THE Under-16s at Luctonians Rugby Club embarked on a life-changing tour of South Africa.

The packed itinerary, organised through England Rugby Travel, included three tough matches, two of which were against township teams.

First up was a tough encounter against Kulis River's De Juilen High School, who were undefeated all season going into the match.

However, Lucs ran out 41-21 winners.

After receiving coaching at the Stellenbosch Rugby Academy, Lucs headed to their second game which was played in the Elsies River Township against Western Cape a club.

Luctonians have forged a close link with the club and have visited them three times in 12 years.

After a first half of constant pressure from the home side, Lucs eventually gained the upper hand and won 38-12.

The squad spent time with both players and other local children from the community, donating plenty of the kit brought from home.

While centred mainly around Cape Town, the tour included trips to Malmesbury and a visit to the Goedgedacht Trust Farm where the squad helped coach the local young and deprived children who sought refuge from a world of parental alcoholism.

Again, Lucs donated kit and equipment to the children.

After a harrowing tour of Langa Township and another local deprived school where the remainder of kit was handed out, the third and final match of the tour was played near Hermanus against a local school in Hawston.

They proved a to be a tough test for Lucs and put on a display of brillaint passing and quick running.

Despite a determined and strong response, Hawston won the contest 34-22/

"All the matches were played in an excellent spirit and the feedback from the local communities was very humbling to say the least, along with the positive effect the visits brought to the opposition, local children and our boys at each location," said Luctonians Alex Smith

"The trip was made possible through huge amount of generous support and funding from numerous sponsors.

"This was further helped by fund-raising events and activities, including bag-packing sessions at local supermarkets and a dinner, dance and auction (with special guest Shane Williams) at the club in 2016."