Sunday, 07 August 2022

Hawks juniors shine at French tournament

SIX Henley Ruby Club U12 players were part of the London Irish Community U12 squad that jetted off to France last month.

Oliver Roullier, Monty Donald, Noah Elrington, Callum Aiken, Noah Cowan and Max Jelowitz all represented the London Irish club at the Lougdunium festival in Lyon.

Rubbing shoulders with teams such as Toulon and Clermont, the youngsters from London Irish were the festival’s top try-scorers and won four of their matches including an impressive victory over Montpellier.

The squad, which was picked from more than 200 youngsters who participated in last year’s London Irish Community Festival at Dry Leas formed the guard of honour at the championship play-off final just days before they departed for France. The tour aimed to give the youngsters invaluable experience of playing rugby in another country, while also developing their life experience.

Camaraderie was a key ingredient of the trip to France, which was boosted on arrival by a training session held by youth coaches from Lyon.

After enjoying a tour of Lyon’s impressive Parc de Gerland home on Saturday morning, the boys then experienced the sights and culture of the medieval city followed by the tournament kicking off on Sunday.

In the searing 30 degrees plus heat, 16 teams took part in the round robin competition, with the London Irish team in superb form despite a slow start to their opening two games.

Simon Jelowitz, father of Max who plays for Henley Rugby Club, said: “The guys have given Max and all the boys an unforgettable experience.

“The environment that the community team created for them is something that they have never experienced before. It was so professionally organised and the pride that Max felt as he received his London Irish kit, held the flags for the first team ahead of the trip and ultimately played in the London Irish jersey is something that will stay with him for a very long time.”

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