During the summer, our Senior and U16 rugby squads enjoyed a deliberately challenging but very productive pre-season training camp in the Southwest of France. Based at the impressively equipped and very picturesque ‘Centre Sportif’ in Soustons, the boys had access to the same facilities used by many French Top 14 sides. The French Olympic judo squad was also in residence – an eye opener for our players!
There were two or three training sessions per day; the boys showed an excellent approach as they developed their rugby skills as well as improving their strength and conditioning. With pre-breakfast cardio sessions, a morning skills session and a further evening technical session, a huge amount of work was undertaken developing the skills set and tactical awareness of the players. Having both the seniors and U16’s working together also added to the positive atmosphere in camp.
Alongside the primary purpose of rugby training, there was also the opportunity to take part in several team building activities, which included scaling the high wires course at the venue in addition to a surfing lesson in the Bay of Biscay, in Biarritz. The boys also had opportunity for some down time at Vieux Boucau and Hossegor, with some of the boys even having the confidence to try out their best French!
1st XV coach, Nick Platt, said, “Mr. Eales and I have brought teams down here for a number of years. It is an ideal venue for an intensive training camp where the boys can develop their rugby skills in a renowned training environment. We were extremely impressed with the attitude of the boys, who demonstrated an excellent work ethic and desire to improve. However, the venue also offers a variety of activities and downtime excursions which meant we could balance training with more team building opportunities. The fact so many asked if we could come back again next year seemed incredibly positive, even if they were far quieter on the journey home after their hard work in training!”