15th June 2018, 12:21 | masters
This Friday sees a UK Masters team embark on a 4 day tour to France, with the main aim of introducing the Masters Rugby League ethos to France, as well as visiting the local hostelries and having a great time in true Masters spirit.
The touring party will fly out to Perpignan tomorrow morning with at least one game scheduled for Saturday afternoon against the Gallia Tots (Occitanie XIII) team at the Stade Jean Gallia, Ille sur Tet.
Ille sur Tet is steeped in Rugby League history with it being the birthplace of Jean Gallia, the man who first introduced Rugby XIII to France back in 1934 and prior to the game the team will lay a wreath at the Jean Gallia memorial at the stadium as a mark of respect.
On Sunday, the UK Masters team will attend, along with the 'Anciens Combattants' of Perpignan, a memorial service at the WW1 Perpignan Memorial in the park opposite the team hotel, to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the end of the First World War (1918-2018), and will pay tribute and read out the names of the 101 players from the Northern Union, who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives during the WW1 conflict.
To further commemorate the anniversary of this conflict and those who gave their lives, the UK Masters team playing shirt and team wear features images taken from the WW1 conflict along with the symbolic poppies.
After the memorial service, the touring party has been invited to the Stade Gilbert Brutus by the Chairman of Catalans Rugby XIII, Yvan Greseque, to attend the Catalan Championship Finals and games between Salses XIII vs RC St Esteve XIII and Ille XIII vs Toulouges Panthers XIII to savour, as well deserved finale to a great Masters Rugby League tour weekend.
No doubt this French tour will be a huge Masters success and we are aware that the President of 'Occitanie XIII' rugby, Louis Bonnery is already hoping that either a tour to France or a French tour to the UK, can become an annual event and in the long term, hopefully by the time we reach the RLWC2021, UK Masters Rugby League will be in a position to invite teams from Australia, New Zealand and France to the Masters Festival of Rugby League.
All the best to all those touring and playing in France this weekend!
All ready for a four-day tour!