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Madrid 2022

Day 1 :

It was a bumpy start to the 2022 tour with the date and location being moved 2 years from South Africa to Canada and finally ending on Madrid following COVID changes. It wasn't the end of the bumpy road either with Easy Jet cancelling our flight days before resulting in a change of destination to Bilbao and then a 4 hour coach journey from Bilbao to Madrid with a bus driver who wouldn't allow drinking or eating!

However spirits were high and the 30 tourists took it all in their stride wearing their tour shirts. The lads didn't arrive until late that evening so it was a case of a quick drop off and head to the first bar they found which was a bar called CLICK, this bar couldn't believe their luck as 30 Brits walked in on a Thursday night. This venue soon became the location for all pre drinks throughout the tour to the pleasure of the owner who had a fascination with the Club Manager Olly Slym due to his height and weight!

Day 2 :

We knew Madrid would be hot but we didn't realise how hot, Day 2 reached 46 degrees at one stage which saw even the hardest of Spaniard's complaining about the heat. Never will I moan about a British heatwave again.

It offered a perfect opportunity for the lads to visit a local Aqua Park to cool down from the midday sun before the evenings big game.

In the evening UBRFC Select XV played local Madrid side Boadilla still at a staggering 38 degrees UBRFC struggled initially to get going but soon enough they kicked on scoring 34 points without answer. Like all traditional tour matches the game was second to the hospitality afterwards where we were supplied with beer, wine and traditional Spanish food. A evening of song, boat races and laughter pursued before a return to CLICK and a random meeting with global superstar Rita Ora!

Day 3 :

It was still really hot! After a team lunch in a local traditional restaurant where the majority of the team sweated a lot, the team took a walk around Madrid and headed to a local Irish Bar where the team were joined by American University Long Beach to watch the Premiership final.

In traditional rugby style there was once again lots of laughter and singing between the two universities as they watched Leicester Tigers become the Premiership Champions. After the game the team took part in a treasure hunt around the city giving them an opportunity to get in some culture and more sweating and of course a return to the CLICK bar in the evening!

Day 4 :

At last we were in the late 30 degrees and it felt much cooler. The team were collected by our driver who also had a obsession with the size of our club manager and taken to Las Ventas Bullring, one of the most famous areas for bull fighting in the world. The team were taken on a tour of the stadium and learnt all about the history of bullfighting including a few virtual simulations for the selected few Matadors; George and Ciaran. After the tour we had our final team lunch before heading to Torrejon Rugby Club for a triangular tournament verses Long Beach California and Torrejon rugby club.

Our first match was verses Long Beach California and they were fit and strong seemingly didn't have any affects from the heat or the CLICK bar. However UBRFC took an early 2 try lead before Long Beach made the changes throwing their second XV on and soon took the lead. In the final play of the game a UBRFC kick in the corner saw a full team driving maul push Gus Charles over the line to win the game! Sadly our second game verses Torrejon ended early with the Spanish side 5-0 up due to a horrendous injury to UBRFC prop forward Louis Kassapian. Louis was looked after extremely well and went to hospital to discover he had fractured his fibula and tibia and needed surgery.

With the game stopped early the Amercian side were awarded the tournament champions for no reason we could think of, and then all teams headed to the largest festival in Madrid for more singing and the largest bowl of paella I have even seen. We all retuned to Madrid that evening to CLICK with it feeling not quite complete with Louis being in hospital over night.

Day 5 :

It was a short day of courts and laughter before an afternoon flight home. Sadly Louis was unable to fly home with us but team mate Jamie Treasure kept him company for the next 2 nights before they flew home... thanks to Travel Insurance! Louis injury did tarnish what was a fantastic tour with some much fun had by all.

Next is 2023 tour to Madagascar!!!!!!!!

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