Drumchapel kids were in for a surprise when the entire United States rugby sevens team stopped in for a visit.
The side are in Glasgow for the city’s first-ever international sevens’ event, which takes place at Scotstoun Stadium this weekend (Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6). The tournament features 16 of the best teams in the world and is the penultimate leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
They were greeted by a sea of stars and stripes, before answering the youngsters’ questions on rugby and life as a professional sportsmen. The players ended the visit by hosting a training session with the pupils, passing on their skills and training drills.
Alex Magleby, the USA coach, said: “It’s really good for our guys to get out and about to a community like Drumchapel. For a lot of our guys, this is their first visit to Glasgow. It’s tremendous to share our sport with kids who are excited about it.
“There is a big push in the US right now for rugby and we’re seeing a lot of kids taking up the game, which is great. Although it’s a niche sport in the US, we think it’s going to be a big niche sport.
“It’s a great game for kids to be playing – everybody gets to get involved. It’s a great game to share with kids, especially somewhere like here where we’re seeing rugby getting played at a young age.”
Scotstoun Stadium has had a major makeover for the tournament, with huge temporary stands at either end of the playing field boosting the capacity to around 10,000. Tickets are still available for the event, which includes the national teams of Scotland, England, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and France.
This is the first year Glasgow has hosted the Scottish leg of the World Series, which sees the best sides in sevens rugby play a series of nine tournaments in nine different countries. Scotland will play group stage matches against Wales, South Africa and Russia.
World Series championship points are up for grabs at every tournament, but each one is also a stand-alone event. So, while New Zealand and Fiji are battling to be World Champions, the format means every side will be eager to win silverware in Glasgow.
The USA players who visited Camstradden are intent on beating Australia, England and Kenya in the group stage. The Drumchapel school is one of a number of Glasgow primaries encouraging its pupils to play rugby as part of the Active Schools programme.
Anyone interested in going to Glasgow’s rugby World Series event can buy tickets by visiting the official tournament website.