France’s Rugby Team treated hundreds of Trinity School pupils to an out-of-the-ordinary French lesson. On Saturday September 26 the squad opened up the second half of their training session to pupils of Trinity School and their families who looked on in sheer delight at this opportunity to watch world-class Rugby in action. The French squad have been training at the school in Croydon since their arrival on September 13 after France selected it as one of their Team Bases for Rugby World Cup 2015.
Fixtures taking place at Trinity that morning were brought forward, including the 1st XV game against Judd, so that the pupils could take advantage of this unique opportunity to see a national Rugby team train at close quarters. Students and their families were given privileged access to the screened off pitch where the French squad have been practising for Rugby World Cup 2015 away from the public gaze.
With two comfortable wins behind them against Italy and Romania, the players were relaxed enough to involve some of the 1st XV Trinity team in a passing practice, take questions for the school magazine from Trinity’s 1st XV captain, Charlie Fatoma, and pose graciously for an abundance of photographs and selfies.
Director of Rugby Aaron Liffchak commented: “We could not have been luckier with the team that selected us as a Team Base. France have given us unbelievable access to their cutting edge training techniques and coaching staff. We are very grateful and have learnt a lot. They have generated a tremendous buzz around Rugby amongst the whole Trinity community!”
Head Coach Philippe Saint-André also came to Monday morning’s School Assembly much to the pleasure of the 1000 pupils and staff. He said: “Thank you to Trinity for your warm welcome. You are a fantastic school! I want to tell you that you can be very proud of your pitch, which is better that the Stade de France, and also of your Rugby teams. If your players don’t get picked for England then I want them to call me!”
Seventeen-year old Charlie Fatoma was generously offered an individual coaching session with Frédéric Michalak. He said afterwards: “Michalak is my favourite player of all time so to be given one-on-one coaching by him is a dream come true. He took me through his kicking practice routine which was taught to him by Jonny Wilkinson.”