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French exchange hailed as huge success

5 months ago By Ben McKenna

Club Chairman Chris Smith reflects on another French exchange to remember.

Shaw Cross Sharks held their 48th consecutive French exchange last week as the club hosted a party of 38 junior rugby league players and their coaches who hail from Villenueve-Sur-Lot and Tonniens in the south west of France.

They kicked off a busy week playing two games on Sunday against Shaw Cross before entertaining two Batley Boys teams in midweek.

They finished with two further games against Shaw Cross on Friday evening before they departed on Saturday morning.

The boys had a busy week organised by Alan Smith & Tracy Grimwood who head up the Clubs French exchange Committee, with visits to Doncaster Dome, Leeds Rhinos & Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

The boys stayed with local host families and the club are very grateful to all of them for their hospitality and "without whom this great exchange would flounder," said Chris Smith.

The first exchange took place in 1970 and following the tremendous effort of all those involved last week it looks sure to continue for many years to come.

Next Easter the Sharks will send two teams to France for the 49th French Exchange between the two organisations.

Club chairman Chris Smith has hailed this years' exchange as huge success.

He said: "The exchange always creates some great memories for the players and the families who host them."

"28 years ago a young French boy named Laurent Carassco & his friend Laurent Frayssinouss stayed with me, Carassco went on to play over 40 games for France & Frayssinouss is now head coach at Catalans Dragons."

"Carassco is the new player coach for Villenueve Leopards next season and his son Tom was on the exchange with him this week, the friendships made will last a lifetime and it is a thing we have to ensure continues for the benefit youngsters from both countries."

Updated 08:52 - 27 Apr 2017 by Ben McKenna

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