April 16, 2017
Saint Mary’s College of California Rugby Club Tours Ireland and Scotland
Photo: Irish Rugby Tours (Saint Mary’s College v Glasgow Warriors Academy)
The Saint Mary’s College of California Rugby Club embarked on a Spring break tour of Ireland and Scotland. The two sides took advantage of the expertise of Irish Rugby Tours in arranging cultural events, training sessions and matches while in Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The team arrived in Dublin, Ireland on on April 6., where they acquainted themselves with Dublin hospitality and culture. The team also had training session at Blackrock College with Tony Smeeth, Director of Rugby at Trinity College in Dublin. While at Blackrock, the Trinity team was short a man during a scrimmage and Aaron Matthews was called upon to step in and play with Trinity at wing for 30 minutes.
The next day they toured Aviva Stadium and had a three hour training session with Tony Smeeth and scrum coach Seamus Twomey from UDC. They also had the opportunity to see SMC Gaels Alumni Tim Maupin play wing for Trinity College against rivals University College Dublin (UCD).
On April 8th the Gaels B side had their first match against Blackrock College where they won 59-11.
Photo: Irish Rugby Tours (Saint Mary’s College v Blackrock College)
On April 9th Saint Mary’s A side played Trinity College 2nds, winning 35-5, while the B side won 40-5 against the Trinity Senior B side. This ended the Irish portion of the tour.
On April 10th the team traveled to Scotland, arriving at Girvan Harbour in Ayr and then traveling to Edinburgh where they spent the next day touring Edinburgh Castle. They then left for Glasgow where both sides played Cartha Queens Park RFC. The A side won 39-17, while the B side suffered a narrow 32-30 loss.
Photo: Gaels with Edinburgh Castle in background
On April 12th, the team continued their sightseeing with a visit to Doune Castle and the Trossachs Wollen Mill in the Scottish Highlands of Loch Lomond.
The next day it was back to a training session with Dan McFarland, Assistant Head Coach of the Glasgow Warriors. They also were able to see Scotstoun Stadium, home of the Glasgow Warriors.
On April 14th the A side faced the Glasgow Warriors Academy Select side, losing 31-22. After the match, the team enjoyed a PRO Rugby Glasgow Warriors match against Zebre.
Touring creates an opportunity to bond with teammates, along with the chance to travel and interact in a different cultural environment. I’m certain that the team will carry these memories throughout their life and look fondly back at this unique experience.
Thanks to Brian Ward, Irish Rugby Tours and Saint Mary’s College Gaels for sharing this information.
With Spring Break at an end, the team returns to California and will host the San Diego State University Aztecs in the D1A Rugby playoffs.