Clifton College Rugby team travelled from the UK to Australia to tour around playing local rugby teams. The team left the UK with many sincere warm messages:
Jonny Wilkinson, Toulong, England & British Lion: ’Rugby is your main priority and, as you no doubt know, the Australians are passionate about their rugby and in each game you play you will experience their intense physicality, incredible speed and infallible determination to win. Make sure you are fit and work together as a team and more importantly be the best you can be for your team mates.’
Martin Johnson, England Team Manager: ’It is important to play as a team both on and off the field, and you should always be aware that you are travelling ambassadors for your team and school. You should enjoy, but take seriously the fixtures you have ahead of you. Being on tour brings you together like no other way - remember you will get as much out of a tour as you put in - give it your best shot and enjoy every moment…Goodluck with all your fixtures’
Wallabies Team Manager Bob Egerton: ’In this World Cup year, the buzz of excitement is in the air. Whether you are a fully fledged international packing your bags for the Shaky Isles or a Clifton College schoolboy setting off for sourthern shores, the thrill of touring remains the same…. One of the great things about rugby as a game is it requires you to work with team mates to achieve a common purpose. It is not always easy but the teamwork involved in playing such a difficult game teaches you lessons that will benefit all aspects of your life. I encourage you to grasp the opportunity that touring offers. Step out of your comfort zone and try things that are not available at home. You will make friends amongst your school mates and amongst your opponents… I wish you all the best.’
John Steele, Chief Executive of the RFU (Rugby Football Union): ’It is tremendously impressive to see that Clifton College Preparatory School is talking a group of 32 boys playing at U13 level on a rugby tour of Australia. What a marvellous opportunity for these young players!.. Touring is such an intrinsic rugby tradition and for good reason. It is a huge part of team building, introduces players to different styles of play and new cultures and, most importantly helps them to make lifelong friendships through the rugby world… very best of luck in all the matches.’
Councillor Colin Smith, Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor of Bristol: ’I am sure that the young members of the Clifton College Preparatory School Rugby Team will prove to be admirable ambassadors for our city and country. I know it is through such visits and the meeting together of youth from different nations that can help promote the ideals of international harmony and understanding.’
In Sydney I had the privilege of photographing Clifton College playing local rugby teams in Lane Cove. It was a great experience and all the boys enjoyed their games with a passion.
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