In recent years, a rugby tour has meant a bus trip to relatively nearby locations such as Penrith, Stockton or even to Scotland.
This year’s tour for Clitheroe Rugby Club was a little more adventurous and saw a 25-strong group travel all the way to Madrid, Spain, for a four-day experience of a lifetime.
Tubber Tours took off from Liverpool Airport on the Friday of the Bank Holiday weekend with the aim of showing the best of British culture and rugby prowess.
The travelling squad was made up of plenty of current Clitheroe players as well as some past players from far away places such as Scotland and Yorkshire, and every player was raring to get to play in the warm climes of central Spain.
After an appropriate acclimatisation period in the salubrious areas of the city of Madrid, game day came and a short bus trip to the northern suburbs saw the Clitheroe squad arrive at Alcobendas Rugby Club, one of Spain’s most famous clubs.
The hosts were fantastic, laying on a barbecue and a keg of the local brew.However, they proved less amenable on the rugby field where they failed to let the tourists leave victorious. A final score of six tries to five in favour of the locals was a good indication of the end-to-end rugby that was played and everyone to a man enjoyed what was a great experience.
Tries were scored for Clitheroe by Smudge Smith, Chris Massey, Sion Williams and Club Captain Nathan “Seal” Peel, whilst the excellent referee came in the form of injured Clitheroe prop forward Ben Graves.
The remainder of the tour passed without much incident and everyone managed to get home in one piece, much to the amazement of some stay-at-home players.
Chairman Thornber, once he’d recovered from sun stroke, exclaimed. “This was a great experience for younger and older players alike and travelling further afield for our annual tours is something we must do on a more regular basis.”
He continued by praising Tour Organiser Ed Gretton for all his fine work in the lead up to the tour and mentioning that France may be the next tour target.
It’s a great time in general for the sport of rugby with the Lions starting off in winning ways down under.
All the games between now and the end of the Lions tour on July 6th will be televised live at the rugby club, on Littlemoor Road, where planned fun games are scheduled for later in the day after each game.
For more information about this and the club in general, visit its website at www.clitheroerugby.com.
Finally, Touch Rugby – a great introduction to the game – is continuing on Wednesday evenings at the club from 7 pm.
This is for anyone and will culminate in a Touch Rugby Competition, to be held at the club on Sunday July 7th. If you are interested in playing, either as an individual or as a team, then please email Bob Wilkinson on firstname.lastname@example.org.