Old Albanian to feature in a French connection

Old Albanian RFC

Old Albanian RFC - Credit: Archant

A leading French rugby club has announced it is to twin with Old Albanian.

Olympique Marcquois Rugby, a leading Federal 3 club based in Lille, boasts the largest rugby school north of Paris.

The twinning agreement, coincided to celebrate the finale of the Rugby World Cup, will be celebrated when OMR welcomes 34 players from Old Albanian’s U18 team next Tuesday for a training session, followed by a friendly match.

OMR is keen to foster relationships with other clubs abroad in order to promote the values of rugby, as well as developing cultural and linguistic links.

Frédéric Alluin, OMR president, said: “OMR is more than a club. It is a large, extended family that supports rugby values throughout our multiple activities.

“We aim to provide education and training to encourage performance, but also to develop life experiences for our players across all levels.

“I am very excited about the arrival of Old Albanian and hope that this will be the first of many exchanges between the two clubs.”

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He added: “Rugby is fundamentally about bringing people with shared values together. We welcome the diversity in our club and hope to create additional partnering opportunities in the future.”

Stéphane Bouvarel, head coach at OMRs rugby school, highlighted the educational benefit for younger players.

He said: “We recognise that learning languages is a key component for their future development.

“I believe that the partnership with Old Albanians will lead to additional opportunities to improve respective linguistic skills, develop long-lasting friendships and share rugby best practices and talent.”

OAs have already agreed for their U14 team to take part in the Labbe Super Champion’s tournament, hosted by OMR, in March 2016.

Mike Fisher and Ian Tomlins, chairs of the Mini & Junior Sections at Woollams, said: “We were extremely impressed by the initial welcome and enthusiasm from OMR for our U18 team.

“After further discussions, we realised that the two clubs shared a similar vision and that a partnership with OMR would be enriching across all age groups.

“I welcome this opportunity for our two clubs to strengthen links in the coming years.”