In April, Rangitoto College of Auckland departed on their USA Rugby Tour with their Student Horizons Representative, Ben. Before they’d even left home, the group hit an unexpected hurdle, with bad weather causing flight delays and cancellations out of Auckland. However, the tireless efforts of Student Horizons’ dedicated ground staff at Auckland airport, and our 24-hour emergency team, ensured that the boys arrived safely and on time for their first competitive rugby match in San Francisco!
The Rangitoto boys were warmly welcomed by their first host with flags, commentators and classic American burgers. After both Rangitoto teams got a respectable win on the pitch, the boys had their first night of billeting at the opposition’s homes. A visit to Stanford University with a full campus tour of the athletics facilities as well as performing a Haka for the Razor Hawks Youth Rugby Club and meeting some newly drafted San Francisco 49ers were some further highlights while being in San Jose.
En route to Sacramento, the group stopped at Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors, for a full stadium tour. In the afternoon, they had their second fixtures of the tour against another two competitive rugby teams. After some great performances on the field, the Rangitoto College teams came away with wins from both games and returned with host families for another night of billeting. The boys finished off the northern portion of their tour with some quality matches, the 1st XV coming away with a nail biting 2-point win.
They proceeded on to acquire some unmissable snaps at the Golden Gate Bridge as well as a fantastic trip across to Alcatraz Island. After a short flight to San Diego, the Rangitoto boys enjoyed a guided SEAL tour of the city by sea and a once in a lifetime opportunity to tour an active service naval vessel; the USS Essex. They also explored the Gaslamp quarter in downtown San Diego and played a very competitive match against a top rugby club, coming away with a hard fought 1-point victory, before continuing their incredible tour to Los Angeles.
In Los Angeles, the boys visited the Hollywood Boulevard, Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Universal Studios and Six Flags Magic Mountain, one of the best theme parks along the West Coast. Amongst all the sightseeing, the boys continued to play some competitive ruby matches.
The Rangitoto Rugby Tour to the USA truly offered the boys a mixture of competitive rugby matches and sightseeing, making this tour a once in a lifetime experience.