Rugby fans in north Wales will get a chance to see some of the biggest names in world rugby put through their paces on the training pitch this weekend when the Ospreys spread their wings and fly north to take part in the npower renewables Rugby Festival..
The whole of the region's senior squad, including star names like Shane Williams, Gavin Henson, James Hook and Wales skipper Ryan Jones, will travel from their Liberty Stadium home for the festival, which is being held at Rhyl Rugby Club on Saturday August 2nd.
The day will comprise of a number of organised events including an open training demonstration by the Ospreys, specially designed coaching clinics for children from local rugby clubs and a sevens tournament for senior players from the area.
Around 240 local children registered with Abergele, Rhyl, Llandudno, Colwyn Bay and Nant Conwy RFC's have been given the chance to apply for a place to train alongside their rugby idols, whilst the clubs have also entered senior players into a sevens tournament that will take place in the afternoon. Each team taking part will be assigned an Ospreys player to act as a coach as they compete to win the npower renewables cup.Ospreys Coach, Sean Holley, says that the squad are looking forward to making the trip: "We've been invited to attend the North Wales Rugby Festival by our sponsors npower renewables, and we're all looking forward to spending the day in Rhyl. We'll be running through our normal training routine first thing and members of the public are invited to come along and watch the session close-up, which is a bit of a special treat as it's not something that rugby fans will get to see everyday. After that, players and coaches will be passing on their knowledge to children from clubs in the local area in a series of special coaching clinics and then the senior sides from the clubs will take part in a sevens tournament after lunch. It's going to be a great day for the north Wales rugby community, and we are delighted to be a part of it."Ospreys prop Cai Griffiths grew up a short distance along the north Wales coast in Bangor and he says that he's proud to be heading back to the area with the region. He said: "It's a tremendous honour to be attending the npower renewables North Wales Rugby Festival with the Ospreys. There is a real passion for rugby in the area, something which maybe south Walians don't fully appreciate, so maybe a few of the lads will have a bit of an eye-opener at Rhyl on Saturday.
Having grown up and played my first rugby in the area, it's fantastic to now be in a position to give something back, via the Ospreys and our sponsors npower renewables who have organised the festival. I'm sure it'll be a huge success and hopefully we'll be able to come back next year."
npower renewables North Wales Rugby Festival 2008 Schedule
Saturday 2nd August 2008
10.00 - 11.00* Ospreys Training Demonstration
11.15 - 12.30* Coaching Clinics - Rhyl - Colwyn Bay - Abergele - Nant Conwy - Llandudno RFC Youth Sections
14.30 - 17.15* Sevens Tournament - Rhyl - Colwyn Bay - Abergele - Nant Conwy - Llandudno RFC Senior Sections
17.30* Trophy Presentation and Photo Opportunity
* PLEASE NOTE - all times are approximate and are subject to change