Testimonials from Parents
Shy but talented rugby playing son
With a shy but talented rugby playing son who was lacking in confidence, I was unclear about how I could help him reach his potential and goal of playing senior cup rugby for his school. A friend suggested that I contact Nigel Osborne of Rugby and French and reluctantly the shy son agreed to meet him at his gym in Blackrock for a chat.
Nigel had the perfect approach for my boy, chatting about his coaches and school friends who he knew. Nigel then encouraged him to join in a Crossfit training session which my son got through without complaint!
Following this meeting my son asked if he could go to France to train with Nigel during the summer of 2017. On returning from France he had huge belief and enthusiasm in his potential and he continued to work very hard to get himself fit and in shape for the pre rugby season in school. It was the encouragement, training ,belief and confidence building from Nigel and his coaches in France that changed my son's mindset so drastically and he now had a real belief that he could be as good as any of his peers and that he had untapped talented as a player.
Having not played Junior Cup rugby, my son has started in all 15 pre-season matches for his school's SCT. This is remarkable for this shy, under the radar boy! Last week he played his first cup match ever and scored a try right under my nose.......that is some thrill! While schools cup rugby is only a brief stepping stone in the journey for my son,it still gives me huge pride to see my boy fulfil his potential and believe in himself.
I am happy to offer this testimonial to Nigel and his team, as it is they who were fundamental in guiding my son to believe in himself.
Magnificent Experience – Summer 2017
I have been meaning to email you for the last few weeks to say thank you for the magnificent week Adam had at your training camp at the end of July.
He loved every thing about it and regrets that he didn't go last year as well. He started back playing competitively this week and was very impressive from the kick off and scored his first try of the season within minutes.
The people at the game and his coaches have noticed an all round improvement in all aspects of his play. He attributes it to things he learned and his experience at your camp. I wish you continued success for years to come in your camp.
Thanks for taking care – Summer 2017
I want to congratulate to all the rugby staff. It has been a great and productive experience.
Unfortunately my son has being ill, but the all staff has being very kind and helpful, specially Nigel who was during the all night at hospital.
I want to inform you that my son probably has mononucleosis, it is very contagious, not very serious but people with it needs to rest and not do exercise, it is very important. We are waiting the results of the analysis but it takes one week and being advice is important.
Thanks again for your help and congratulation for your team!!
Real Enjoyment – Summer 2017
Just a quick note to say Thomas really enjoyed his Rugby and French trip.
He said he really enjoyed all the activities and trips out they did and learned lots of new things in Rugby.
Thanks again, Regards,
So Sad to leave – Summer 2017
I just would like to thank for all. Yesterday evening, I met my son Tim after his camp ! He was so sad to leave his new friends and happy for all this memories.
Today, when I left, he was sleeping… Thanks for all your reactivity and your help at any time.
Satisfied Parent Diane.
Satisfied Parent who was onsite for the duration of the trip.
My 13 year old son had a wonderful time on the Rugby and French camp this summer and has already asked about returning next year.
The reasons for this enthusiasm are simply due to the excellence of all that he experienced during his ten days there.
Fantastic coaching that combined skills, game awareness, fitness, conditioning, hard work and fun; friendly, caring and enthusiastic trainers/monitors; great activities both on and off the water; a real boost to his ability to speak French, good accommodation and a friendly bunch of boys to be with.
Thank you so much. My 14 year old came home having had a fantastic experience and we have seen a real change in attitude from him. I cannot tell you how grateful we are to see this change and we hope it will continue.
A thrilling experience , was how our son described the trip, always busy, always learning, outstanding rugby coaching, surfing ,sailing, Hi-wires ,new friends and cross-fit.
Many congrats on what is obviously a wonderful product built up over a very long time. I will be recommending to all the rugby dads I know in Dublin.
Parent,Dublin, July 2016
Great developmental and educational trip
I had heard this described as a great developmental and educational trip and I can confirm that this is the case.
My son came home extremely tired but full of all the good things in life, memories, friends, skills, challenges and accomplishments. There seems to be a fantastic variety to the programme and a real passion in the way it is delivered.
I am writing to let you know that our son had an amazing time at your camp. He returned last night after an exhausting but exhilarating 10 days.
He was so impressed with the camp, the people , the young staff, the supervision at the beach and outings. He enjoyed the trips , all were very good , especially the bull ring.
But he said , your coaching and the coaching of the other staff was especially good, the professional and expert coaching meant he learned a lot and was worked very hard. He also learned new stretches and flexibility exercises.
