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Exceptional Support for Student Rugby Players Representing England in Japan

Thanks are being made for the exceptional fundraising that is supporting Exeter College students to represent England, the college and Exeter Chiefs in a Global Rugby Tournament in Japan – for the second year in a row.
Exeter College Rugby Academy, in partnership with Exeter Chiefs, will be once again setting off to Japan for the tournament that will be held at the end of April 2019.

The academy has been selected to represent the England RFU at this year’s Sanix World Rugby Youth Invitational Tournament in Japan – the top 16-18 rugby competition in the World.

Truly exceptional fundraising by parents and families, supported by local businesses, the community, friends and family, has raised a remarkable £50,000 to support the team. The Tournament, held at the Global Arena in Fukuoka, Japan, is an invitational tournament and often called the pinnacle of school boy rugby.

The news comes during a ‘golden era’ for rugby at Exeter College. The Exeter College Rugby Academy, in partnership with Exeter Chiefs, recently won the Association of Colleges (AoC) Premier League 2018/19, beating Hartpury in the final, and a number of former students and rugby players are now playing at the top flight of the game.

Former Exeter student Marcus Street has moved into the senior ranks at Exeter Chiefs, Richard Capstick recently had his Premiership debut with the Exeter Chiefs playing against Leicester Tigers. Rus Tuima, who has played for the England Under-19 Squad, is now studying an Apprenticeship at Exeter Chiefs. A large number, including the likes of Sam Rose and Jack Sylvester have also progressed to higher education where they continue to play alongside their studies.

John Laramy, Exeter College Principal and Chief Executive said:

Exeter College would like to thank all of the parents, team, supporters and staff who are collectively raising money to support our student rugby team, who have been selected by the RFU to represent England at the Sanix World Rugby Youth Invitational Tournament in Japan – the top 16-18 rugby competition in the World.

The fundraising is to help pay for the trip, so that all of the students who are selected can afford to go regardless of their background or circumstances.

One of speakers on the night of a recent fundraising event I attended described Exeter as a ‘special place’, as the fundraising efforts have been spectacular.

Led by a volunteer parent group, they have raised £50,000; which almost covers all the costs for the 30 strong Exeter College rugby team. I would like to thank everyone involved, ranging from local rugby clubs to businesses across Devon.

Our vision is to be exceptional – this tournament, this fundraising, this commitment, the students involved and the staff who support this endeavour are, I feel, showing one example of what ‘exceptional’ looks like.”

Brian Lodge, Managing Director of swcomms’, who are kit sponsors for the team, said:

This is the second year in a row we have support the Exeter College players at the prestigious Sanix tournament. We closely followed their progress last year and wish them all the very best for this year’s competition.

This a great opportunity for these young players, as many Exeter Chiefs and England players have taken part in this tournament in the past. I have no doubt we are supporting stars of the future and players that will continue the great tradition of rugby in the South West.”

The Tournament, held at the Global Arena in Fukuoka, Japan, is an invitational tournament and often called the pinnacle of School boy rugby.

This is the second consecutive year students from Exeter College have been invited to take part in the tournament and an enormous honour for the students. During their time in the tournament the team are likely to face students from schools in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, France, Wales, South Africa and Japan.

The opening ceremony for the tournament will be held in the main arena and involve all the teams being presented to the dignitaries and crowd.

The tournament takes place during the period called ‘Blossom Week’ which is a traditional holiday week and therefore the Global Arena will be very busy every day with many visitors coming just to watch the international teams play rugby.

The team will play a total of six games over the eight day period. The schedule includes a two day playing period followed by a day of cultural activity, to give the students time to explore this beautiful and culturally different land.

The tour will also include a visit to the site and museum of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb. This visit is an incredible experience and one which the team will find both interesting and moving. Students will also have time to watch some of the other games and to interact with local children, by playing games of touch rugby.

Meanwhile, the Women’s rugby academy prepare for a trip across the Atlantic when they will be touring and playing in Canada later this year. Another successful year for the women’s programme has seen numerous achievements on the field including playing in the cup final at Roslyn Park 7’s as well as the regular competitive fixtures against the other leading women’s rugby programmes across the UK.

As the programme continues to grow and develop, as well as more opportunities for high level participation with two established teams, we have also had a large number of individuals gain representative honours at country, regional and national level, including Meryn Doidge and Abby Middlebrooke running out in England shirts this year.

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