CHIPPENHAM’S under-12s rugby team is to embark on a tri-nation tour for the first time in the club’s history.

The Allington-based club will be playing matches in England, Wales and Ireland in the April half-term.

This gives the 28 boys, half a dozen coaches and the parents about six more weeks to meet the £14,000 needed to cover the travel, accommodation and kit costs.

They have so far raised £10,500 in a fundraising effort that has included a chilli quiz night in November, numerous cake sales, a cook book of favourite rugby recipes, raffles of hampers, Auctions of Promises, the boys doing chores for pound coins, and bag packing at Wilkinsons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco in Chippenham.

Andy Stanley, whose son Archie is part of the team, said: “The coaches are planning something a bit special for this year’s squad and it has been great to see everyone pulling together in a fantastic co-ordinated effort and showing the same dedicated teamwork we see on the pitch.

“We also held a Boden clothing party which also raised money for Transplant Sport. It’s not often the rugby club is home to so many skirts, dresses, handbags and leather loafers.”

The latest event, a Cupid Curry and Cider Fest on Valentine’s night, raised in excess of £2,500.

The team has given £350 to Wiltshire Air Ambulance from its bag packing efforts in gratitude for help given to injured players.

Head coach James Harding said: “The donation was a privilege. Many of the age groups have had to call on the air ambulance at the club, so to give a donation was one way of saying thank you.

“I would also like to thank the boys for their efforts in raising the cash, and the parents; without their continued support we wouldn’t have a team or tour.”

A donation from the Borough Lands charity has covered transport costs.

In the final hurdle, the under-12s are calling on local businesses for sponsorship for kit for the tour. Anyone interested in helping can email jamesh.harding@sky.

com or call James on 07825 370882.