All in all the group would love to return next year if they are not too old by then!.
Thanks for everything, and good luck with the rest of your summer
Harry had an amazing time at the rugby camp. Thank you, he had nothing but positive comments. He particularly enjoyed the coaches and felt the level of training was fantastic. Thank you so much for looking after Harry and hopefully you will see him again in France or failing that his two brothers. :)
The Secret ?
My son wants to go again next summer, I don't know what the secret is, he paid for half of the trip by saving himself over the winter and getting work whenever time allowed.
He comes back full of energy and attitude and thinking he can achieve anything.
Thanks a million.
Mother, Dublin, Ireland.
*** had a fantastic time , thank so much for being such a positive influence on both my sons over a ten year period and in their development.
Mother, Cork, Ireland.
The trip was really brilliant , we were a bit apprehensive naturally beforehand but everything was spot on and led to a wonderful experience and a very happy boy who will be returning next year.
Mother, London, England.
The boys have had a great time, and i just wanted to say thanks for looking after them for the week, If you could pass on my and their thanks, I would appreciate it.
I hope we will be able to do it next year, maybe with us squeezing in a weekend in Biarritz, too!
Mother, Normandy, France.
Les garcons viennent darriver,super content de leur sejour.un grand merci a vous et toute lequipe.
Father, Madrid, Spain.
José enjoyed so much the variety of the water sports and other activities done in the camp. He was amazed with his improvement in different rugby skills and the professionalism of the coach team. He had also a good time with children of his same age. He is already exited to come back next year.
St. Marys under-12'ss France 2015 .
Just a short note to thanks for all the hard work done in helping this to be an unforgettable weekend for all concerned ,the professionalism shown by your team in all asepcts from providing the flights or ann in the office producing itineraries to the onsite delivery and local knowledge provided by nigel made our lives very easy and meant we could all relax and enjoy .The itinerary was brilliant ,the hi wires and surfing were a huge hit ,the match was perfectly matched and a one score game !!! the reception hosted by the town and presentation was very special as was the question and answer session with the french captain .We are already planning to come back this season and will be bringing the under 13s with us as well.
Stephen Tracey - Vice President St. Marys R.F.C
Chris Pim - former Leinster Captain / Parent
just a quick note to say all home safely and sound ,thanks for a great few days , I was very impressed with the whole set up, you guys are doing a massive service not only to the game of rugby butto the development of the boys life skills and they have made friends for life, you and dave should be very proud of what you have created as I am sure all the boys that I saw at camp will be better players and people for the experience they have had.
Parent - Summer
“... Our son loved his time away and returned imbued with interest, great ideas and skills he hadn’t practised in Ireland. All in all a wonderful experience ... lads need a lot of POSITIVE psychology – this was used in abundance ... and needs to be reinforced here in Ireland with coaches at the various clubs. Unless lads are encouraged, praised – whether they win or loose, and told that they are brilliant and CAN DO IT they will loose interest and drop it as they head toward Leaving Cert.
Anyway, the French idea is brilliant ... we need more of it.”
“M. managed to get selected for the
Leinster schools u16s squad this week (as
did nJ, who was also on the camp), and
although it was just ten days last summer I
think you helped enormously in building
his confidence, his enjoyment of the game,
and his skills level. So thanks”.
“... returned from the last camp a happy, confident, independent boy. We had sent him hoping he would become more confident and learn a little french and rugby. The course surpassed our hopes. It was excellent – apart from coming home very self confident and independent – he also learnt a huge amount of rugby skills and drills and even his french improved. I could not speak highly enough of the course and the positive effects of it on him. He has lost some of his shyness which is marvellous. He enjoyed all aspects of the course. Most of all he adored the rugby but also the many other activities organised.”
“He was very impressed with the training
and encouragement he received from all
the crew. Anytime we spoke to him during
the 10 days the words that were repeated
time and again were, Brilliant, super,
Fantastic, excellent, class!!!. This applied to
both the rugby and non rugby activities.
I will be recommending your trip to all and
sundry with any interest in rugby”.
Parent - June
“... Just a note of appreciation for Nigel, Kevin and his team. Our two teenage sons aged 14 and 16 attended in late June 2011 and they had a wonderful time. They both go to a rugby playing boarding school and this camp in Soustons was an excellent experience for both of them. Mam, Dad and 2 younger members of the family combined their holiday in a nearby rural french village and it worked out brilliantly. At no stage over the 12 days were the two boys unhappy. Great weather, healthy diet and great camraderie. Hopefully can get around to fitting it in next year, as it is great to see new friends being made in such an enjoyable location. Thanks again. Very satisfied parents.
