Akkies Masters stage successful International
Leeds Akkies created another small piece of international rugby league history on Saturday as they staged their first ever game of Masters Rugby League against Nantes Bretagne Vikings XIII at Old Modernians on Saturday.
The Akkies - who already hold the distinction of having competed in the first ever game against Spanish opposition back in 2007 - now have the honour of staging the first ever game of Masters Rugby League involving French opposition.
The game provided a fitting opening to a trio of fixtures, with Nantes travelling to England with a 40-strong touring party, following the Akkies' successful visit to north-west France in October last year.
A large and vociferous crowd assembled in Cookridge to witness the Akkies play in highly competitive Masters, womens and mens first team games. Players and supporters were also treated to a showstopping performance by The Axions - the number one band in rugby league - as the party raged on into the night.
Nantes-Bretagne stalwart Yoann Bodier commented: "We have a great friendship between our two clubs and making this trip has been a wonderful experience for all of our players.
"The masters game was a particularly interesting experience and was played in great spirit by both sides. We have been asked to report on the format of the game to our federation when we return home and I'm sure this variation of the game could be very popular in France."
The Vikings have extended an invitation to the Akkies to return to France in 2012 as part of a growing bond between the two clubs, whilst the Cookridge-based club is currently in talks with potential hosts about this October's overseas tour following previous sojourns to Ireland, Spain and France (twice).
For more information about Leeds Akkies Masters team contact Jez Shires (J.D.Shires@its.leeds.ac.uk), join the Facebook group or visit www.leedsakkies.co.uk