Rugby team for hire

IPSWICH Rugby Club's Under-16 boys squad are available for hire.

Stuart Watson

IPSWICH Rugby Club's Under-16 boys squad are available for hire.

The 29-strong squad have a three-day tour of northern England and Scotland penciled into their diaries for next February, but at present are well short of the funds needed for the trip.

But while many clubs simply put out a plea for sponsorship in such a scenario, these boys have offered up hard graft in return for the estimated £6,000 to £7,000 required.

Tour organiser Julian Haywood-Smith said: “A lot of the boys come from the state school system and don't have the £240 a head that will be needed for the tour.

“They are all volunteers from this point on and are willing to put their shoulders to the wheel to raise the money. They are willing to do any jobs that are required. Wash cars, tidy gardens - they are open to ideas.”

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Last year the squad bag-packed for customers at local supermarkets and the tips that they accumulated over a period of time contributed to their tour of the south west, however, this year the shops have decided that funds raised through this process will go to specific charities of their choice.

That West Country trip - which saw Ipswich play Bristol Brunel Academy, as well as Sunday club sides Tavistock and Stonehouse Sharks - proved a huge success and left the players desperate for another tour.

A tour of the north and Scotland was quickly compiled, with matches against Gosforth (Cumbria), Merchiston School (Edinburgh) and Corstorphine (Edinburgh) arranged.

However, latest budget estimates indicate that the club will need to raise between £6,000 and £7,000 to cover travel, food, kit and accommodation costs for the trip.

Haywood-Smith said: “Three matches in three days was brilliant for team building and the players are very keen to repeat the experience. You see them grow up on tours like this, it's quite amazing.”

Based at Humber Doucy Lane, this Ipswich side won the Plate Final of the Suffolk Under-16 Cup against Woodbridge last year.

For more information and contact details, please visit: www.ipswichrugby.com.

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