England Counties Under 20 Tour
The England Counties Under 20 have returned from a successful tour of Romania. The Team played and won the two tests in Romania against an Under ‘23’ team, 22-7 and 44-21 respectively. Two players from NLD were selected, Luke Bouchier played in both Tests, Dan Lamb in the first, picking up a shoulder injury which meant he couldn’t play in the second.
The Under 20 Squad was selected from the four divisions, 8 players from the North 11 London and Southeast, 4 from the Midlands, and 1 from the Southwest. The Midlands U20 supplied 3 players, including Luke Sharpley of Oundle, and Ollie Killgallon (Loughborough University), who was captain in the second test.
Karl DeGroot, NLD and Manager of the Midlands, reported, “The NLD players and the Midlands squad produced competitive performances at the selection matches but were unable to come out on top, firstly against the North and then a strong London and Southeast Division which was reflected in the overall selection of the England squad
The overall programme was delivered to a high standard and in a very professional manner. We were able to get selectors to every CB game which was a huge positive and we are looking forward to next seasons campaign.”
Chris Brookes, NLD and England Manager was impressed with the NLD and Midlands players on tour. “It a huge honour for me to represent our CB in the England Program; the players are quite rightly extremely proud to be selected from such a high number of players, and it’s extra special for me when my home CB produces young players of such a high standard to wear the Red Rose. Both Dan and Luke were a credit to the Club, CB, and families whilst on tour to Romania.”
The Under 20’s Counties is available to any player below Level 2. This next season, there is no England Students programme and we will hopefully see more players in the NLD selection program pushing for Midland and England honours.
Next season the Counties U20 Tour Georgia. Chris said, “This will be the second visit to Georgia. I was lucky enough to manage the tour two seasons ago, and what a fantastic place and experience it is, and will be, for players that get selected. It truly is a rugby-mad, passionate place. This will be my last Tour for England as my term is in its fourth and final year, and it will fantastic if we can get more of our NLD players on the plane. With there being no students program next season, I really hope that we can see all of the Under 20 talent from our Clubs and Universities producing a fantastic NLD squad to play in the Jason Leonard Under 20 Championship.