Ipswich will face Ipswich at rugby!
Ipswich YM’s youngsters will face an Ashes rivalry next month when they host Australian side Ipswich Rangers.
The youngsters from just outside Brisbane will play Ipswich YM on Saturday September 29 as part of a two-week tour of the UK, with the match being arranged by YM’s youth and junior chairman Paul Rolland.
It’s taken the Queensland-based youth side over two years to raise the �75,000 needed for the tour, with the club’s players and their families fundraising to make the dream 20,000-mile round trip happen.
The Under 16’s side will bring a 22-man squad over to England, including several that have never travelled by plane or left Australia before.
Andy Moore, director of rugby at Ipswich YM, said: “Paul Rolland contacted Rangers a few months ago as soon as we heard they were coming to the UK on tour, and things have just snowballed from there.
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“The game will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase rugby within the local community and will only further boost our profile.
“We’ve got the deputy mayor and a lot of high-profile people from within the RFU coming to the game, and we’re hoping for one of our biggest crowds ever seen.”
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The two sides are hoping to forge a strong partnership, with plans already being made for the Suffolk youngsters to make a visit Down Under in the future.
Both teams will also be making a trip together to tour Twickenham Stadium, before taking part in a training session run by coaches from Premiership champions Harlequins.
Ipswich YM have made huge improvements to their youth and junior sections over the past year, bringing across the majority of the set up from neighbours Ipswich to create a new grass-roots section.
Moore added: “There’s such a buzz around the whole club, everybody is looking forward to them visiting.
“Many of our lads are Harlequins fans with them being one of our closest, biggest teams, so for them to receive coaching by them is a fantastic opportunity.”
As part of the tour, the Aussie outfit will also face a side from St. Joseph’s College and compete in the annual Suffolk Youth Sevens tournament at the Royal Hospital School.