CHESTER Rugby Club youngsters are fresh back from a tour of South Africa that they financed entirely through fundraising, writes OLIVER ELLIS.

The Hare Lane outfit’s Under 16s side chose to visit the home of the Springboks to mark the end of their GCSEs and the transition from junior to senior rugby.

But rather than rely on sponsorship, the 23-man team, many of whom have been playing rugby together since they were aged seven and eight, teamed up with their parents to raise the funds needed for the long trip by bag-packing at local supermarkets and carrying out sponsored runs.

Chester youth team manager John Armstrong said: “We had some excellent fundraising efforts. It was a two-year slog to raise money, but we’ve made it.”

The Chester U16s squad is: Jonathon Armstrong, Danny Graham, Russell Grim, Adam King, Isaac Larkin, Oliver Loveday, Richard Ludden, Joel Mead, Alex Nash, Mike Oddie, Richard Pilling, Matty Robinson, Henry Zyda, Tom Butterworth, Tobias Dickinson, Sam Howarth, Gino King, Tom King, Joe Maddocks, Phil Porter, Steve Smith, Jacob Treasure, Mike Williams.