This week the Ahuriri rugby teams played two development teams from Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ahuriri is the combined William Colenso College, Tamatea High School and Te Ara Hou rugby team and it was a real priviledge for them to play the international visitors.
Merchiston Castle School is a private boys school of 400 hundred students. The fees are $60 thousand per year and the school is one of the top rugby schools in Scotland with a number of Scottish Internationals as old boys. The boys were fit and played with good structure – although one of their teachers admitted they have a reputation for playing champagne rugby which is not always suitable for cold and wet Scottish winters. Merchiston won both their games against Ahuriri.
While the players enjoyed the rugby game itself, the exchange was about more than rugby. The players from both teams enjoyed a fantastic after match which enabled them to get to know each other over a delicious meal courtesy of the Tamatea High School Hospitality team.
Ben Gray (pictured) said that he really enjoyed the rugby, but it was also amazing to experience facing his first haka. The pōwhiri at William Colenso College was unforgettable and he was overwhelmed by the welcoming nature of the boys from the Ahuriri teams. “I really respect that and wish that Scotland was more like that.”
Principal of Tamatea High School, Robin Fabish, and principal of William Colenso College, Daniel Murfitt, agreed that the Ahuriri boys would love to find a way to visit their new rugby brothers on the other side of the world.