“My son Ben attended the camp in the summer 2007. He had an amazing time and couldn’t stop talking about it when he got home. He found all the coaches really friendly and very encouraging and it did wonders for his self esteem both on and off the field. He made lots of new friends and still keeps in touch with many of them. However, the real testament to the great time he had is that he is going back in 2008 !!”
“Thanks so much, our 15 year old who normally is not the most talkative kept us up for 3 hours telling us about his wonderful time at camp. The training sessions, matches and the scandal.”
“Thanks so much, not a day goes by without a mention of soustons, his rugby has come on in leaps and bounds particularily in the contact area.”
“Thanks for the 2nd year in a row you have managed to get a 10 out of 10 from a group of 15 year olds who want to go again next year.”
“...had an absolutely fantastic time and cannot wait until next year. He has roped two more friends in for next year, one from Leinster and one from Munster. We, as parents, were thrilled that they got on so well and enjoyed it so much. They were obviously well looked after. It was really good for them from a personal development point of view - well worth every penny. Keep me updated on dates for next year.”
Peter Clohessy - Parent, Munster and Irish Legend
“He’s training like a mad thing since he got back, can’t be a bad thing, he loved the camp but thought it was tough. Has been great for him and his rugby, first thing he said at the airport was that he wanted to go back next year. Brilliant.”
Philip Matthews - Parent, Captain of Ulster, Ireland and the Irish and British Lions
“The rugby and French camp was a fantastic experience coaches were great with plenty of individual attention. The other activities added greatly to the experience.He is mad keen to go back next year. Brilliant.”
Kevin Potts - I.R.F.U.
“We are delighted with our partnership with rugby and French, it has provided an excellent opportunity to help develop young rugby players of all abilities in an enjoyable environment”
We both wanted to thank you and the other coaches for the great experience you have given to Jamie (aka Scotty) at Soustons. As well as having a great time, he feels that he has further developed his rugby skills and he was delighted he was captain of the team against the local French side. Being a scrum half, he was also chuffed to meet Yachvilli!
He had lots of stories to tell about the various trips, activities and new friends and all going well will be there again next year.
Testimonials from Clubs and Schools
Blackrock RFC Head coach U12's
After just returning from our end of season mini rugby tour to Souston and Biarittz, I wanted to send on my thanks to you/ Rugby and French for helping to arrange our trip. Planning a trip for 85 people would be difficult at the best of times, but with the added pressure of several locations allied to the significance of our trip, we found that the hard work that you put in beforehand, really made the trip for the boys. Knowing you as a passionate rugby man and coach, everyone enjoyed the supervised rugby training on Fri evening before our Saturday morning games; The boys were happy to run off their excess energy and the parents were happy to leave them and head off for a drink!
The choice of venues couldn't have been better and the lunch we all had on Saturday before the final was superb with great and very friendly service.
Overall, our busy schedule worked out very well taking in the final in Bilbao which was an added bonus for the boys and their parents, but well worth it with precious memories for everyone. Finally, what a fantastic opportunity for everyone to surf on the Sunday morning, a brilliant a fun end to a memorable weekend.
St Marys Rugby club
I want to drop you a mail to thank you and your team for our recent under 12s Rugby trip to France. Both Kids and Parents had a ball.
The kids got a real experience of French culture and cuisine.
Playing against French teams gave the guys a great buzz, an international feel, which they really enjoyed.
We were very well looked after and would recommend the experience highly.
Cork Con 13s
“I worked for a year with Nigel at Rugby and French putting together our very important Cork Con 13s trip,His passion for rugby and people was clearly evident from an early stage and his experience in this business was hugely reassuring ,he even came on the trip although i think secretly this is the bit he loves the most !! the trip was great and action packed with great rugby and people all along the way .
I would strongly recommend anybody organising a trip of this nature to contact Nigel .
Blackrock College RFC
I just wanted to send a short email on behalf of Blackrock RFC to thank you for what was an amazing U12 mini rugby graduation trip for our parents, coaches group of boys last weekend.
It ran like clockwork thanks to huge amount of work you did behind the scenes not to mention looking after us from when we arrived up until when we left.
Every aspect of the trip was great from surfing to hi wiring and of course playing the French clubs.
The teams were all of equal standard making it very enjoyable to watch and for our kids to play.
I would recommend this trip to any other clubs thinking of an away trip. Feel free to use me as a reference point.
