Caption: Guam's Pocklington contingent celebrate with the Asia Division III rugby championship trophy after beating China in Brunei, left to right: Johnny Borja, Jacob Flores, Earl Pascual, Carlos Fegurgur, coach Tony Penn and captain Brian Ramiro.
Forwards coach, Tony Penn, is back home in Pocklington and raring to get stuck into pre-season training with Pocklington RUFC after coaching his 'other' side, Guam, to success in the Asian championships.
Penn will now join forces with backs coach, Sean Bass, and coaching coordinator, Wayne Warren, when Pocklington get their pre-season programme underway on Tuesday 3 July at 6.45 pm at the club's Kilnwick Park training ground. Sessions continue every Tuesday and Thursday thereafter.
The former Hurricanes and New Zealand Maoris prop, Penn, is now permanently resident in Pocklington. But he was already coaching Guam before moving to East Yorkshire at the end of his professional rugby career in New Zealand back in 2016. He maintained his connection with the South Sea island, including encouraging six young Guam players to come over to play for Pocklington in the 2016-17 season; and he was reunited with five of them for their Asia Division III East triumph.
Ex-Percy Roaders Johnny Borja, Jacob Flores, Earl Pascual, Carlos Fegurgur and Brian Ramiro all played leading roles as Guam thumped Brunei 66-12 in Brunei, then raised the bar to beat China 52-12 in Banda Seri Begawan to win the division, with Ramiro going up as captain to receive the trophy. Guam even stopped off to play a friendly against higher ranked Phillippines on the way home, but their title celebrations and playing a third game in five days finally caught up with them, losing 32-22 to the Phillippines in Manila.
Back in Pocklington, Penn praised his Guam proteges, saying: "In rugby terms Guam box well above their weight for an island of 160,000 people with no real club rugby. To beat China with population of 1.3 billion was an outstanding achievement.
“It was a real privilege helping Guam achieve their recent success, but now I am back home I can’t wait to get stuck into pre-season training with Pocklington,“
Any new or prospective players wanting more information about coming down to Pocklington can contact Penn on 07946533660.