Talented young rugby players from the Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI) are ready and set to ‘engage’ on their inaugural Rugby Tour of New Zealand in 2017. Northern Ireland based dried fruit and nut company Forest Feast has been helping the team prepare by providing the full squad with a brand new kit for the experience.
The team will touch down in the Southern Hemisphere in July 2017, taking on five schools during their three week tour, which have produced some of this year’s Rugby World Cup winners. All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, who has just won his fourth Rugby World Cup, was a past pupil of one of the schools involved, Otago Boys High School. They will also meet Hamilton Boys High School where Warren Gatland, Head-Coach for Wales, began his early rugby career.
Tim McVicker, Commercial Director, Forest Feast, a former pupil at RBAI, said:
“The RBAI 2017 New Zealand Rugby Tour is an incredible opportunity for 45 young boys to experience what it is like to be part of an international sporting experience and develop as a team and as individuals. At Forest Feast we have a long history of supporting grassroots sports and encouraging activity in young people and we’re delighted to back RBAI for this once in a lifetime trip.
“As a former RBAI pupil I am particularly proud to see young sporting talent emerging from the school and representing Northern Ireland schools rugby internationally,” Tim said.
Daniel Soper, Director of Rugby at RBAI talks about his goals for the 2017 international tour:
“This is the first time RBAI has organised an international tournament of this kind. It has taken over three years to plan and will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the boys, aged between 14 and 16. For many of the young players, this will be the first time they will be away from their families and the school hopes this independence will help them grow as rugby players and as young men.
“On behalf of the RBAI, I would like to thank Forest Feast for their support in ensuring the team look and feel like winners!”