Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Students help rugby team prepare for internationals

UCLan PaST students have been helping the Tongan Rugby Union team prepare for the forthcoming Autumn Internationals.

The squad spent three days at UCLan Sports Arena using its rugby pitches and strength and conditioning suite as part of a rigorous training schedule before facing Georgia on Saturday, 8 November.

The players took advantage of our Physiotherapy Clinic for sports massage treatment from our second and third year Sports Therapy students.

Tonga Head Coach Mana Otai commented: "Training is going really well and we're all feeling very positive. This is our first visit to Preston and the whole squad has been made to feel really welcome.

"We're very impressed with the facilities here at UCLan Sports Arena and will make the most of them as we prepare for our first Autumn International match next week."

If the three day training camp is a success Tonga will consider using UCLan as a base for next year's Rugby Union World Cup. It follows a series of other high profile international sports team visits when both the Irish and Fijian Rugby League teams used UCLan Sports Arena as a base camp during the Rugby League World Cup 2013.

UCLan also hosted several Olympic athletes from Oceania, including Tonga, as they prepared for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Bryan Jones from UCLan's Institute of Coaching and Performance said: "Tonga's visit is a legacy of the work we did with several Oceania countries in the build up to London 2012. Since then we've worked hard to develop this relationship and it’s fantastic that we're now able to host yet another international rugby team right here on campus.

"It's a great opportunity for students to see and work with professionals and hopefully we will welcome the squad again next year as they prepare for the World Cup."

In addition to the Georgia game, Tonga play the USA on Saturday, 15 November and Scotland on Saturday, 22 November.

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