Sam is ‘California Dreamin’ ahead of Rugby Exchange

19 Apr 2012

The Easter Holidays are normally a chance for school pupils to re-charge their batteries ahead of the final school term of their academic year. However for fourteen year old Christ College pupil Sam Maggs, relaxation will be the last thing on his mind!

Sam, from Brecon and who is a Year 9 pupil, is spending two weeks this Easter on a rugby exchange programme with an up-and-coming California rugby club, Land Park RFC, based in Sacramento.

During his exchange visit, Sam – who has already represented his school, town and county, as well as the Independent Schools Barbarians at Under 13s and is just finishing a 10 week assessment programme with the Cardiff Blues/Welsh Rugby Union – will be a guest player for Land Park RFC U14s in fixtures against teams in San Francisco and Dixon, as well as playing a full part in the Land Park RFC’s twice weekly training sessions.

Sam said: “This is an amazing opportunity for me. I’m really looking forward to sharing some of my rugby experiences with the members of Land Park RFC and being a part of their community.

He added: “Even at my relatively young age, the game of rugby has already given me some memorable experiences and has enabled me to form what I think will be life-long friendships. I have no doubt that my visit to Sacramento will provide more of the same!”

His host, Land Park RFC’s Matthew Eason, said: “Our youth rugby program here at Land Park RFC is taking off in a big way. In five years, we’ve already expanded to over 110 kids, and expecting even more next season. Our kids are from the ages of 8-14, and are in grades 2-8.”

Matthew added: “While we don’t have an ‘academy’ system over here in California, Land Park has become a major feeding ground for the elite high school programs, and we are now starting to have an impact into the college ranks.

He concluded: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming Sam into our community. He’ll not only be experiencing rugby here but we want to ensure he gets a full taste of Californian life and hospitality. Sam is coming with impeccable credentials; he is a pupil at one of the UK’s top schools and is already getting exposure to an elite rugby environment. It’s going to be a fantastic couple of weeks for all concerned!”

Discussions are being held to arrange a reciprocal exchange visit in 2013 when it is anticipated that a Land Park RFC player will travel to Wales from California. Whilst here, it is hoped that the player will be able to shadow Sam at his school at Christ College, experiencing life and the atmosphere at the 470 year old educational institution, as well as attending training sessions with Brecon RFC, whose history can be traced back to 1868 … historical facts that are already causing waves in California!