The Under 16 team from Berry Hill Rubgy Club travelled to St Hilaire de Riez and had a had a very successful time being hosted by the St Hilaire rugby club. A 12 a side match was played on Easter side, which the visitors won 61 - 17. The score of the game was less important than the friendships that were formed before and after the match.
The match was officiated by an official French Rugby Union (FRU) referree and was supervised by the FRU. The weather conditions were dreadful, there having been days of heavy rain prior to the match. There was also a cold westerly wind that kept the spectators huddled in the lee of the wind.
Thanks go to many people, but especially Cecily Rees from St Hilaire and Wayne and Tracey Starkey from Berry Hill.
Berry Hill is a village just outside Coleford whose club has a long history. In the days when rugby union was an amateur sport the club regularly played cup matches against top teams such as Harlequins and London Irish.
The two teams line up for the national anthems and a minute silence for the French policeman who gave his life when he volunteered to swop himself for a hostage in a terrorist siege.
The two teams show the bond of friendship after the match. Once the photos had been taken all the players and some of the coaches threw themselves into a large muddy puddle on the side of the pitch.
The captain of Berry Hill U-16 team receiving the cup. He is watched by Nick Penny, mayor of Coleford. Coleford Twinning Association helped to sponsor the travel costs for the team.
It is hoped that the St Hilaire team will be able to travel to Coleford next year for a re-match.
The teams have swapped souvenir shirts, although the Berry Hill lads were not expecting the sunglasses as well!
The experience has been very successful for both clubs and it is hoped to arrange similar friendly games between other sports clubs in both communities. Thank you to all those that made the match trip possible.
Wayne was rewarded for all his hard work by being dumped in a very muddy puddle!