Borders youngsters making French connection as curtain-raiser for Rugby World Cup
The East End school has been picked by the Scottish Rugby Union to represent the country in the Rugby Heritage Cup in Pontlevoy in Loir-et-Cher and its under-15 boys and girls’ sides will be heading over the English Channel on Thursday to take part.
That inaugural youth tournament, a curtain-raiser for the 2023 world cup, gets under way on Saturday following an opening ceremony on Friday.
It’s also part of celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the claimed invention of the sport by William Webb Ellis in 1823 while studying at Warwickshire’s Rugby School.
Some 700 youngsters from 24 schools around the world will be contesting the cup.
The Earlston players will be accompanied by three of their teachers and new Melrose head coach Iain Chisholm, also head of youth rugby at the Greenyards.
The boys’ team will be up against France, New Zealand and Portugal in their pool and the girls face French and Kiwi opposition too, plus Madagascar.
They’ll also be competing off the pitch at cookery and film-making ahead of a final next Thursday, September 7.
The bill for the trip is expected to come to about £21,000, with Melrose and the SRU picking up part of the tab and fundraising activities, including a touch rugby challenge at the Greenyards in June, having been organised to cover the rest.
For further details, go to https://pontlevoy2023.com/