NLD under 20 squad took to the road travelling to Old Leamingtonians RFC to play Warwickshire under 20s on Sunday 26th February, with half the squad under 19 at the beginning of the season there was a good balance of youth and experience. The coaching team of Phil Milton (head coach), Steve Grainger, Adam Gallagher and Jake Lamb have only had a few training sessions with the squad and one training game against Lancashire to prepare for this first fixture.

The match was a very tight affair with NLD being pipped in the 45th minute of the second half, 18-17. NLD played into the wind in the first half. They dominated  the set piece and breakdown area. The 2/8/9/10/15 partnership of George Freeman, Rahat Choudhoury, Harry Graham, Tom Bitrimin and Tom Benjamin gave the whole squad a great spine.

NLD looked very strong with the ball in hand and were unlucky not to be further ahead than 10-5 at half time. Tries by Dre Clifton Forbes and Jacob Wright converted by Tim Bitirim along with a penalty made up the final NLD score line. Warwickshire made a number of changes in the second half and the pressure came on NLD – in particular at the breakdown and line out area which led to losing out to a last minute penalty.

There were some great performances across the board for such a young squad and this will certainly have given the Midlands selectors something to think about over the next few weeks.

The next match is on Sunday the 19th March against Oxfordshire at West Bridgford Rugby Club – kick off is 2.30pm. Everyone is welcome to come and watch – players, familes, club members and coaches.

A few squad facts:

  • Over 50 players have attended the training sessions.
  • 17 clubs, four universities or colleges and Nottingham Academy players have been represented at the training sessions.

Congratulations to those players who were selected below:

Neary Declan Long Eaton RFC/Nottingham Academy
Newman George South Leicester RFC/Nottingham Academy
Clifton Forbes Dre West Bridgford RFC/Nottingham Academy
Newman James South Leicester RFC/Nottingham Acdemy
Mcmenamin Joe Long Eaton RFC/ Nottingham Academy
Wright Jacob Long Eaton RFC /Nottingham  Academy
Weedon Jack Nottingham Casuals RFC/Nottingham Academy
Choudhary Rahat Nottingham University/Hinckley RFC
Graham Harry Hartbury College/Nottingham Academy
Bitirim Tim South Leicester RFC/Loughborough University
Hogan Brandon Lincoln RFC
Fletcher Philip Kesteven RFC/Keele University
Mclean Conor Nottingham Trent University
Mazoredi Malvin Long Eaton RFC/ Nottingham Academy
Benjamin Tom Burton RFC/Nottingham Academy
Animashaun Jonathon Derby University
Moyo Musa Moderns RFC/Nottingham Academy
Tucker Tom Long Eaton RFC/ Nottingham Academy
Pearson Kieran Long Eaton RFC
Gathercole Reuben Hartbury College/Cinderford RFC
Ogunwole Michael Nottingham University
Milnes Connor Lincoln RFC
Nicholas Ross Nottingham Trent University