Rugby

Tamar Saracens duo loved their Twickenham playing experience

TAMAR Saracens players Josh Heath and Marc Cioffi loved every minute of their Twickenham experience last Sunday.

The duo played for the NatWest Grassroots Barbarians at the home of English rugby.

They featured in the south team that were beaten in a tight match by a northern XV.

They got the chance to fulfil a lifetime dream after Sarries were one of 40 lower league clubs around the country invited to put two players forward to play in the game after applying to take part in the 2019 NatWest RugbyForce weekend.

Heath was named as co-captain of the south side and he marked the occasion with a try.

“It was a great day,” said flanker Heath. “Although we were on the wrong side of the result, it was still a great experience.

“They announced the team and captains on the day and it was a massive honour to find out I was captain.

“It was great to lead a team out at Twickenham and do the coin toss and all that and then I also managed to score a try. So personally for me it was a brilliant experience.

“I had never played at Twickenham before and probably never will again.

“Just to run out that tunnel and have my dad there as well was just great.

“And it was nice to do it with Marc as he is a great guy and very well thought of at the club. To do it with someone as deserving as Marc was really good. It is nice to share an experience like that.”

Cioffi added: “It was phenomenal – what an experience.  It was brilliant, even though we didn’t win.

“We were all really excited, but it didn’t really hit home until we drove to the stadium the night before. As soon as I got outside my heart was pumping with just the size of the stadium.

“I did big nerves but once we got in there the next day and got in the changing rooms and got my kit on my nerves kind of settled as it just then felt like a match day.

“But then when I walked out of the tunnel to go out warming up it really took me back. On the TV it looks absolutely massive – and it is massive – but when you walk on to that pitch it feels like everything closes in on you. It is weird.

“Then after the warm-up they took us back in and then said we were going to have a pre-match talk with Will Greenwood in the England dressing room.

“Then we were in the tunnel waiting to go out and that is probably the longest five minutes I have ever had to wait. You have the other team next to you and you can hear everyone outside and when you run out it finally settles in that you are playing at Twickenham.”

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