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Australian Schools Rugby News : March 2010
foreign for most of the players, but something the team management all enjoyed. Visiting Manchester United’s home ground, Old Trafford – a guided tour was arranged and we had the pleasure of looking over the playing surface, sitting in the player’s lounge, change room and reserve bench area. In Lymm, the local community once a year hold, a “Dickensian Day” in the village. This is where the village community dress up in period costume, run stalls and close the streets to show how people lived over a hundred years ago. Something many of the boys enjoyed on their day off. Our last port of call was at Hartpury, a residential college outside of Gloucester. With the cold weather the squad headed indoors to spend the afternoon Go-Kart racing and Lazer Tag in Gloucester. The combined driving experience of the team management proved too much for the any of the players with the management winning the two hour race. Gloucester Cathedral is best known, by the boys, for its appearance in the Harry Potter movies. It is however a magnificent gothic cathedral built in the 14th century. This didn’t disappoint anyone with some excellent history of the cathedral explained and the unique architecture seen in the fan-vaulted cloisters and magnificent stained glass windows. The guides kept the boys captivated with their descriptions of the settings of each of the Harry Potter movie scenes and the lives of the monks who had lived here centuries before. Visits to Rugby School and Warwick Castle were other highlights from this part of the tour. A Captain’s Run was held on Rugby School’s main oval known as ‘The Close’ – where William Webb Ellis picked up a soccer ball and ran with it, and hence the game of rugby was born. The school was established in the late 1500’s and is steeped in history with some original magnificent buildings and chapel – providing magnificent backdrops to this very special place. Warwick Castle is an 11th century Castle established by William the Conqueror, with several later additions and reconstructions. The completeness of the castle is further enhanced by the use of a variety of wax figures of various personalities who have lived in or visited the castle throughout the centuries. This included Richard II, Henry VIII and Winston Churchill. The rooms and apartments are decorated in various furniture of the different periods and large displays of the weaponry used by the soldiers of the castle. The boys enjoyed walking around the huge castellated walls and battlements. We had one day in London prior to our departure for Australia. In the morning the touring party enjoyed a tour of Lords Cricket Ground, including, the media centre, the members’ Long Room the visitors’ change room. After completing the tour we were all dropped off in London. Starting at Trafalgar Square the boys were given a few hours to see some of the sights. The most popular sights included Westminster Abbey and Big Ben, London Eye, and Changing of the House Guards. So it was a jammed packed tour and one that the boys will have fond memories of the friendships, the rugby, the people and the great sights visited and experienced. 4 ‘Beyond the rugby, an important part of touring is experiencing the history and culture of the places visited.’ austSchRugbyNews_march_10.indd 5 25/3/10 1:45:07 PM
Australian Schools Rugby News October 2009