A TEEN rugby team were among a twin town’s French visitors last month as they took on their Forest rivals.

Coleford Twinning Association welcomed visitors from St Hilaire de Riez, whose U15 rugby team played an international match against Berry Hill RFC’s U15s, in a narrow 22-17 win for the hosts.

The match was the second time they have clashed, as the Berry Hill boys travelled over to France last Easter to play the inaugural match.

Wayne Sharkey, a club coach who helped organise the game, said: “We are grateful to everyone who has helped make this international partnership successful and would especially like to thank Coleford Town Council for their support.

“The boys from both teams were a credit to both their clubs and their countries. The match was hard fought and played in excellent spirit.”

During their four-day visit, the French lads also visited Premier outfit Gloucester RFC and took a canoe trip down the River Wye.

Meanwhile, another hard-fought match was taking place at the Angus Buchanan Bowling Club, where a petanque match saw the Coleford team lose to their French counterparts.

The match took place on a cold day, in contrast to the first match in temperatures in the high 30C last August in the Vendee.

The Coleford club are keen to welcome new members for games that take place on a Sunday morning.

Other visitors from St Hilaire were hosted in the homes of members of the Coleford Twinning Association and took advantage of better weather to take walks through the Forest and visit local tourist sites.

Jean-Pierre Bruneau expressed the gratitude of the St Hilaire twinning group, saying: “We have been overwhelmed by the hospitality shown by our Coleford friends, who have opened their homes to us.

“We look forward to welcoming the group from the Forest who are coming over in August.”

Marilyn Cox, secretary of the Coleford Twinning Association, is keen to welcome new members.

“The Coleford Twinning Association has only been going for the past three years, but we have now arranged several exchange visits and made many new friends, both within the Forest and in the Vendee,” she said.