Saddleworth U15s return from rugby league tour to Jamaica

Saddleworth Rangers U15s have returned from a history making tour to Jamaica, the first side of that age group to visit the island. The idea was conceptualized by Junior Brandford, a former Jamaica international and member of Rangers club.


The tourists stayed in Montego Bay and played in two events, as a guest side in the Jamaica High Schools U16s National 9s competition, and a full match against the Jamaica Hurricanes U16s. They reached the final of the 9s, losing 20-16 to Calabar High and defeated the national select 20-14 at the Mona Bowl in Kingston, Finley Mellor, Isaac Kipling, Zak Johnson and Oscar Brindley with their tries.


Saddleworth U15s coach, Johnny Johnson, said: “It’s been fantastic tour with some brilliant rugby played. I have no doubt that there are going to be some amazing players coming out of Jamaica in the future. The tournament was four tough games, which every player from each team put their heart into. The full match was the highlight with the crowd cheering both teams on, the atmosphere was electric.


“The players exchanged shirts and memorabilia and chatted together for a while afterwards which was a pleasure to witness. We thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality and hope this is just the start of our rugby friendship and others will follow in future tours.”


RLJ director of rugby, Romeo Monteith, commented: “It was fantastic having Saddleworth juniors on tour to Jamaica. It means so much for the development of our juniors, we have 50 lads trying out to make the Hurricanes. Saddleworth brought a wealth of knowledge that will greatly impact our junior standards, it’s a great measuring stick. Also, the parents joining the tour made it even more of an occasion.”