Rugby players in Coventry head to Portugal for a major youth tournament
Aspiring rugby players in Coventry have been given a taste of European competition after heading to Portugal for a major youth tournament.
A group of 25 learners from Coventry College’s Rugby Education Programme went head-to-head with top teams from Portugal and the UK at the 2023 Portugal Rugby Youth Festival in Lisbon in April.
The five-day trip, which was the first time the Rugby Programme had been on a trip abroad since before Covid-19, included two-days of tournament action and a day-trip to Sintra, a historic town close to Lisbon.
The group took on under-19 sides across five 30-minute matches, and were just a few tries short of reaching the next round of games.
Pete Glackin, Head of Rugby, Sports Development & Academies Manager at Coventry College, said: “The students were fantastic on and off the field. They put in some excellent performances against some top sides from Portugal and UK, and were highly competitive in all of the games they played, this was highlighted in the first game failing agonising short in the first game to Myerscough College/Sale Sharks ACE losing out to a interception try in the final play of the game.
“It’s brilliant to have access to these kinds of opportunities once again. The trip has given our players invaluable experience at a very good level, and it has been a great way to bring the lads closer together as a team.”
Harry English, captain of Coventry College’s rugby team, said: “Portugal was a great opportunity to test the current squad’s ability against a variety of teams. The boys showed endeavour throughout the tournament and a great attitude on and off the field.”
Harry’s teammate, Jay Poole said: “The trip to Portugal was an experience you can’t find anywhere else. From the meet at the airport all of the lads were together bonding, the coaches were positive and looking forward to a great weekend of rugby.
“The whole trip was well organised and I had a great time representing the Coventry College, playing a really good level of rugby with a great group of players, great coaches and support from the staff – who I’d like to thank for organising and giving us the best experience possible.”