Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Last weekend, two French teams not competing in the national league this year – the Cergy-Pontoise Coyotes and Lille Eagles - took the field against each other to keep their teams active, motivated and keen for next season. Next weekend a third French team – the Perpignan Tigers – will do the same when they venture to Manchester, England, for this year’s Movember Cup.
The club has been having a rebuild during their two-season long hiatus from the premier French footy competition. However, armed with seven new players for the club, the Tigers are keen to give this new-look team a decent run against quality opposition to build for a possible re-entry to the big time next season.
This will be the first time the Perpignan Tigers will compete in the Movember Cup, but it is a great experience for the club and an exciting move for French footy and the wider European scene. They will only have a men’s team enter, but that ill open the door for women’s teams from Perpignan next year.
The event, in its eighth year, raises money for cancer by linking to the Movember theme world-wide – growing moustaches and shaving them for donations which then go on to cancer research. It is a wonderful venture to bring club, community and cancer research together.
The Movember Cup has been played since 2011 in honour of former Manchester Mozzies premiership player Nathan Blakely. Blakely played in the Mozzies maiden premiership in 2010, but passed away the following year. The Movember Cup (Nathan Blakely Memorial Cup) has been played in all but one year since. Last year, more than 1000 pounds was raised on the day through donations and other fund-raising.
The host club, the Manchester Mozzies, won the Cup for the first time last year and are the current title holders. He Nottingham Scorpions won the women’s competition.
This year, the Mozzies were hoping to reach record team numbers, and if all goes to script from here they have done so. In total, 16 teams will descend on Burnage Rugby Club next Saturday 30th November for a 10.00am competition start. The catch-cry for the competition is “18 teams (men’s and women’s), 14 clubs, 4 countries, 1 cause”.
This year, the clubs competing will be the Manchester Mozzies (men’s and women’s teams) and Perpignan Tigers, as well as:
Men’s (Pool A): Huddersfield Rams, Wandsworth Demons, Perpignan Tigers, Sussex Swans, Tyne Tees Tigers, Birmingham Uni (1)
Men’s (Pool B): London Swans, Manchester Mozzies, Galways Magpies, SE London Giants/Sussex Swans, St Peter’s Gaelic, Birmingham Uni (2)
Women’s: Birmingham Uni (1), Birmingham Uni (2) Scottish Mixed, Manchester Mozzies, SE London Giants/Sussex Swans, Nottingham Scorpions
It is sure to be an exciting day for all teams, players and fans alike. However, the Perpignan Tigers are entitled to be a little more excitable than most as they return to competition after an extended break. Thy will certainly capture the interest of fans, and maybe even become everyone’s second favourite team on the day.
World Footy News