A great five days of training and hospitality, very valuable from a team building and coaching point of view, plenty of aged french culture as well.
Stade Francais, Paris
“On behalf of all at the stade francais professional rugby team, a big thanks for the organisation of the trip. The facilities are fantastic, the food was perfect, the setting idyllic and the amount of work we were able to do in such a relatively short period of time was just what we were looking for.
Richard Pool Jones, Director of Rugby, Vice-President
Kings Hospital, Dublin
“We got everything we wanted out of the trip: plenty of pitch time and brilliant non rugby activites which challenged the boys and brought them together. Venue is perfect, safe and few distractions. We will be back same time next year.
Matt Jarvis, Head of rugby, Kings Hospital, Dublin
St johns london Director of Sport and 1st XV coach Nick Platt said
“it was a great experience for the boys to train at a venue used by a number of French top 14 clubs. The players were taken out of their comfort zone in terms of the intensity of the training but the boys showed their team spirit and unity by pulling together and proving the talent they have. They showed much skill in both attack and defence against Tyrosse and thoroughly deserved their win.
I write on behalf of Munster Rugby to sincerely thank you and all involved for your kind hospitality and friendship in hosting us in such a professional manner. The facilities, food and opposition were excellent and exactly what we required in advance of our upcoming Inter Provincial Series. The team bonding that the players experienced from this trip will be invaluable and the values and traditions of our game that you and Munster Rugby hold dear were very evident in everything that you said and did for us.
Playing at the local Soustons stadium against the Aquitaine selection side made up of high quality players from the South West Region selection and was a positive exercise for our young schools squad. To play the four power house clubs of France’s young age grade players from Perpignan, Biarritz, Bayonne and Toulouse provided excellent opposition.
The learning for the players and the game intensity will help them to grow and become better players. It was a pleasure to be in your company and see the environment that you and you colleagues are developing and creating for young players for the future game of Rugby and demands they will face on and off the pitch.
Please find attached some photos and a report from Kevin on our tour with you. We hope for this to be the start of more trips like this with our Munster Represenitive Teams.
Again many thanks for all your help & assistance in arranging and facilitating the above fixture.
“Leinster U 17 Schools chose the rugby and French base in south-west France as their base for their game and training camp this april. The facilities were excellent, the food was excellent and plentiful and ideal for our needs.
Gerry Murphy Leinster Rugby - April 2012
Ennis RFC Under 16’s
“Just a few short lines to thank you for your hospitality over the weekend. As you know we had 29 children and 12 adults and every person that travelled has asked me to express their thanks for a fantastic few days.
Everything from the accomodation to the food to the rugby was top class. All the kids enjoyed the onsite facilities such as the high wire and more especially the rugby against Tyrosse. That was a very sporting game played at a high standard that can only improve our skills and expectations as a team.
Our first team coach Richie Murphy has commented to our youth officer that "this is the way to go" so you can expect enquiries from Ennis RFC coaches for next year.
Gerry Lynch, Mike Corey, Martin O’Connor
Coaches Ennis RFC Under 16’s
Kings Hospital, Dublin
“Another great week, brilliantly organized by Ann Mc Dermott and some new activities to keep the boys on their 2nd or 3rd visit on their toes. Food as ever was top drawer and the facilities from the team room to the gym and the pitches were top class. Boys particularly enjoyed the game in Biarritz and the chance to personally meet and spend time with the french internationals and pro players.”
Matt Jarvis, Head of Rugby.
CBC Monkstown Dublin
“in trying to set out our stall for the season this was the perfect start , great facilities ,lots of food ,great non rugby activities like surfing and sailing etc .the boys were treated like professionals and responded accordingly in acting like pros .our game was perfectly matched and played on a saturday night under lights in front of a decent crowd which the boys loved .to have a director of rugby(richard pool jones ) from a top 14 club like stade francais address the boys for an hour on leadership , what it takes to be a team player , discipline ,respect ,humility and other old school values was not only of huge benefit to boys of this age but makes our job for the season ahead much easier .all in all a fantastic week. Many Thanks.”
Mr Gerry Berry, Headmaster.
Catholic University School
“For any aspiring rugby player time spent at the wonderful facilities provided by Rugby and French at Soustons is a dream come true. Located right in the heart of French rugby country all of your rugby needs and more are catered for!
