Almost 100 rugby teams from around the globe will this weekend descend on Dendermonde in Belgium for the biggest 10-a-side rugby tournament in the world.
Each year, Leicester Tigers’ global partner club Dendermonde RC host the Flanders Open Rugby tournament, inviting clubs, teams and groups from all corners of the globe to play.
The event, which combines a live music festival with the rugby, will see men’s, women’s and veterans’ team enjoy the spirit and social side of the game as the Belgian host club continues to build its international rugby community.
This year’s Flanders Open Rugby festival celebrates its 26th edition and has grown in popularity year-on-year.
The shorter version of the game – featuring five forwards and five backs in a team – the game includes traditional scrums and lineouts while also allowing for more space on the field.
Dendermonde joined the Tigers family in September 2017 and enjoyed a cup-winning season this year for the third time in the club’s history following a league and cup double during the 2017/18 season.
Members of the Leicester Tigers staff will be supporting the event in Belgium alongside head of community and global partnerships Scott Clarke.
“Our five global partner clubs have had an amazing season with each either winning their respective league or cups, gaining promotion or achieving national champions status as they continue to develop their game.
"Dendermonde have been very successful on the pitch within their senior sides and they are a great community-focused club. It was their place in the local community that stood out to us when we first started to discuss a possible partnership.
"I was lucky enough to attend the Flanders 10’s in 2017 and was blown away by the club’s strength behind the scenes and their ability to plan, organise and run an event of that scale. What struck me was the number of non-rugby fans from the surrounding areas who attend the weekend to enjoy the food, the live music and Belgian beer, with thousands attending each day and long into the night.
"For me the Flanders 10s is a must-do event for any rugby club at any level. It's great fun but professionally organised with its own unique feel. This year we wanted to bring the partnership to life for the Tigers community coaches and staff behind the scenes, which is why we have entered a purely social team from the community, media, marketing and ticket office departments while the club's IT manager is also offering his services as a qualified referee.
"We are proud to be working with Dendermonde across all their rugby and we're delighted to see the progress our other partners in Malaysia, India, Holland and Italy have also enjoyed this year."
The Flanders event follows Tigers prop Greg Bateman’s recent trip to Malaysia to support another of global partner club at Kuala Lumpur Tigers.
Keep an eye on the Tigers' social media channels for updates from the Flanders festival or catch updates from all of our global partner clubs by clicking the link below.