BRIDPORT welcomed French club Lège Cap-Ferret to Dorset for their latest tour – with both clubs enjoying a dazzling weekend.

Lège Cap-Ferret brought the sun to Bridport on a beautiful April weekend and the town responded with its famous hospitality.

After a strenuous Saturday morning joint training session at the Brewery Ground, in which Bridport immediately noted how fast the Lège Cap-Ferret backs were, the players were fed the club’s traditional ham, egg and chips lunch, prepared by president Peter Brook and chairman Julian Hussey.

Then, Bridport gave a splendid welcoming to the players and coaches of Lège Cap-Ferret.

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Rib blasts courtesy of Lyme Bay Rib Charter, ice creams at Harbour News and Gifts, Cornish pasties at the Cornish Bakery, photographs being asked for by all and sundry, and a hike over the cliffs to Freshwater Holiday Park were all part of the activities.

Then, on Sunday, it was down to the serious part of the tour which featured two games of combined teams as first the under-13s and under-14s combined, then the under-15s and under-16s.

Pulsating rugby was had, controlled on the pitch by Bridport’s Senior League referee Louis Browne.

The French backs, even in Bridport’s blue and white shirts, were noticeable for their handling skills and speed but the English, even in the red of Lège, were the best tacklers. It was as if the Six Nations was repeating itself at junior level.

Both games were fast and furious in the amazingly hot April weather, but surprisingly even.

In combined teams the final score is secondary to the calibre of rugby played and the spectators were not disappointed.

One move from a scrum went through two mauls and nine hands before a try in the corner.

The English man of the match awards went to Billy Hannam in the under-13 and 14 group and Will Dacey in the under-15 and 16.

Lège Cap-Ferret were then whisked up to Highlands End Holiday Park for a superb Sunday lunch, where sticky toffee pudding proved difficult to translate but very quick to be eaten.

Medals were awarded and then it was back to the clubhouse for the usual refreshments, followed by soup plus cheese and biscuits including cheddar and Somerset brie.

After a long tour, the shattered and sleepy French players left Dorset with a completely new view of English humour, hospitality and above all the superb spirit of Dorset rugby.