South Tyneside squad set to represent the UK in Florida rugby competition

The team that started with only five boys has now grown to 24 players. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A youth team from South Tyneside is crossing the pond in hopes of rugby victory.

Jarrovian Jaguars, based in Hebburn, started in 2018 when five boys teamed up with local coach Justin Perry.

Since then, the team has grown to a squad of 24 and, now as under 15s, they have qualified for the Tropical 7s elite tournament in Tampa, Florida.

The Jaguars are the only team from the United Kingdom to take part.

Originally making the cut in 2019, the team was due to head to America in 2020 and after months of raising the £10,000 needed to fund the trip, it was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

Coach Justin Perry says, "The cancellation of the Tropical 7s was devastating for the team and following 18 months of lockdown, they were thrilled to be given the chance to enter once again in 2021.

"As training and games started again, the team and coaches have shown huge commitment and are once again looking forward to taking part in the Tropical 7s 2022.

"They've been learning the rugby 7s rules and as each week goes by and the tournament gets closer, you can see and hear the excitement in their faces and voices."

Jarrovian Jaguars U15s are due to fly out to Florida on 12 April ahead of the tournament which takes place over Easter weekend.