Dany Dent, Catholic University School, JCT coach 2011/2012
St. Josephs, Ipswich
“We took our U15 side to The Rugby and French Camp in Soustons this October half term for a training and team building week in preparation for the rest of their season. The staff and boys had an absolutely marvellous week with some great games of rugby and excellent activities including high wires, surfing, paintballing and kayaking. The accommodation and food were first class and as a venue and base for a rugby tour the camp is ideal. As well as having the excellent facilities, including 2 top class floodlight pitches, having access to several skills and conditioning sessions with Nigel was perfect and the ideal ‘change of voice’ for our lads as they look to embark on what we hope will be a successful season. A big thanks and well done to all – we will be back with our seniors for pre-season and with the Under 15’s same time next year!””
Mark Patterson - Director of Sport, St. Josephs College, Ipswich - October 2011
Gonzaga College, Dublin
“... just arrived home. Tour was a great success and the lads really enjoyed it. The games were excellent and the hospitality superb. Many thanks for the excellent organisation.
Bobby Byrne - Senior Rugby Coach, Gonzaga College Dublin - Madrid trip jan 2011
St. Josephs, Ipswich
“... boys loved it. Fantastic venue. The boys were occupied all the time, perfect for team building. Coaching sessions by the mad irish man were very well received. Excellent hospitality and plenty of good local rugby.
Graham Richards - First Team Coach, St. Josephs, Ipswich - October 2010
Haberdashers Aske School
“... The annual trip to Biarritz has become an integral part of the development of our boys both as rugby players and citizens since we first came in 2003. The boys enjoy five action packed days where they are challenged to live together in rooms of 3-5 boys, play rugby against local opposition, surf in the Atlantic and complete an assault course, high up in the trees. Other options include mountain biking, sailing and canoeing. The boys soon realise that they must rely on one another to get the most from this experience and close friendships are formed. The trip is organised superbly by Rugby and French and we thoroughly enjoy the company and insight of the resident Irish Basque Nigel Osborne I cannot recommend this tour highly enough for the personal development of any youngster.
Al Metcalfe - Haberdashers Aske School - October 2010
St. Marys RFC 1st XV
“... I’m very happy with how the week went. It was perfect preparation for the season
The facilities/accommodation/food/assistance were all first class. The game against St Jean De Luz was perfect, good intensity and well contested, they put on a great feed after the game and the craic was brilliant.
Ciaran Potts - Head Coach St. Marys RFC 1st XV
Wesley College Dublin
“... Another great trip, the boys thoroughly enjoyed it and we are looking forward to returning again next year ...”
Iain Wallace - Head of Rugby Wesley College Dublin
Prep School Barbarians
“... Great experience for the boys. The games and activities were excellent and we look forward to next year already. ...”
Chris Terry - Chairman Prep School Barbarians
Ballymena Academy 1st XV
Quote from Ballymena Academy 1stXV Management team following the trip!
“... We give the Sports & Language Centre in Soustons five stars in every department. We are already planning our visit for next year. Nigel really knows what makes boys tick, ...”
Ballymena Academy 1st XV, December 2009
Haberdashers Aske’s School, London
We are all back at school and from the number of parental comments of appreciation, you have another hit tour on your hands! The boys enjoyed themselves immensely and we were treated to some excellent hospitality by the clubs. Please convey our thanks and appreciation to Anglet and Soustons for their attitude and generosity.
We very much enjoyed your company and the manner in which the tour has evolved and it was great to see the new directions you are taking the language teaching. Thank you again for all your work and the spirit in which you have dealt with our particular school group. Serge's signature is framed already!
C Bass, Haberdashers Aske’s School, London.
Bective Rangers FC
Just a quick e-mail on behalf of the 110 travelling party from the ‘Mini Rugby’ section at Bective who were with you in Soustons / Biarritz at the weekend. We all had a ball ...
- Great Company
- Great Place
- Great Fun
- Great Craic
- Great Staff
- Great Food and above all
- Great Rugby.
Thx on behalf of myself, the president and everyone in Bective for a fantastic weekend.
Bective Rangers, Director of Rugby May 2008
De La Salle Palmerstown
“We took twenty five boys from our under 13s to Soustons over the May Bank Holiday week-end. Nigel Osborne put together a great programme that had everyone on the go for the whole week-end. Highlights of the trip included the tour of Biarritz Olympique's ground including the dressing-rooms and gym. We also played their under 13s and it was a good introduction to rugby as they play it in the South of France! We went to see Bayonne play Montpelier in the Top 14 - a great match and a cracking atmosphere. We even managed to fit in a swim on the beach at Biarritz on that action packed day!”
