The Ospreys kicked off the weekend trip to North Wales with a special visit to Ysgol Craig Y Don in Llandudno, where they met with school children that had to be evacuated from a coach fire after attending the Ospreys home match against Glasgow in May.
The school children has spent the weekend in Swansea before visiting the Liberty Stadium to watch the final home Magners League game of the season, taking the chance to visit the Ospreys Superstore to buy goodies and also, grabbing plenty of autographs and photos with the players as they arrived at the ground ahead of kick-off.
However, their trip turned sour shortly after when their coach caught fire on the M4. Although all passengers were evacuated safely, the coach was gutted and their belongings went up in flames.
Having been in contact with the school shortly after the blaze, the trip to north Wales for the RWE npower renewables North Wales Rugby Festival was seen as the perfect opportunity for the players and management to make a morale-boosting visit to the school before they broke up for the summer holidays.
A traveling party of more than 30 players and coaches descended on the school to be greeted by the 19 pupils who had made the journey to Swansea two months ago, along with their teachers and fellow pupils.
Ospreys players handed out goodie bags to the children, while Duncan Jones also handed out £75 Argos vouchers to each pupil, donated by local businesses to enable them to replace some of the belongings lost in the fire.
Headteacher Marc Berw-Hughes said:
"About 30 players came into the school hall. The children were awestruck but soon found their feet. They mingled with the players, asked questions, took photographs and got autographs. This visit went a long way to making up for the fire."
"I'd like to thank the Ospreys for making the special effort to come here and provide the children with a real treat. The visit came after a very long bus trip and before they'd even had the chance to check in at their hotel so it is really appreciated. The Ospreys certainly have a schoolful of fans here in Llandudno."
Paul Thorburn, Ospreys Strategic Development Manager, Paul Thorburn, said:
"What should have been a memorable visit to the Liberty Stadium for all the right reasons a few months ago, became memorable for all the wrong reasons when they children lost all their belongings in the fire, including shirts, posters and autograph books that they had only just bought."
"We were determined to try and put things right so we are delighted to have had the opportunity to visit Ysgol Craig Y Don this weekend and hopefully, make up for what happened that day."
Ospreys star Ian Gough added:
"It's great to be able to help out in this way. We were all touched when we heard the story of what happened to the kids on the M4 so it's pleasing that we have been able to come along and meet them in person today and hopefully, leave them with happier memories of the Ospreys. It seemed to go really well, I think they really appreciated the visit and we certainly enjoyed being able to put a smile on their faces."