England head coach Eddie Jones surprised hundreds of eight and nine year old boys and girls from over 20 clubs across Surrey at Watchetts Recreation Ground, home to Camberley Rugby Football Club, on Sunday for the Surrey end of season Under 9 A, B and Development Festivals.
Watching the action from the sidelines alongside friends and family was Jones who said the day had a real 'community feel' to it.
“It was great to see so many youngsters enjoying themselves on the pitch,” said Jones."Their enthusiasm and energy created a real festival atmosphere to the day and it was encouraging to see so many spectators getting behind the kids and cheering them on. The stands were full to the gunnel; it felt like the whole community had made it down to the club.”
During the morning, Harlequin players visited the event to meet and watch the youngsters play. Following the matches Jones joined England Women players Alex and Fran Matthews for the end of event presentations.
All participants were presented with medals and Surrey Heath Mayor, Cllr John Winterton awarded a ‘Player of the Festival’ trophy. The Mayor added: “I was very pleased to attend the rugby festival on such a lovely sunny day. The boys and girls who took part were superb. It was a pleasure to award medals to the players who had done so well and see so many smiles from players and parents.”
Eddie was invited to the event by Blythe O'Mahoney from the Under 11 squad which she represents in both the mixed and girls teams. Blythe presented Eddie with a badge as a momentum of the day. She said afterwards 'it was amazing to meet Eddie and it was really kind of him to come'
As a final treat, Jones, Alex and Fran lined up with players from Camberley and Wooden Spoon representing ‘rugby through the generations’ – players of all ages, girls and boys from Under 6 players up to England internationals.
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Updated 10:00 - 8 Apr 2017 by Roger Berry