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Thirty Schoolboys from across Australia, aged between 16 and 18 years, have embarked on a Rugby experience of a lifetime, jetting off to the UK and Ireland for a once in four year Grand Slam Tour.
The 30-man squad flew to London late last night and will be billeted and hosted by local families so they can gain an educational understanding of the area, learning about the history and culture, as well as benefitting from the exposure to international Rugby.
The team includes players selected from the Australian Schoolboys and Australia A side following the Macquarie Bank Schools Rugby Tri Nations Series against Fiji and New Zealand in September and October this year.
The Aussie touring side's first warm-up match will take place this Friday 22 November against a Wales A team in Neath.
They will then take on Wales on Thursday 28 November, before heading to Cardiff to support the Qantas Wallabies when they tackle Wales in their final Spring Tour match at Millennium Stadium on Saturday 30 November.
The schedule then includes games against the Ospreys on 1 December, England on 4 December, Scotland on 8 December, Leinster Schools on 11 December, Ireland on 14 December and finally Munster Schools on 17 December, before heading home in time for Christmas.
Travelling to England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland with an itinerary packed full of training and sightseeing, the tour will offer the Schoolboys the chance to experience the international travelling perks of Rugby.
The Australian Schoolboys Tour to the UK and Ireland dates back to 1973. Occurring once every four years, the month-long, eight-game tour against UK and Ireland based teams is a unique and rewarding opportunity for the young Australian Rugby hopefuls.
Coach, Stephen Philpotts and Assistant Coach, Tim Rapp, both former Australian Schoolboy representatives, led the Aussie Schools side that beat New Zealand Schools in Auckland in 2012 and this year's Australian Schoolboys team that just missed out on the Tri Nations victory, losing by one point to New Zealand.
With an endless list of big name Wallabies, including Tim Horan, Michael Lynagh, Jason Little, Phil Waugh, David Pocock and Christian Leali'ifano, starting their international Rugby careers in the Australian Schoolboys program, there's no doubt some of this year's Schoolboys representatives may also pull on the Gold jersey in a few years' time.
Rugby fans can follow the Australian Schoolboys journey on the 2013 Grand Slam Tour of the UK and Ireland with regular updates and match results on the @ARU_Community Twitter account.
For more information on the Australian Schools Rugby Union visit their website by CLICKING HERE
Kick off (local time)
MACQUARIE BANK AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS SQUAD TO TOUR THE UNITED KINGDOM & IRELAND
Oakhill College, NSW
Newington College, NSW
St Joseph’s College, NSW
St Patrick’s College, QLD
The Southport School, QLD
Trinity Anglican School, QLD
St Ignatius’ College, NSW
St Joseph’s Nudgee College, QLD
The Scots College, NSW
Anglican Church Grammar, QLD
The Kings School, NSW
Erindale College, ACT
St Edmund's College, ACT
Thornbury High, VIC
Trinity Grammar School, NSW
The Scot's College, NSW
St Peter’s Lutheran College, QLD
Marist College Canberra, ACT
Ipswich Grammar School, QLD
Endeavour Sports High School, NSW
Mr Paul Geddes
Mr Stephen Phillpotts
Mr Tim Rapp
Mr John Rownes
Dr Chris Thomas
Mr William Maher
Mr Andy Clark
Mr Simon Harries
The IRB has announced its match officials list for the second stage of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships overnight, with two Australians appointed to referee two of the games in New Zealand on Sunday.
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