“The facilities in Soustons are fantastic with great rugby pitches, a host of activities on site including sailing and high-wires. And yes the balmy, sunny weather was a welcome change from Ireland. If you want a varied and well run programme that includes rugby, activities and good accommodation in a lovely part of France then look no further that the Rugby and French Centre in Soustons.”
DLSP Under 13s May 2008
Presentation College Cork
All the boys got home safe and sound, they had a fantastic time and seemed genuinely very impressed with the set up and the quality of the coaching. They are talking about August next year as they will be in competition in September and it would be an excellent pre-season.
Thanks again for looking after them so well and hope the rest of the Summer goes smoothly for you.
Presentation College Cork July 2007
Thanks for a superbly organised trip to Biarritz for our U-16 Squad in April last. The organisation of the full trip was second to none and it really bonded the boys for the remainder of the season culminating in the winning of the U-16 Cup.
I will be recommending this trip for future Garryowen tours. Best wishes for the the future.
All are in agreement that it was an excellent weekend and that the standard of both coaching and activities were top class.
A really great time was had by all.
I would like to thank Kelvin and you especially for the very hands on approach that was taken in making sure that we all had a great weekend.
Shannon RFC Under 16 Tour 2007.
Crescent College Comprehensive S.J.
Our visit to the French Sports and Language Centre, was well worth while on many fronts.
The quality of the rugby coaching, team preparation
and the individual skills, was excellent, while the extra activities of surfing and sailing were instrumental in developing team spirit.
I would recommend the centre to any individualor team who want to progress to the next level in their personal rugby development
Senior Coach Crescent College Comprehensive S.J.
Munster Schools U.18 Head Coach.
CBC Monkstown SCT 2006/7
On behalf of all form the CBC senior cup team who travelled to Soustons this autumn I wish to thank you for the welcome, the excellent coaching from yourself and Kelvin Leahy, the water activities and the game against Biarritz Olympique and all the excellent food and facilities made available to our team. Our senior cup team hope to return again next October.
Pat Fox head coach SCT rugby, vice Principal
Kings School Macclesfield
The pre season u 15 trip to the south of France was a huge success. The French sports and language centre ltd proved to be an excellent venue providing a disciplined environment with groups from various sports combining language lessons, training for their respective sports and a whole range of on site water sports. The discipline of communal regular meals for all groups and the expectation of cleaning up after themselves (including sweeping the floors) set the tone. This was combined with a huge range of fun activities and quality rugby training sessions. We played 2 games against Kings' Ely and against a group of Irish boys .the tour finished on a high when we were guests at a famous rugby restaurant and hotel owned by a former Biarritz player. The walls were adorned with jerseys from players from all around the world. The tour party was addressed by Richard pool Jones (ex Kings' school 1st xv captain) his inspirational speech about his life in rugby and his time at kings hit just the right note. Richard was captain of rugby at kings, played of England schools, England students and the full England xv .he played in 2 varsity games for Cambridge was the youngest barbarian for their centenary match and the first Englishman to play in the French cup final. He played for Biarritz and twice played in the European cup final for Stade Francais. He is now a commentator on French TV and described as the French ‘Gary Linekar’
Andy Rice Head of Rugby, Kings School Macclesfield
Haberdashers Aske’s School, London
Many thanks and congratulations on the wonderful experience you have created for the boys in the South of France. They were delighted with the insight into the country and also with the rugby they played. Special thanks for the extras like the meal at the bon coin and the rugby festival .they are already very keen to organise next year’s trip
C Bass, Haberdashers Aske’s School, London.
“Thank you very much for everything you did for the lads, they had a brilliant time and want to go back again next year.
Their faces said it all when I met them at the airport.
They are back raring to go and started straight into the Medallion Shield training on Tuesday and of course they are the fittest.
There are a few envious boys here in Ballymena and I bet you will have some more recruits next year from here.”
The French Sports and Language Centre
Newpark Comprehensive U14’s October 2006
A trip with an U14’s side can pose difficulties no matter where you travel but travelling abroad brings its own extra potential difficulties. However the key is to keep them active all the time and give them plenty of space to do itin.
When we arrived in Bordeaux to a very calm easy to negotiate airport we were extremely well looked after. We travelled on a more than comfortable bus to Soustons where we were whisked very quickly in for dinner. One of the really excellent things about the centre is the routine particularly surrounding meals, because of the space available everyone is fed at the same time every morning, lunch time and evening, therefore preventing any confusion and the boys know exactly when things are happening. The food was well balanced and nutritious with both lunch and dinner being plentiful and out of 30 boys we had no complaints.
