Friday, 27 November 2020

Students excited at prospect of taking on Georgia U18s

RUGBY players from The Henley College will travel to Georgia next week for a match at the country’s national stadium.

RUGBY players from The Henley College will travel to Georgia next week for a match at the country’s national stadium.

The college’s London Wasps AASE team will fly out on Tuesday and will play against Georgia U18s in the capital Tbilisi the following Saturday during the five-day trip.

Manager Martin Unsworth, who will travel with head coach Dan Batty and 20 players, said the team was only the second English side to have been invited to play in the country after another international side dropped out.

“Georgia is a rapidly up-and-coming rugby nation and it will be a very good test for the boys,” he said.

“They will be a big, strong side but you would think technically and skill-wise we’re hoping we’re superior.”

The tour comes off the back of trips to universities around the country, including Bath, Brunel and St Mary’s, where members of the squad visited the sports facilities on offer.

Unsworth said they had been inspired by the trips, adding: “It gives them a real sense of purpose and direction. Hopefully it motivates them to do great things.”

Scrum half Kieran Duffin, of Reading Road, Henley, said he was excited to be involved in the game at the 54,549-seater stadium.

The 17-year-old said: “It’s a great opportunity for everyone in the team and I think it will be a great experience for us to take on to the next two league matches we have left.

“I haven’t played anywhere like that, just clubs in England. I think it will be a good standard over there and they will have some big players but we can’t go there with an attitude that it’s just a tour or underestimate them.”

Back row Pete Browning, 18, of Caversham, will also be on the plane having risen through the ranks from the development squad.

He admitted he was nervous about the game, adding: “It’s a big step up but I’ve got a chance to prove myself with the Wasps lads. I’m expecting a hard match.

“International sides are always going to be good but it’s going to be brilliant.”

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