Page 67 - The Chapka 2016
P. 67

  The Royal Lancers Rugby Football Club decided to go inter- national and organise an overseas tour! Thanks to Mr Rob- ert Tye, previously serving with the 9th/12th Royal Lancer (Prince of Wales’s) and now living in Texas, we had our own man on the ground and his assistance was invaluable. Rugby in America is growing in popularity and it was a good choice for our first tour as The Royal Lancers. Mr Hough and Sergeant Charlton set about putting the team together.
On 4th June 16, the team deployed to Dallas, Texas with a squad of 29 players eager to test America’s mettle. Hosted by the Dal- las Griffins Rugby Club, the top professional team in the state, we were pleasantly surprised to meet their head coach, Darren Morris, who had played at professional UK clubs (Leicester Ti- gers) and was also a former British Lion. Un-phased by what lay ahead we spent the next four days training in near 40 degree heat.
Game one was against the Dallas Harlequins – and as the name suggested they had very strong ties with the British team. Thank- fully for us, it was an evening kick-off so the heat was moderated.
It was apparent early on that our strength lay in the forwards and what we lacked in size, we made up for in determination and ag- gression. Corporal Hobson got us off to great start with an early try and at half time the score was close at 7-5 to the Harlequins. Despite a lot of time in the opposition’s territory in the second half, The Royal Lancers were unable to break through the de- fence. The final score was 21-5 but a performance to be proud of against a well-established, professionally coached team.
The next few days were a mix of recovery, training and sightsee- ing; one particularly impressive visit was to ‘The Texas School Book Depository’ and the sight of the JFK assassination. We also had the opportunity to visit the largest Hooters in the world.
The final match was a highly publicised by the local media as a festival of rugby. We arrived amidst the smoke of Wild Bills BBQ, to a very well maintained pitch. This was to be the big- gest challenge this team had faced since it formed. Many of their opponents were in full time contracts and Exercise-inter- national players who had played at many Premier level rugby
Team Lancer in Texas
  ‘Death or Glory’
Lance Corporal McKenzie leads on the 'Special Relationship'

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