Brechin Junior Rugby’s veteran team, The BRUCE, became something of a media phenomenon during their trip to Italy – all thanks to their player Alasdair Urquhart.
Alasdair, the side’s oldest team member at 85, became an online hit when a picture taken by photographer Marco Pullia was posted online featuring Alasdair during the BRUCE’s match against The Old Becks o Reggio Emilia in Italy.
The Brechin side had travelled to Italy to take part in a friendly match against the Italian side and to take in the Italy v Scotland Six Nations match.
During the trip, the Brechin team were treated to visits to a cheese factory, wine production facility, the Ferrari museum and an Italian flag museum. The team also attended official dinners, which were a much enjoyed affair, with the memories of the trip sure to live long. They were also given the honour of a meeting with the Reggio Emilia’s mayor, Mauro Del Bue. The team were gifted an Italian flag and ornamental paperweight as keepsakes for the trip.
A spokesperson for the group said: “In all, the team, their families and supporters were looked after to such an extent that it will live long in the memories of everyone that was taking part.”
The club also took in the brilliant Scottish last gasp Six Nations win against the Italians at the Stadio Olimpico in a trip that took a year of planning and fund-raising for the small Angus club.
Team manager Gary Robertson explained that the trip was as much a cultural exchange as anything else, with the BRUCE team taking out local produce such as haggis from their shirt sponsor Bruce Brymer Butchers, which caused a bit of a stir at the official after match meal where some were cooked up and given to the hosts and although different from their usual fare, was all greedily downed.
It was at this meal that other gifts from Angus Council and club ties and shirts were gifted to the hosts and their families.
Gary said: “The trip was only possible with the help of our families, friends and sponsors such as Bremner Offshore Supply Services and Earthfire Energy and the club now face the task of raising enough funds to match the high level of hospitality shown by the Reggio team, which will be no mean feat, given their generosity and support over the last year.
“There will be a few events planned such as a repeat of last year’s Race Night which was so very well supported by local and national companies.
“The Brechin club will play host to the Italian team and play them in a match and also show them something of what the Angus area has to offer.”
Anyone interested in helping out in sponsoring or helping in the planning of the event would be most welcome and can contact the club through the club’s Facebook page or at www.brechin-juniors-rfc.com