Maltese rugby juniors for tri-nations competition

Sunday, May 22, 2011, 12:09

Malta has formed its first National A Under 16 (U16) squad to participate in the Small Islands Games as part of the Malta Olympic Committee contingent. Rugby was recently included as an Olympic sport by the IOC, and this is the first time that Malta Rugby are participating in the Maltese Olympic movement. Under the guidance of Malta Rugby’s Technical Director and National Coach, Damian Neill, this is the culmination of 5 years of very hard work in cultivating rugby in local schools and within Malta’s rugby clubs.

The MRFU has been proud to support these youngsters under team manager Edwin Ward, providing all the necessary resources for the squad to make their first trip away from the island wearing Maltese colours.

The growth in local youth rugby has been significant since Damian Neill came on the local scene, and participation in this key event will lay the foundation stone for implementing a player pathway in elite rugby, a dream of Mr. Neill’s when he first took the top post at Malta Rugby. “I am delighted to see our boys traveling to Italy to take part in the Small Islands Games”, says the National Coach, “we need experience of international competition to grow our players, coaches and officials.”

Malta’s first National Under 16 Rugby squad with their coaches and team manager, are taking part in the COJI Games at the end of May. Franklin Imbroll (Kavallieri); Leon Van De Wakker (Kavallieri); Ryan Borg (Falcons); Leo Grima (Falcons); Fabian Sacco (Falcons); Jean Pierre Zarb (Alligators); Andrew Vella (Alligators); Andre Soler (Falcons); Marcus Ward (Alligators); Julian Galea (Falcons); Robin Cutajar (Gladiators); Sean Blake (Alligators).

12 boys have been selected to take part in the COJI Small Islands Rugby demonstration being held in the Palermo Velodrome on May 27 and 28. The Maltese U16 rugby team, supported by GasanMamo Insurance Ltd, will play against Italian and French teams from Elba, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. GasanMamo, who has been supporting youth rugby in Malta since 2008, is eagerly following this progress. “This new national team is excellent news,” said Julian J. Mamo, Director of GasanMamo. “We wish our boys a great performance!”

The squad of 12 players was selected after a local tournament was held recently against visiting British teams, and the selected players have been on a training cycle plan approved by the Technical Director to prepare for the Italian tournament. The young players, born in 1995 and 1996, will be accompanied by 3 support staff, head coach Robert Portelli, assistant coach Adrian Silvester and team manager Edwin Ward.

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