Pocklington RUFC had a gentle start to their pre-season programme when they took part in the Olney 7s last Saturday; but their preparations for the 2019-20 campaign begin in earnest next week when full pre-season training gets underway on Tuesday (2 July) at 6.30pm at the club's Kilnwick Park training ground.

A party of 26 journeyed south to compete in the social sevens  tournament at Olney RFC where they played opposition from Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire, with the emphasis on the social rather than the rugby. And this weekend a trio of Pocklington players will step onto an international stage when the jet out to Finland to play for the HSBC Penguins invitation side in Helsinki.

The Penguins were formed in London in 1959 and have gone on to become the world's most travelled club - in any sport, not just rugby. The Penguins have played in 75 countries world wide, and have included numerous international players from around the globe in their lineups. But they will break new ground when they play Finnish opponents for the first time on Saturday. An HSBC Penguins XV will take on the Finland Polar Bears, a newly formed invitation outfit which is hoping to follow in the Penguins' footsteps by playing fifteen-a-side and sevens rugby around the world.

Lining up for the Penguins at the Espoo stadium in Helsinki will be Pocklington's front row forward James Thornton, No 8 Joe Brown and threequarter Christian Pollock. Pocklington's director of rugby and former New Zealand Maori prop, Tony Penn, commented: "The Penguins are one of the country's top rugby touring outfits, so getting three Pocklington players into their squad is great news for the club".

Pocklington's pre-season training sessions at Kilnwick Park will take place every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 6.30pm from next week, and all past present and prospective players from 17 upwards are invited, bring boots and trainers. Anyone thinking about joining Pocklington or wanting more information can contact Penn on: 07946533660.

pic: The Pocklington RUFC squad at Olney 7s.

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