Cheering on team USA were 64 players, parents and coaches from Pelham Youth Rugby. On the field, Pelham coaches Toby L’Estrange and Adam Siddall played for the USA Eagles against a top national team from the New Zealand, home of the No. 1 ranked team in the world.
L’Estrange started at flyhalf and Siddall at fullback.
The U.S. team lost 19-29 in an exciting match played before a sellout 18,500 crowd at Philadelphia’s PPL Park. Siddall kicked four penalty goals and one conversion.
After the game, U.S. team members came over to the sideline to greet Pelham youth players, talk a bit and exchange fives. L’Estrange later texted Pelham Director of Rugby Matt Persanis, who planned the trip, to say he could hear Pelham cheering him out on the field and it meant a lot to him.
The Eagles may not have secured the victory, but the evening was a big win for Pelham players, who saw the men they’ve learned from at Prospect Hill School field represent their country at the highest level.