Tuesday, 2nd August 2016 @ 17:30
On Saturday afternoon, over 50 players and staff from Harlequins left England to embark on the Club’s pre-season tour to San Francisco, California.
The trip, organised as part of Harlequins’ on going strategic partnership with USA Rugby, is an opportunity for the Club to expand its horizons into new markets as well as provide the players with an alternative training environment as they prepare for the 150th season.
Flying in to San Jose on Saturday evening, the squad made the short trip to San Francisco and have been based in the Fisherman’s Wharf area of the city.
After negotiating the jet lag and adjusting their body clocks to Pacific Daylight Time, a skills session on Ocean Beach on Sunday afternoon was organised, finishing with a competitive and entertaining game of beach volleyball.
Following this, a brief window of opportunity arose to get some nearby site seeing before an evening of meetings and free time.
Monday provided the first full day of training of the tour. Beginning with an early morning gym session in the heart of the city, the squad then made the short journey to Treasure Island’s San Francisco Golden Gate Rugby Club where the team’s rugby session concentrated on defensive patterns and restarts.
While a number of the squad had some free time following the session to explore the city and take in the sights it has to offer, 11 players travelled south to East Palo Alto to deliver a community coaching session to over 50 children at the Rich May Field.
The hour long session, delivered to players from varying backgrounds and ability from the local area, was led by senior squad members Mat Luamanu, Marland Yarde, Matt Shields, Winston Stanley, Joe Marchant, Kyle Sinckler, George Naoupu, Charlie Matthews, Tim Swiel, and Ross and James Chisholm.
An excellent evening was had and while there were a number of skilful players present, every attendee left with a smile and some autographs.
The training and local community engagement will continue throughout the week so make sure you check back to see what the squad have been up to in the next edition of The Stateside blog.
Former captain reflects on a trio of wins over Stade and how he ended up working in Singapore