The Cardiff Tag Rugby team got off to a winning start of their own on Saturday when they played a junior team from Leeds at half time during the Blues Heineken Cup victory over Leeds Tykes.
The Cardiff youngsters were involved in the first of the Pool matches as All Roads Lead to Cardiff in the build up to the city hosting the 2006 Heineken Cup Final on Saturday 20 May. The 10 strong squad of Cardiff youngsters hosted their English neighbours with a pre-match Millennium Stadium tour, and meetings with British Lions Tom Shanklin and Gethin Jenkins. The boys joined the grand flag parade as the players ran on to the pitch, and they stocked up with autographs in the tunnel after the final whistle.
Councillor Nigel Howells, Executive Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture said: The initiative to unite young people across Europe under the umbrella of rugby kicked off very well at the weekend. I know that the boys went back to Leeds having had a great rugby experience and traditional warm Welsh welcome. The teamwork between Sport.Cardiff; Cardiff Blues; and the ERC has brought success, and this is now an ideal template for future Heineken Cup games.
The Tag Rugby initiative, organized by Sport.Cardiff, the sports development unit of Cardiff Council; Cardiff Blues and the ERC (European Rugby Cup) has been set up to promote Cardiff as the host city for this seasons Heineken Cup final and create further cultural links between each of the rugby playing regions, showing the young people of Europe coming together under the banner of rugby union.
Richard Hodges, Cardiff Blues Community & Coach Manager said: At every Cardiff Blues match we hold half times games between the junior sides within the region which builds on the outstanding work by our Development Officers. It was great to see the Cardiff Tag Rugby team selected from the DC Thomas squad emulating the senior side and winning against Leeds and everyone at the Cardiff Blues wishes them well for the rest of the competition.
The Tag Teams next outing is in Italy at Calvisano on December 10, followed by the return at home on the weekend of December 17, and the final Pool game in Leeds on the weekend of January 21.
Tag Rugby is non-contact and involves each player wearing a specialist belt and two plastic strips attached to it by Velcro. A successful tackle involves pulling away one of these plastic strips. The game is enjoyable, fast paced, safe, played equally as well by both boys and girls and very simple to coach and referee.
As Cardiff Schools performed at half time, Dai Harris Under 11s coach was presented with the Tiny's Choice Award by bmibaby Managing Director David Bryon and Blues players Xavier Rush and Dean Dewdney.