Douglas Rugby Club has announced a tour and new partnership with Guernsey Raiders National 2 side.
The two teams will play for the ‘Crown Cup’ created as both islands are Crown dependencies. The first of which will be a yearly fixture, played in Guernsey on the 15th August. Douglas will be travelling with 2 sides, a Development XV and Douglas 1st XV.
Carl Murray, Douglas Rugby Club’s Director of Rugby told B365: “The ‘air corridor’ recently introduced by the authorities of the respective islands has allowed us to organise this fixture. It opens an opportunity for our players to play a team at the next level, and for the club to build on ambitions of playing National League Rugby.”
Douglas set about to deliver a 5 years strategic plan to gain promotion to North 1 West and cement the club’s position there, now placing the Douglas club one tier below the Semi Professional ranks.
Carl continued: “This trip with two development squads to Guernsey is the start of the strategic plan and a major opportunity for Manx players. To enable further development we will, over the coming weeks, be announcing new partnerships and development pathways never seen before on the island. Our goal is to create exciting opportunities for all Manx rugby players no matter what their ability.”
The club is excited to offer an off island playing opportunity, with the Covid-19 isolation restrictions, there is a lot of uncertainty of what the 2020/21 season will look like. The rugby club’s board took a proactive approach in strategic planning for the future and saw the Covid-19 restrictions as a big opportunity to trial new things and focus on development. Partnerships through air corridors are all about creating player opportunities which all feed into individual player development.
Carl added: “Guernsey are now a National 2 semi-professional outfit, creating a yearly contested cup is exciting, and though a daunting challenge it is all about creating that connection as part of our development pathway to play at highest level.”