- England stars coach local school children after training in Durban
- “I've never smiled so much on a rugby pitch” – Danny Care
England went back to school in Durban when they coached 100 children playing rugby for the first time.
Ten state schools from the local area took part in a tournament at Northwood Crusaders in association with the South African Rugby Football Union, the Sharks Rugby Union, South African Legends and the Tag Rugby Association, which has introduced the sport to more than 300 schools in the last three years.
And with England stars Mouritz Botha, Mike Brown, Danny Care, Joe Gray, George Lowe, George Robson, David Strettle and Jordan Turner-Hall passing on tips on their afternoon off, as well as former Springboks Pieter Muller and Stefan Terblanche, it was an uplifting end to two days of training for the England team.
Saracens wing David Strettle said: "It’s been brilliant. The kids enjoyed it, the coaches enjoyed it. It’s great for us to do because you can see how much enthusiasm the kids have got and it’s a great way of passing some of the skills on.
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“We did some passing, making sure the catcher has got his target up. Then we moved on to sidestepping. It’s a really good that kids who don’t normally get the chance to play at a place like this can learn some rugby.”
And Harlequins No. 9 Danny Care added: “It was great to see the kids enjoying themselves. Everyone starts playing the game somewhere and hopefully today will have given them a first taste rugby. We really enjoyed it – I've never smiled so much on a rugby pitch – and we have a few more sessions like this planned during the tour.”
Stuart McConnell of the Tag Rugby Association, who organised the afternoon, said: “This is all about giving something back to the community and getting children active. The England team and management have been superb in committing to these events. Some of these chidren have never been out of their own suburb but they and their teachers will take away what they have learnt today, with a tag rugby kit, and can play tag again on Monday."
A full video of the day featuring the players coaching and the kids involved will be available in due course.