News Archive

Excellent result for NLD U20s

February 28th, 2019 by

North Midlands U20s 25 – 48 NLD U20s

NLD took to the road for their second competitive game in what was expected to be a stern test against a well regarded North Midlands side.

The NLD coaches rotated the squad to ensure players were given the opportunity to represent the county and a chance to impress the onlooking midland selectors.

The squad comprised:

Taylor, William (Paviors RFC)

Tweedie, Finla  (Newark RFC)

Bloomfield, Josh (NTU)

Peachy, James   (NTU)

Aikman, Rob  (Notts Uni)

Barnes, Joe  (Worksop College)

Kellaway, Hugo (Notts Uni)

Spendlove, Will (Notts Uni)

Collingwood, Tommy (NTU)

Lamb, Dan (NTU)

Harris, George   (West Bridgford RFC)

Morley, Jonny  (Belper RFC)

Purcell, Xander (West Bridgford RFC)

Perkins, Olly  (Notts Uni)

Ellison, Will  (Newark RFC)

Butcher, Jordan (Spalding RFC)

Hicklin, Jake (West Bridgford RFC)

Pomfret, George (Lincoln RFC)

Watt, Logan  (Newark RFC)

Beech, Josh (Melbourne RFC)

Helliwell, Will (Melton Mowbray RFC)

Heale, James  (Sutton Bonnington Uni)

Dowdy, Tom (Lincoln RFC)


It was a strong start from NLD, as the visitors dominated the early exchanges interspersed with a couple of penalties for both sides that were duly converted for a score of 3 – 3.

The first try of the match was scored following excellent vision from stand-off Barnes who executed a cross field kick that was chased, caught and offloaded by Taylor to Aikman. From the restart NLD maintained possession and pressure, and it wasn’t long before a second try was scored as NLD moved the ball through several phases before sweeping it back across the the face of the pitch where the scoring roles were reversed – this time seeing Taylor finish the movement. 3 – 15 (converted by Kellaway).

As NLD began to grow in confidence so did their play. Xander Purcell was the next on the scoresheet as the lively backrow held his space wide and collected a miss pass to dot down in the corner.

10 minutes later is was Barnes who spotted space in behind the opposition line, a chip kick and collect saw him burst through the line for a fine individual effort, converted by Kellaway. 3 – 27

With the last play of the first half NLD again executed well as they kept up pressure in the North Midlands 22. This time it was the turn of the magnificent Bloomfield who collected a midfield pass and provided the spectators with a real treat as he showed the ball out wide before dummying back inside and under the posts.

Half Time: 3 – 34

NLD were expecting a backlash post half time, following a dominant display. Sure enough the second half belonged to North Midlands as they applied their own pressure and scored an early try taking the score to 10 – 34.

NLD utilised their bench and a response was soon observed as a Penalty Try was awarded following excellent work by the forwards. As opposed to kicking on NLD sat back and allowed the North Midland stock dominate the middle part of the second half and had no response to three quick tries scored through some powerful play and narrowing the scoreline to 25 – 41.

With the final ten minutes to play further changes were made and NLD upped the tempo of the game. This time the final score belonged to them as an excellent set piece saw the ball brought through a defensive gap for Barnes to cut back and score wide right – converting his own try and leaving the final score at 25 – 48.

This was a proud day for NLD. Having been promoted from Division B into the A league and facing renowned tough opponents, they played with real confidence and freedom and secured top spot in their group. They were true to themselves and their commitment, hunger and desire to do well was obvious for all to see.

Well done to all those involved.

Final NLD U16s Match of the season

February 28th, 2019 by

Sunday 24th Feb played at Leicester Forest RFC – Match report by Adrian Taylor

What a great day for our final match of the season, down the M1 in fog, which cleared to give clear blue skies.

Playing on Leicester Forest’s all-weather pitch, the two teams produced probably the match of the season. At no point in the game were they separated by more than one score, in a game that ebbed and flowed each way.

Leics scored first from a well taken line out 5m out driving over the line. 7-0

Ethan Heath-Drury soon equalised gathering a ball chipped through in attack. 7-7

A good line out platform again proved key for Leics who launched their backs from it, with their winger scoring in the corner. 12-7

NLD then broke in open play with backs and forwards combining to set up a ruck near the Leics try line and the NLD 9, Harry Clough sniped off the ruck to score 12-14

NLD were unlucky not score when the pack drove towards the Leics line and touch down but the Assistant referee spotted a forward pass in the build up.

Leics again used their line out to good effect and, peeling off the back of a well set up maul, they scored once more. 17-14

Just before half-time Leics gave away a penalty almost in front of their posts and Tom Wigglesworth dually slotted in over to equalise. 17-17 at the Half.

