Hamilton Rugby Club hosted our twin town and rugby club Chatellerault Rugby Athletique Club last weekend in another fantastic weekend for our club.
A touring party of 60 arrived in Hamilton on Friday afternoon and were greeted by piper Archie McLachlan, Club President Ross Whiteside, Hamish MacGregor, Iain Smith and Club Development Officer Steven Meenagh. Once the official welcomes were complete, the boys went out to stretch their legs after a long trip and were then treated to banquet put on by Club Manager, Nick Schaschke before being picked up by their host families.
We treated our guests to some of the sights of Scotland on Saturday with the touring party visiting the Kelpies, Falkirk Wheel, Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument before spending the night socialising with their host families although most of them descended upon Ross Whiteside’s house for a BBQ.
Sunday was game day! The weather was glorious...perfect for running rugby and what a afternoon worth of rugby we got! The club was packed for both U16 and U18 games. Our piper, Archie played both the Flower of Scotland and La Marseillaise on the bagpipes before each fixture with the teams all running out through our Bulls guard of honour provided by our youth section. Our U16 team played well but ultimately came up short against a very strong Chatellerault team who won the game 77 - 12. The U18 fixture was a more contested fixture with the Bulls taking a decent lead in the game until a injury to one of the French boys forcing the game to be stopped and moved onto the back pitch. This was the changing point in the game with Chatellerault making a comeback to win the game 25 - 22. We are pleased to confirm the injury to the Chatellerault player was not as bad as first thought! Two disappointing results on the field for our young Bulls but this weekend was not all about the results. The friendships made this weekend were clearly visible to see as Hamilton and Chatellerault players and coaches partied long into the night after the speeches, presentations and Nick’s after match feast!
We bid farewell to the touring party on Monday with them making the long trip back to France having had a fantastic weekend and made truly welcome into our #BullsFamily
The relationship between both clubs and towns has been strong for 24 years now and will certainly continue after this weekend with the Bulls heading to France in 2021 looking to get revenge!
Club President, Ross Whiteside commented: “I want to thank everyone that hosted a player/coach or contributed to the weekend. It was a truly outstanding effort and we made all of our French guests very happy. You have shown what a fantastic club we are and have played your part in cementing this fantastic relationship for another 4 years. There is no better way to show what separates our sport of rugby from other sports than the way that you have given your time and your hospitality to ensure our guests had the most fantastic weekend. Thank you!”