What goes on tour…..

What goes on tour…..

What goes on tour…….

The rugby tour. A staple of the game throughout the decades. They come in many shapes and sizes from a quick weekend away to the Vegas of the North; Blackpool to week long trips to somewhere more exotic.

But I’m sure it’s not just me that’s noticed that touring is happening less and less frequently now and I’m not entirely certain why.
It used to be common practice that at least once a season you would host a touring side in a beer fuelled “friendly” followed by beer fuelled singing, followed by beer fuelled hangovers (notice a pattern?). Tours create stories…memories…scars….that you’ll talk about in the bar for years to come. They create stronger team bonds as well as links with clubs in other parts of the globe.

So why the apparent decline?
I think the gradual influence of the professional game at grassroots level rugby has something to do with it (saving that conversation for another time by the way…). Clubs as far down the rugby pyramid as Level 9 are seeing the effects of professionalism in the elite game, with sponsors, league ambitions, long term development plans etc. all meaning that a club tour during or at the end of the season isn’t at the front of the mind anymore.
Interestingly, it seems to be the more “social” sides of clubs nowadays who do actually tour. Our Veterans go every year without fail, perhaps more inclined to touring as it was something they did back in their playing days.
Again, with social rugby there are much less league and cup fixtures meaning not only more time to plan, organise and actually go on tour but also the body and minds are still fresh and wanting to play rugby!
Any First or Second team at a club competition in RFU (or equivalent) leagues will be looking at playing 22+ games a season. By the time April/May comes around, players are looking forward to a break from everything rugby.

I think the major issue is however is a lack of volunteers to actually organise the whole thing. Having just been through the process myself for the first time I can truthfully tell you that it’s a hell of a lot of work BUT…..it is so worth it and if this piece does one thing I hope it’s to encourage you reading it to step up and organise a tour for your club. Yes you’ll have spreadsheets of payments, drop outs and the actual process of getting numerous rugby players through security yet for the memories and storied you’ll gain, it’s a small price to pay.

Here are a few golden pieces of advice.
1. Start small. You may have ideas of South Africa or the Caribbean but if your club hasn’t toured for a while (like mine, it had been 15+ years!) then plan a long weekend away to the UK or Europe. Not only is it less work for you, but more people will be willing to come and that is the idea. To get people back into the habit of annual tours.

2. DIY or Package? So a question faced by not just tour organisers but holiday makers in general. Do you want to plan and organise the tour yourself or go through an operator? Both have plus and minuses. DIY will often be cheaper and you have a lot more flexibility on destinations, times, travel etc. However, you try booking a hotel for 25 rugby players……(Pro Tip: say you are stamp collectors or similar). Everything will fall on your shoulders and will require a lot of leg work.
Going through a tour operator will of course push the price up (don’t forget to get lots of quotes however so you can haggle). You will have somewhat less flexibility but the operator does all the hard work for you. All you need to do is find the people to go and get them to pay!

3. Start early. Not only are things cheaper the further in advance you book them (flights etc.) but it will allow your tourists to pay in small installments rather than one big lump sum. It also means you have more time to do point number 4.

4. Fund raise. Start raising a tour kitty as soon as possible. Fines, social events, raffles….the more money you can raise for tour the better. Depending on how much you get, you may be able to knock some money off everyone’s costs, buy a tour kit or just use it for beer drinking!
5. Helping hands. Sort out a tour committee. 2-3 other tourists who with all the above. Don’t just pick your best mates but maybe a couple of wiser heads who have toured before. Trust me, it’ll help.

Obviously there is a lot more to it than the above, but I can’t stress enough that a rugby tour is an utterly beautiful thing…in its own special way. As I’ve already mentioned, I’ve just organised one for my club and 24 of us headed to Portugal for 4 days. Most of them had never been on a senior tour before but they are all asking me about next year’s already, which is now in the pipeline!

We can’t let this fantastic tradition die out. So just do it. Need some help, advice or recommendations then get in touch and I’ll be happy to help but remember……

What goes on tour, stays on tour!

– The Scrum Down


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  42. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  43. My developer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a variety of websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform. I have heard very good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

  44. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and appearance. I must say that you’ve done a great job with this. In addition, the blog loads super quick for me on Firefox. Excellent Blog!

  45. First off I would like to say awesome blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Kudos!

  46. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon. Cheers

  47. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!

  48. This design is spectacular! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  49. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your blog. You have some really great articles and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Thanks!

  50. Hi I am so glad I found your site, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Askjeeve for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a incredible post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the great job.

  51. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better?

  52. I really wish to notify you that I am new to online blogging and totally loved your work. More than likely I am going to store your blog post . You truly have wonderful article content. Get Pleasure From it for swapping with us your site webpage

  53. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this superb blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this website with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  54. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. However just imagine if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this blog could certainly be one of the greatest in its field. Good blog!

  55. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, very good site!

  56. Admiring the commitment you put into your website and detailed information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  57. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  58. This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  59. I was curious if you ever considered changing the layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

  60. Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Appreciate it

  61. Amazing blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any suggestions? Cheers!

  62. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and appearance. I must say that you’ve done a very good job with this. In addition, the blog loads super fast for me on Opera. Outstanding Blog!

  63. Greetings I am so delighted I found your web site, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Google for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a marvelous post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the superb job.

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  65. Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for
    this site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and
    I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could
    point me in the direction of a good platform.

  66. I do not know whether it’s just me or if everyone else experiencing problems with your website. It appears as if some of the text on your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This might be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Thank you

  67. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog. Is it very difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions? Many thanks

  68. Hey there! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  69. Hello would you mind letting me know which web host you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you recommend a good web hosting provider at a honest price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!

  70. Greetings from Los angeles! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, superb site!

  71. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your post seem to be running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Kudos

  72. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  73. Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog post or vice-versa? My site addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

  74. Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  75. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say that you’ve done a very good job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Internet explorer. Superb Blog!

  76. Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My blog covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

  77. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. However just imagine if you added some great photos or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this site could definitely be one of the very best in its field. Superb blog!

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