The second half saw the NLD pack begin to dominate in the scrum and the Leics 9 going backwards managed to dig the ball out to again launch their backs who scored 24-17

Finally NLD got their line out drive fully working and from a 5m lineout following a high tackle that saw Tom Davies halted just short of scoring himself, Liam Cooling peeled over to score 24-24

With less than 10 mins to go, Leics kicked ahead into space, but Jack Taylor at full-back ran round to gather the ball, rather than finding the safety of touch he set off beating the Leics winger, before grubber kicking ahead, Harry Clough just got a toe on the ball before Leics could gather it and with Jack tackled off the ball it was left to Tom Davies to score a well deserved try next to the posts. 24-31.

With the clock running down Leics attacked off another line out and tried to gruuber kick through the NLD back line, but the ball richocheted off an NLD leg and just as they thought another chase was on to score, the Ref blew for a knock on in midfield by NLD.

Leics kept up the pressure and from their first scrappy lineout of the game managed to scrabble the ball first up the blind side before going open, and an excellent pass out of back of a hand saw the Leics winger in space. With only one man to beat he scored under the posts and Leics converted the try 31-31.

Bringing a great season to a close we wish the players all the best in the future and thank you to the parents for getting them to training and matches.

U17 Squad Announcements

February 28th, 2019 by

The second trial/training evening for this year’s U16s & U17s took place last night at Newark and, following the session, the Coaching & Management Team met to discuss the first reduction in numbers prior to the next get together.

As Squad Manager Lee Slack explained to the players and parents present, the programme is designed to operate with a squad of around 35 players in order to ensure those players with the right potential are offered sufficient game time to achieve a grading in the Midlands games next season.

It is always an agonising discussion following these sessions, however, it is not possible to take everyone forward.

Everyone who has participated in the programme so far should feel rightly proud of their achievement.

The programme will now move ahead with a further two training/trials sessions together with two warm up games. The dates for these events will be:

Monday 18 March – Preparation training/trials session for Eastern Counties game

Venue: Newark RFC

Time: 18:00 registration for 18:30 start


Sunday 24 March – NLD U17s v Eastern Counties U17s

Venue: Newark RFC

Kick-off: 14:30


Monday 15 April – Preparation training/trials session for Leicestershire game

Venue: Newark RFC

Time: 18:00 registration for 18:30 start


Wednesday 24 April – NLD U17s v Leicestershire U17s

Venue: Newark RFC

Kick-off: 19:30


Following each session, there will be an announcement on this web site as the squad is further reduced towards the final number.

From this point, the programme intensifies and the competition within the squad is increased. Players will be expected to demonstrate enhanced levels of skills and decision making as the Coaches look to identify those players who will represent NLD in the Midlands campaign next season.

The following players are invited to the forthcoming session on Monday 18 March 2019:
















































As usual, if any player is unable to make a session, please advise Lee Slack as soon as possible ([email protected])


Lee Slack

Important News to ALL Level 9 & Level 10 Clubs

February 27th, 2019 by

All Level 9 & Level 10 clubs are asked to read and action this letter from the Midlands Division Organising Committee.

Responses need to be emailed to [email protected] by 31st March 2019. Please copy in Dave Miller on [email protected] when responding.

NLD U20s to travel to Bournville on Sunday 24th February

February 22nd, 2019 by

NLD u20s hit the road this Sunday travelling to Bournville RFC for their match against what will be a tough North Midlands side.

Having beaten East Midlands in Round 1 NLD have taken great confidence in their performance following their promotion last season.

Over ten clubs within NLD have been represented thus far as well as the University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, Univeristy of Derby. All players have been a credit to themselves and their clubs / institutes.

The squad for this upcoming fixture is:

Robert Aikman – Nottingham University

Joe Barnes – Long Eaton RFC/Nottingham Academy

Josh Beech – Melbourne RFC

Josh Bloomfield – Nottingham Trent University

Jordan Butcher – Spalding RFC

Tommie Collingwood – Nottingham Trent University

Jonah Dickie – Sutton Bonnington RFC

Will Ellison – Newark RFC

George Harris – West Bridgford RFC

James Heale – Sutton Bonnington RFC

Will Helliwell – Melton Mowbray RFC

Jake Hicklin – West Bridgford RFC

Hugo Kellaway – Nottingham University

Dan Lamb – Nottingham Trent University

Jonny Morley – Belper RFC

Ollie Perkins – Nottingham University

James Peachey – Nottingham Trent University

Xander Purcell – West Bridgford RFC

Will Spendlove – Nottingham University

Will Taylor – Paviors RFC

Finlay Tweedie – Newark RFC

Logan Watt – Newark RFC

Travelling Reserves are:

Thomas Dowdie – Lincoln RFC

Kristian Powell – Derby RFC


Head Coach, Matt Derbyshire said “ We have a very competitive squad with all players pushing hard for inclusion in the matchday 24. Players want to represent their county and are doing so with fantastic commitment and efforts. We have provided opportunities to over 35 players in the match day squads so far and more will follow. A number of players have put their hands up for Midlands consideration and selection. It’s a squad effort and what has pleased me the most is the attitude of all players supporting one another and driving their standards higher each week.”

