Wellington Rugby Club Hosts Team From England


On Thursday, July 2, the Wellington Wizards Rugby Club’s U15 team hosted Horton Tech College from England at Acreage Community Park.

The focus of the friendly match was to embrace the opportunity to experience rugby at an international level and promote the sport here in the United States, but neither team could ignore the urge to be competitive.

The older, more experienced English team wore down a stubborn Wellington squad, but it was competitive to the final whistle. This was the second international match hosted by the Wizards. In May, they hosted a club team from Wales.

The game was coordinated by the Florida Youth Rugby Union and Alan Lawson, the Wizards’ club president.

“It’s all about getting the kids out here to enjoy this great sport and help promote the sport of rugby,” he said. “We combined two clubs to put a team together for this, because a lot of the kids are on vacation with their families.”

Rugby is rapidly growing in U.S., and South Florida is jumping in on the ride. The big attraction to youth rugby is that all the players potentially can grasp at glory by passing or carrying the ball to score a touchdown.

A relatively new club on the circuit, the Wellington Wizards formed in January. In that short time, the U15 team managed to capture the state title in a recent match at the International Polo Club Palm Beach.

The Horton Tech College team is a high school team from Northern England, so they had a slight age advantage on the Wizards. In their travels, they heard about the Wizards Rugby Club while visiting Orlando, and decided to make the trip down and take part in the match.

“These boys have been playing together for about five years now,” Horton coach Paul Burn said. “Most of our boys are 15 years of age and older, and not only play for the school but for clubs as well.”

After the match, both teams gathered in the center of the field for the customary handshake and gave each other the traditional three-cheers chant. The Horton team will continue their U.S. tour, and the Wizards will break for the summer.

For more information about the Wellington Wizards Rugby Club, visit www.wellingtonrugby.net.

ABOVE: The Wellington Wizards Rugby Club U15 team with the Horton Tech College team.