GRAFTON Redmen trio Ryan Cotten, Nathan McPherson and John King are richer for the experience having toured Spain with the NSW Country under-18 rugby union side.
McPherson played five-eighth throughout the tour while King and Cotten were both in the engine room taking turns at hooker, while Cotten also played flanker at various stages.
"I'll take that any day," Cotten said of the experience. "It was good rugby and as a squad we all became pretty close and became good friends."
In the first game NSW Country defeated Madrid 17-5 and ran out 50-5 winners over Barcelona in the second match.
They met their match in the clash with a Valencia side that contained about 10 Spanish junior international players, going down 15-0.
The boys finished the tour with a comprehensive 52-5 against a provincial side, which included McPherson crossing for a try.
"The Spanish players mainly used their backs and kicked a bit more, whereas we used our forwards," Cotten said of the contrasting playing styles.
The rugby was interspersed with sightseeing, with Madrid a standout, according to Cotten.
When social opportunities arose, he said Aussie charm didn't go far with the Spanish girls.
"Some of the guys tried but they were not successful at all," he laughed. "They said they didn't even like our accents."