We stayed in chalets close to the centre which were warm, comfortable and well contained, we spent most of the day either at the centre or at the beach so it was only in the evenings that we returned here and not usually until after 9pm. The activities during the 4 days really kept the boys focussed and added an extra element, surfing, sailing, canoeing were all great supplements to the rugby.
We played 3 games while there, Biarritz and Crescent Comprehensive School Junior side, it was a fantastic experience for the boys to be playing matches abroad and mingling with players from other areas that they may not get to meet otherwise. The coaching and advice they received was very high quality and they are still talking about it 2 weeks later. This side were enthusiastic already but this enthusiasm has been rejuvenated by their trip.
The situation is beautiful, the weather was good and all of our students developed both their rugby skills and their personal skills too. The French Sports and Language Centre was a very enjoyable experience for all concerned and I am sure we will be returning again.
Newpark Comprehensive School
Christian Brothers Cork
"On behalf of all from C.B.C. who travelled to Soustons this Autumn I wish to thank you for the welcome. the excellent coaching from yourself and Kelvin, the water activities and the visit to Biarritz Olympique and the food and facilities available to our boys. Our S.C.T hopes to go again next year."
Pat Fox, Christian Brothers Cork
ST ANDREW’S COLLEGE JCT PRESEASON CAMP AT RUGBYANDFRENCH.COM FACILITIES IN SOUSTONS FRANCE.
The camp is ideally located just a short flight from Dublin via either Bilbao or Bordeaux. From the moment we touched down in Bilbao everything was run very efficiently. Transport was always on time throughout our trip which makes traveling with 22 teenagers much more tolerable!
The facilities are superb with dormitories or tents for the players and dormitories for the accompanying coaches that were spotlessly clean with plenty of sheets, pillows and hot water. The food is excellent raging from paella to cous cous to ratatouille with plenty of bread and cheese thrown in. We chose to get our team up at 630am for their first rugby / fitness session. But officially the first session is at 9.30am with another one in the afternoon depending on when the afternoon activity of sailing, surfing, canoeing etc finishes.
All coaching sessions from the very first one on the day of arrival to the last one before departure were conducted professionally keeping the emphasis on skills and performing them in game like situations. Both Nigel Osborne and Billy Davison were excellent in their ability to coach the specific skills we wanted and even after 10 years plus of rugby coaching I learnt a lot of different angles to teaching skills that I will be able to use for the future.
The location in the south of France allowed us to visit Biarritz for some sightseeing and also attend a Leinster vs Dax preseason game. The village of Soustons itself is within easy walking distance of the camp and there is a local shop and a market on the weekends. All in all from this first preseason camp we have had a marvelous experience and it has been ideal preparation for the JCT team. I can’t recommend this camp enough and we are already planning to take our SCT team to Soustons next August. Many thanks Nigel and all at Rugbyandfrench.com for a fantastic start to our season.
Head of Rugby St Andrew’s College Dublin
“Absolutely superb week! Very well organised great coaching and facilities. The boys improved massively as a team thanks to the time available to coach and the quality of coaching received. The multi activities that the lads took part in were fantastic and helped the boys develop a good team spirit. I would recomend anyone to go and will hopefully be returning myself in October with our U15.”
Sean Holden Master i/c Rugby,
“Just a brief note of thanks for all the organisation that went into making
the lads stay enjoyable and successful in Soustons.
The kids really enjoyed the rugby experience and your coaching in
particular, I've learnt a lot myself from watching and plan to put it into
action at our next session.
I wouldn't mind keeping in touch and getting some ideas from you on session
planning and improving areas of the team and individual performance as they
Wanderers U12's Tour
Crescent College Comprehensive j.c.t
“Situated in Soustons near biarritz the rugby and french camp is ideal preparation for a cup team. Run by Nigel Osborne, the facilities are excelllent, he will tailor make a training regime which will suit most teams.There are also high quality games available in this region one of the hotbeds of french rugby.”
Crescent College Comprehensive j.c.t
Craig really enjoyed the trip and would
definitely recommend it to others, he made
a lot of friends from other schools that he
will play against for the next few years. He
really appreciated your coaching and drills.
“The rugby training was out of the top
drawer, the relationship that developed
between coach and players U14's and
U16's was exceptional over a short period
of time. I could wax lyrically about this
trip, as could the other coaches and the
players, actions speak louder that words.
We will be returning in 2005.”
