Clubs prepare for youth festival

YOUTH rugby from all corners of East Anglia will be in the spotlight this Sunday when a popular annual festival takes place.

The Woodbridge youth development festival is now in its third year and has quickly become a firm fixture in the local rugby diary.

For the first time, it is accepting teams at Under-7s and Under-8s level, which means the festival now caters for all age groups up to Under-12s level.

And the list of clubs signed up for the “friendly tournament” is both extensive and impressive – including Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Stowmarket, Sudbury and Newmarket.

Beccles, Colchester, Hadleigh, Lowestoft, Southwold, Witham, Bishops Stortford and Cambridge will also be joining the host team in competing for cup, plate and shield trophies.

Karen Debenham, festival organiser, said: “Our development festival is an opportunity for newer and less experienced players to enjoy a friendly tournament situation.

“It also allows smaller clubs with only limited player numbers to compete more evenly with larger clubs who select development squads from their large pool of players.

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“We aim to have as many children involved and having fun as possible, teams are encouraged to help each other out if they are short of players.”

As with the last two previous years, the 1,200 players and supporters can expect a full programme of matches, prizes, a raffle, BBQ and trade stands.

* For a full page of pictures and reports from the youth festival, check out our Love Rugby column in Thursday’s Evening Star and Friday’s EADT

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