The Mayor's Cup Rugby Challenge was concieved by Alexandria Rugby as a way to showcase high-level rugby in Alexandria for Alexandrians - especially the youth. AR believes that in order to appreciate the sport one needs to see and experience it first hand - the higher the level of competition, the better. Including rugby's international component could only help.
Alexandria's sister city relationship with Dundee, Scotland seemed like an ideal starting point. It proved to be just that. They've been playing rugby in Dundee forever and they were eager to accept our challenge and expand on the city to city relationship.
The first Mayor's Cup match between Alexandria and Dundee was held in Dundee in August of 2008 with the Scots showing the Alexandria squad what playing forever does for your game - they won the match easily, 76 - 0. It was an eye opener for Alexandria but we knew, based on the friendships we developed with our Dundee counterparts and the reaction of the players to the trip, that we were on to something big and beneficial with the challenge concept,
The first rematch for the Cup was held in Alexandria the following May and what a difference a few months makes. It was a hard fought match with excellent play on both sides. In the end Dundee was victorious 21 - 7 but the local boys proved they could compete.
The real story of the first Mayor's Cup in Alexandria was the success of the day itself. It was a wonderful day of rugby with several matches played and a very well attended youth clinic. Over 1,000 people attended the festivities, many having never seen a rugby match before. Alexandria Rugby's vision of a true showcase of the sport in the city for city residents played out in spades that day.
Since that first home and away series with Dundee the Mayor's Select XV have come together to face teams representing the Royal British Air Force and the Royal Marines. We have explored expanding the Sister City theme to include another of Alexandria's sister cities, Caen, France but have not been able to solidify any plans to date. In the meantime we keep our eyes open for more visiting international sides and continue working with our good friends in Dundee on the next interation of The Mayor's Cup.