Myles Mc Partland,
U14 Coach,Thurles RFC
Harrow School, Middlesex
“Harrow staff and pupils were delighted with
the rugby atmosphere in particular and the
sporting ambience in general that we found...
The coaching sessions were well organised
and presented and one was very aware of Tim
Horan's influence in the selection of work
that was covered. Nigel Osborne and his staff
were very professional in delivering just what
we required. A few days to get a team gelled
together, expose them to new ideas and most
importantly have a lot of fun doing it.”
Roger M Uttley OBE, MA Former
British and Irish Lions Coach and England
Manager and Coach.
Testimonials from Current Professional Players
JJ Hanrahan - Munster and Ireland. Nominated for World Under 20 Player of the Year
I was sent out to the Rugby and French Programme by the IRFU through the Munster Branch along with Johnny Holland
who has also just signed a contract with Munster for next season. The trip was brilliant. It opened my eyes to the standard
of player out there and what was required to compete with them. The coaching was great and I still remember stuff I learned today.
The activities and general craic was great. It really whetted my appetite and gave me the belief and the desire to
crack on and have a go at being a professional player.
Alex Corbisero - Northampton and England ( 2006, 2007 )
man of the match in the Lions third test .
I enrolled in the French Rugby and language program when I was 15. I was eager to gain quality coaching and practice over the summer as I had aspirations of progressing my rugby career. I was playing 5 nights a week during the school year for my club (Cobham) , my school (American Community School) , County (Surrey) and the London Welsh academy . I needed to keep it up over the summer and I was studying French at School, so I decided to give it a go.
The facilities were excellent near Biarritz. The level of Rugby was to an extremely high standard. We played the France national age-group side, which was certainly a highlight. Weather was superb. The coaches were excellent and all experienced professionals. My team mates were mostly Irish and great fun. I did improve my French quite a bit. I was appointed chief translator. Everyday I would walk into the town and order steak Hache for the gang. It was a great way keep in shape, learn the game and improve my French. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Ian Keatley - Munster, Ireland out half
I attended the Rugby and French programme and thought it was brilliant. It really helped develop my love of rugby and improved my skills. I also thought it was great for my French as well as being great craic. I made lots of new friends and still stay in touch with them today.
I would strongly recommend the course for any ambitious young player.
Luke Fitzgerald - Ireland and Leinster
My many trips to rugbyandfrench contained wonderful memories; surfing, sailing, French classes, good food and great fun, but best of all was the rugby and coaching. Every day was full and the setting was brilliant. On perfect pitches in glorious sunshine and we were given the freedom to play and the help and encouragement to play a certain way. An invaluable experience.
David O Callaghan - Munster and Ireland
The focus on skills was what most impressed me about the camp, with an emphasis on free flowing rugby. By the end I felt I was a better player tactically and technically. This comes down to the expert coaching and fitness work all done in enjoyable atmosphere. The opportunity to play high standard opposition was for most a once in a lifetime experience. I would recommend the camp to anyone looking to enjoy themselves and learn a bit of French but who is also serious about their rugby.
Alan Rogan - Housemaster and teacher Blackrock College and International Referee
Just what boys of this age need; excellent coaching, very strong leadership, discipline, French classes and constant positive challenges and competition. The set up is safe, the food is great and the results are consistently excellent.
Gerry Thornley - rugby journalist with Irish Times and parent
It's more than just a summer camp or even a rugby camp. First and foremost is the approach to rugby and the emphasis on skills, (all in an ideal setting) but there's also a variety of activities which gives the boys an action packed experience in a disciplined and enjoyable environment. It's a chance for boys to make friends while the coaching staff are passionate about what they do and have a natural ability to relate to kids of this age, which makes them excellent role models. Both my sons attended one of them 3 times as have several of their friends.
Other Professional Players who have attended the camp
Leinster Rugby - Sam Coughlan Murray, James Tracy, Ben Marshall, Luke McGrath, Darragh Fanning
Munster Rugby - JJ Hanrahan , David O'Callaghan, Mike Sherry, Luke O'Dea, Ian
Keatley, Ivan Dineen, Barry O'Mahony
Connaught Rugby - Eoin Griffin, Aaron Conneally, Craig Ronaldson, Paul O'Donoghue, David Moore
Leicester Tigers - Michael Noone
London Irish - John Quill
Stade Francais - Peter Lydon
Gary Foley - Ireland under 19
Unbelievable time, great for my rugby and was always encouraged to develop my skills and think for myself.