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Sharks & French Connection
French Exchange Tour 1 of 3

1. Sharks & French Connection

Over forty years ago the first party of Shaw Cross boys journeyed the length of France to visit the birthplace of French rugby league. The bonds forged between Villeneuve and the Sharks are as strong as ever.

Pictured in this section are the four men who started off the whole tour back in 1970 from left down to the right Alain, Dougie, Fort and Alan.

Many people over the years have become involved in this historic event. More than 1,600 boys have now taken part in the exchange and all stay with host families during the visit, a great opportunity to sample everyday life in France & England.

Added to this boys take in local cultural attractions and socialise with their opponents, forging long lasting friendships.

Organised into 'Minimes' and 'Cadets' the touring side always plays another two teams before ending the tour the night before the journey home playing against the hosts. In 2009 new grounds were broken when the 'Benjamins' toured England to take on the Shaw Cross Sharks Under 12's (pictured).

It takes a lot of organising and if it were not for the people that do this then it would not be where it is today. From the organisers of the daily trips right down to the players themselves it is a credit both to Shaw Cross, French organisers and the game in general the amount of effort that goes into this.

There is alot of work and effort that goes into this trip. The Sharks have a dedicated committee (The French Committee) who plan all year round, raising money and keeping in touch with the French.

The Committee consists of Alan Smith, Tracy Grimwood, Dougie Hird, Jonny Burland, Graham Parker and Pat Cox. We would all like to thank these people along with sponsors and other people who give their free time up to organise this wonderful event.