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Five Gwent players picked for mixed ability rugby tournament in Spain

Five Gwent players have been named in the men’s and women’s squads to take part in the Mixed Ability Rugby Invitationals (MARIs) in Spain next month.

Dan Saunders, Rob Nicholls, Cerian Thomas, Karen Burgess and Heather Nicholls play for the Dragons Allstars. The team is part of the Dragons RFC’s work to provide a range of opportunities for disabled and non-disabled players to play contact or non-contact rugby together.

The five teammates have set up a GoFundMe page to cover the cost of their flights to play for the trip in September. They are set to play two fixtures with the men facing Iruna Rugby Club while the women’s fixture is against the Navarra Federation.

The MARIs was set up in 2021 to encourage mixed ability rugby players from across the world to play exhibition games against other established teams.

Tours have included trips to Ireland, Wales, England, and Belgium and allow players to experience the thrill of playing in an invitation rugby side – which they would not normally be able to do, as many cannot play for mainstream rugby teams.

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Five Gwent players picked for mixed ability rugby tournament in Spain

a mixed male and female rugby team pose for a photo
The five play for the Dragons Allstars (Photo: Dragons Allstars)