Highland RFC visits La Baule in France.
There was double cause for celebration when a team of veteran players (aged over-35) and the Boys Under-14s team from Highland Rugby Football Club (Highland RFC) visited Rugby Club Baulois (RC Baulois) in Brittany.
The town of La Baule has been twinned with Inverness since 1981 and this recent visit was extra special as it marked the 100th anniversary of Highland RFC and the 50th anniversary of Rugby Club Baulois.
During the weekend visit, the vets team played a game against RC Baulois and the Under-14s played in a local tournament.
The Under-14s split into two teams and both teams played two French sides, RC Baulois and XV de L’estuaire, winning against RC Baulois but narrowly losing out to XV de L’estuaire.
For Andy Little, Honorary President of Highland RFC, this was his second visit to La Baule and he was delighted to be back.
Speaking about the trip, Andy said:
“It was great to visit La Baule again.
“It’s almost ten years since our last visit in 2013 and it was wonderful to be there in the year that marks the 50th and 100th anniversaries of our respective teams.
“I have kept in close contact with Alex Camus, President of Rugby Club Baulois, in the intervening period so it was great to see him again.”
For the Under-14s, it was really special, after two years of very little international travel, to get the opportunity to play rugby abroad.
Lachan Sangster, a player on the Under-14s team, said:
“All of us had such a great time with the guys over in La Baule.
“Not only did we play some great rugby, but we also got to explore the area, visiting the medieval city of Guérande.
“We were given a warm welcome with a special dinner on the Friday night and a party on Saturday night.
“We also got to watch RC Baulois play the last championship home matches of the season and it was great to cheer them on!”
The French hosts were delighted to welcome Highland RFC back to La Baule.
Alex Camus, President of Rugby Club Baulois, added:
“It’s a pleasure to welcome Highland RFC to La Baule again.
“Nine years ago, we did this exchange with Andy for the first time.
“Now, friendship between us and our two clubs is strong.
“Even if we do not meet that often, each meeting is a great moment for rugby of course, but it is mainly the social time we spend together that we never forget.
“I hope we can arrange a trip to Inverness later this year to end such a special year for both clubs.”
Brian Knowles, Coach of the Under-14s, added:
“The last few years have been very challenging for the players, with disruption to training and access to full games due to Covid.
“This Under-14 squad has shown great resilience and effort over this period and this trip was a great opportunity for them to show what they can do against international opposition. T
“They have really come together as a group and are a credit to themselves and to Highland Rugby Club.”
It is hoped that Highland RFC will be able to show Rugby Club Baulois some Highland hospitality in the near future as plans are underway for a visit.