Junior teams take sporting French leave

A PARTY of 40 Shaw Cross boys and their leaders fly out to Villeneuve, France, next Wednesday (April 4) to compete against the French.

The squad comprises two teams, the Sharks Under- 14s and Sharks Under-15s. They are taking part in the Shaw Cross-Villeneuve RL exchange which began in l970.

The tour is being led by Alan Smith who will be accompanied by club officials and coaching staff and the players will meet teams in both Villeneuve and Tonneins.

In addition to playing rugby, the boys, who will be staying with French families, will also make several educational and cultural visits in South West France.

The Shaw Cross exchange tour is believed to be the longest running sporting tour and it takes place each Easter with the Shaw Cross players visiting France on the even years and the French boys making the return visit on the odd years.

When this tour is completed just over 1,700 boys from the two countries will have taken part in the exchange, which is an amazing record.

Alan Smith explained: “It is a wonderful occasion for all the boys. They not only have the opportunity to play rugby against the French, but also have the enjoyment of experiencing the French culture and way of life

“Equally the French boys have the same experience when they make the return visit to Shaw Cross.”

During their visit they will also be given a civic reception by the French Mayor.

Last year the French boys received a similar reception from the Mayor of Kirklees Councillor Andrew Palfreeman.