Scotland U20 in Font Romeu: A day with French Marines

Scotland under-20 have travelled to the French Pyrenees for high altitude training camp ahead of their World Rugby Under-20 Championship campaign, following in the footsteps of their senior counterparts who travelled to the same Font Romeu facility prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The camp has received significant funding through Erasmus+, a programme established by the European Commission that allows students and employees to experience cultural and work exchanges throughout Europe, through vocational and educational training.

Scotland under-20 players will be giving us an insight into the camp through a blog each day, with back-row Ally Miller giving reflecting on a team building day with the French Marines:

"This morning, we spent time with a French Marines core – not the easiest start to a Monday morning.  We arrived at their base just in time for their traditional salute to the flag, which is how they start every week.

 "Once the formalities were out the way, we split into three groups and started on some team building challenges. We chose a team leader for each task to give different people a shot, and it soon became apparent that everyone had different leadership styles. Despite the challenges, it was a good laugh and it brought all the guys together, as we overcame the varying tasks.

 "It was then on to abseiling, where we were set to scale down the side of one of the area's forts – admittedly, it was pretty daunting at first! However, it was good to see guys testing their fears and completing it, no doubt helped by the building peer pressure.

 "The marine theme continued over lunch, as we were issued with a ration pack. Making the lunch was a task in itself, as we had to construct our flame burners to heat up the tins of sausages and beans. Safe to say it was easier said than done, and a few guys ended up eating it cold! 

"Despite the not so appealing food on offer, however, we sat on the grass verge under the sun and with an amazing view of the Pyrenees mountain range. 

"It was great visiting the Marines as it tests your character and you see your teammates really pulling together. The Marines were really welcoming and it was an experience the group really enjoyed.

"This afternoon we had our first rugby session with the French under-20s. We mixed together to do contact drills and then ran our attacking shapes on each other to finish."