while taking in the scenic views of the coastline.
Unfortunately, the boys’ first tour match was cancelled at the last minute. They therefore took the opportunity to have a trial match, giving all the boys the chance to play - Dr Short refereed in what turned out to be a very competitive match with some excellent rugby played.
Later that week, the tour party travelled out of Vancouver to the Squamish River to undertake white-water rafting. This excursion proved to be a real highlight of the tour. The boys also visited the iconic Calipano Suspension Bridge, again taking in some of the amazing scenery Canada has to offer.
The following day provided the team with their first opportunity to play against Canadian opposition. There were two matches again British Columbia Select XVs. With both Bromsgrove sides (1st & 2nd XV) recording excellent wins.
Next stop on the tour was Seattle, USA. Here, the group had the opportunity to go to the top of the iconic space needle and visit Pike Place market. A great experience all round.
Once back in Vancouver, the boys played their second fixture of the tour against an EIRA XV – matches that proved to be far tougher tests. The 2nd XV narrowly lost a closely fought match 15-20, with the 1st XV showing an outstanding defensive effort, along with some exciting attacking play, to record a 47-3 victory.
The tour finished with another exhilarating excursion to the top of Grouse Mountain for some zip lining.
Mr Windo would like to thank all the boys for their outstanding conduct throughout the tour and to Mr Holdsworth, Mr Bell and Dr Short for their help and support.
To view a further selection of photographs from the tour, please click here.