Exeter Chiefs Super Saturday Trip
On Saturday 8th December 2018 a party of 28 rugby players and 4 PE staff from school visited Sandy Park, the home of Exeter Chiefs RFC for their Super Saturday experience. With the Exeter Chiefs vs Gloucester Rugby (Champions Cup) clash being televised live on Channel 4 and BT Sport at 1pm the party started early for all as we departed school at 5:45am in order to get to Exeter for our 7:45am start time.
The students enjoyed two hours of rugby coaching from the Exeter Chiefs Community Coaches on the main training pitch at Sandy Park, completing a variety of fun rugby related activities. Whilst the boys were put through their paces 2 of our students, Jamie Forskett and Harry Long were picked out for their good looks and interviewed by Channel 4. They were asked about their day and this footage was shown in the build up to the match itself! Jamie and Harry are now reportedly considering a career in sports broadcasting. During this time the students also enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the Sandy Park facilities including the players’ tunnel, the sacred home changing room (all prepared for the afternoon’s match), physiotherapy suite, weights room and recovery room. This might not sound exciting to you but for rugby nuts this is heaven.
Once training was over the students each received an Exeter Chiefs goodie bag and then had time to enjoy the build up to the match by visiting the club shop, seeing the teams arrive and collect signatures or selfies with the rugby stars. During this time the PE staff (Mr Tarbard, Mr Hunt, Mr Biddle and Mr Mason) followed in Jamie and Harry’s example by making an appearance on Channel 4, but unfortunately they were only in the background.
As the atmosphere started to build towards kick off the students were directed onto the pitch to form part of the guard of honour for both teams as they ran out onto the pitch. Stood within touching distance of the Champions Cup trophy, with the noise and colour of the occasion, this really was a memorable experience for all. As the game got underway we were all glad to get to our seats undercover as a monsoon rained down on the game. This made for tricky playing conditions and certainly spiced up the occasion further. Fortunately for us the rain ceased as half time approached and once again our students took to the pitch for a lap of honour to much adulation from the 12,000 strong and near capacity crowd.
Once the game ended, with Gloucester winning 27-19, the students were able to gather a few more signatures and selfies with the stars before making the journey home. A long but thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all, the perfect way to sign off on another successful rugby term at school.