What a try-umph! Young rugby stars put through their paces by Premiership champions Saracens at half-term skills clinic

Aged 6-14 year old, Skills Camp at Ely Rugby club. Picture: Steve Williams.

Aged 6-14 year old, Skills Camp at Ely Rugby club. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The future of Ely Tigers RFC is looking bright. Top of the league in the Eastern Counties Division One and with a flourishing youth set-up developing a stream of new talents, the Tigers took yet another step towards future success by hosting an intensive skills clinic for the county’s budding rugby stars - coached by none other than Premiership champions Saracens.

Over 100 rugby prodigies flocked to Ely Tigers’ Downham Road ground to be put through their paces by a handful of the country’s finest coaches at an intensive half-term skills clinic - made possible by a partnership between the Tigers and Saracens.

120 youngsters, from the age of six to 13, were given tips and advice on passing, tackling and movement from the rugby giants’ coaches, including head of rugby development, Lewis Soares.

He said: “Clinics like these are a great opportunity for young players to develop their skills. We’re running these one day clinics all over the south-east of England to help the young players get into rugby in a fun and friendly environment.

“We hope that the kids can pick up different skills that they can apply in their different age groups.”

The six hour clinic is the first training session of the clubs’ partnership, with a number of trips and experiences, which aim to give budding rugby players an insight into the professional game, all to come.

One member of the Ely Tigers set-up who has helped organise the partnership with Saracens is mini-section chairman and under 10s coach Andy Gunbie, and the coach was delighted to see so many young players enjoying the training session.

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He said: “To see such a good turn out for the club’s first clinic is great. It’s great to see all the kids enjoying the coaching and it’s also important for the club because it allows our coaches to learn from Premiership-quality coaching.”

The skills clinic is the first of a number of events linking the two clubs, with 20 members of the Tigers’ youth teams travelling to take to the Saracens’ Allianz Park pitch where they will form a guard of honour ahead of their clash with Gloucester on Saturday.

The young Tigers will then visit Wembley to watch the Saracens’ stars take on Harlequins in April.

For more information on Ely Tigers RFC, please visit www.facebook.com/ELYRUFC/.