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Frampton Cotterell’s unique relationship with Parisis RFC

The weekend of 8th – 10th November saw Frampton Cotterell Vets (TOADS – Too Old and Decrepit) host its French Vet friends The Vieux Loups (Old Wolves) from Parisis RFC in Paris.

The rugby relationship is now in its 42nd year.  Two players, Mike Weaver and Phillipe Colin, who played in that first encounter in 1977, donned their boots again in a 24 -12 win for Frampton in Le Crunch game, refereed marvellously by Tony Swash.

Tries from wing Simon Belsten (2), no 8 Rob Keir, scrum half, Paul Whitehead, plus kicks from Mark Chaplin, gave the home team a win in a very muddy encounter.

All enjoyed a marvellous night of entertainment on the Friday evening, with Frampton’s Colts’ Coach, Nige Smith’s, group rocking the night away at the local pub The George and Dragon in Winterbourne.  Inevitably, that meant a few sore heads on Saturday, but they were soon forgotten as the game got under way in what is always a very competitive game. 

Saturday saw a great night at the Frampton clubhouse, with a traditional fish and chips supper, English beer and, of course, a few red wines. Roll on 2020 when Fram cross the channel again to Paris to try and retain the Victory trophy.

The relationship started when employees started discussing rugby, at British Aerospace in Bristol, on a joint English/French aero project in the mid-70s. The juniors visited Paris in 1977 and the junior exchange still happens to this day every May, taking it in turns to host.

s players got older the Veterans got involved and that relationship took off and the teams continue to visit each other’s countries every year.  The exchange is unique as it’s not a tour and no hotels are used.  Each party stays at the homes of the hosts so the culture/food /language and love of rugby is experienced.

This year’s junior exchange to Parisis saw Frampton’s Girls’ team involved for the first time and a great time was had by all.  This was the first of many more to come for the girls.


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