On Friday 12 April 2019, the London Welsh Minis U13 team, plus intrepid parents, set off for Jersey and their annual rugby tour.
On arrival, we made our way to the excellent Merton Hotel, where food and liquid refreshments were made available in the Commentary Box, a hotel bar made available for our exclusive use, and the rigours of the journey were thrown off in style.
Early the next morning, the boys enjoyed a pre-booked session on the hotel’s own
FlowRider™ (a machine that simulates surfing) and, with expert tuition from the hotel staff, demonstrated skills of which their parents could only dream. A hearty breakfast was followed by an impromptu game of touch rugby on the beach, in glorious sunshine. Does it get better than that?
That afternoon, Jersey RFC hosted Ealing, and the teams were welcomed onto the pitch by a London Welsh guard of honour. The boys, in full LW tour kit, behaved impeccably, did their club and parents proud, and were rewarded with a great game of rugby as the impressive Ealing cruised to a comfortable win. The players met former London Welsh player, Kieran Murphy post match once he had received his man of the match award.
Back at the Merton hotel, the tour party gathered for dinner in tour uniform, while a visiting group of exuberant belly dancers did likewise on the adjacent table. Dinner was followed by the obligatory kangaroo court in the Commentary Box, where offences were considered carefully, verdicts reached and fines administered with the firm hand of justice. Exacting forfeits were demonstrated with good grace and a certain elan by the tiring figure of Richard “Barrel” Thomas, for whom the end could not come soon enough.
Those expecting a quiet night had not reckoned with the hotel’s chosen entertainment for the evening, a Michael Jackson impersonator. An unusual choice perhaps, here was a reminder that the man wrote some killer tunes, and the assembled tourists hit the dance floor with great enthusiasm.
Finally on Sunday morning, the boys played a couple of games of rugby at Jersey RFC, vs the hosts and Tring RFC. They performed with commendable sportsmanship and guts throughout, and were a credit to their tireless coaches and parents. After lunch and speeches, the boys hit the bowling alley next door, before undertaking the short walk to the airport terminal.
Sincere thanks are due to Andy Thomas for his fantastic organisational skills, to our coaches for their efforts all season and in particular to our sponsors, Farebrother, TLC and Wagamama. Looking forward to next season already!
London Welsh Minis U13