All support will be warmly welcomed for the game with a 2:30pm KO.

NLD U20s v East Midlands U20s

February 15th, 2019 by

NLD U20s started the 2019 campaign with a dazzling performance against a strong East Midlands U20s. The blues secured an impressive 39-12 victory scoring a total of seven tries.

Derby RFC hosted the match and conditions were good with clear bright skies and a rather placid wing.

The squad comprised of:

Dan Lamb – Nottingham Trent University

Jordan Butcher – Spalding RFC

Jake Hicklin – West Bridgford RFC

James Bennett – Nottingham Corsairs RFC

John Cooke-Rogers – Melbourne RFC

George Harris – West Bridgford RFC

Jonny Morley – Belper RFC

George Pomfret – Lincoln RFC

Natty Brisco – West Bridgford RFC

Olly Overman – Derby RFC

Xander Purcell – West Bridgford RFC

Josh Sarsfield – Scunthorpe RFC

Jamie Murray – Nottingham Trent University

Finlay Tweedie – Newark RFC

Hugo Kellaway – Nottingham University

Iago Davies – West Bridgford RFC

Joe Barnes – Long Eaton RFC / Nottingham Academy

Harry Clempson – Nottingham Trent University

Josh Bloomfield – Nottingham Trent University

Andrew Brown – West Bridgford RFC

Robert Aikman – Nottingham University

Will Taylor – Paviors RFC

Logan Watt – Newark RFC

Joshua Beech – Melbourne RFC


The first twenty minutes were played with real ferocity and tempo with an early score for Iago Davis and two for Will Taylor. NLD’s ball retention was impressive as they recycled the ball with purpose and probed the opposition’s defence time and again. NLD dominated the game in the early stages as they controlled the key facets including scrum, lineout and backplay.

The second twenty saw a shift in momentum as East Midlands used their burly backrow runners to good effect. NLD coped well with these threats until a class line was run by their backrow who had power and pace to break through the home side’s defensive line to score. They soon had a second score with a quick pick and go from a couple of metres out. Before the first half was up NLD had scored a fourth try as the pace of the backline saw the ball spread wide left for a beautiful offload out of the tackle which Bloomfield raced onto to score.

Despite dominating the first period, NLD were challenged with playing with more composure and structure in the second half, as identified by the players leadership group. Ensuring the full squad was used, several interchanges had already been made in the first period, and more were to follow.

The second half started as the first had ended, with great energy and tempo from the home side. East Midlands were tiring and NLD continued to press hard with the ball in hand. Three more tries followed as Aikman, Brisco and Brown breached East Midlands’ defence to round off a fabulous performance with a fantastic result.

Each player represented the three counties with real pride and passion. A true testament to the great nature of the sport. Well done to all involved.

Disciplinary Committee update – Important notice for all clubs

February 13th, 2019 by

The new NLD Disciplinary Committee is now operational and we request that you familiarise yourselves with the updated processes involved, particularly the requirements for prompt reporting of red card and match official abuse incidents and the timely completion of club disciplinary hearings.

Please also take note of the new email addresses to be used for communication concerning disciplinary matters.

Matthew O’Grady Chair of Discipline [email protected]
Andrew Statham CB Discipline Secretary [email protected]
Chris Johnson CB Youth Discipline Secretary [email protected]

Full details can be found on the NLD website at

NLD Women’s Trials Postponed

February 12th, 2019 by

Unfortunately, due to poor pitch conditions, the NLD Women’s Trials, which were due to take place at Newark RFC tonight, have been postponed.

Date and venue of the rescheduled trials are to be confirmed.

If you have any questions regarding this, please get in touch with the NLD Women & Girls’ Chairman, Neil Clack or the NLD Women’s Manager, Sarah Driver.

NLD U16s v Eastern Counties

February 7th, 2019 by

.NLD U16s played, once again, on the new all-weather pitch at Derby RFC

After the weather we have had in the run up to Sunday, arriving in sunshine set up match day, but the clouds came over by kick off.  Having won the toss, the NLD skipper choose to make them play into the sun. Pity the sun decided to hide.

After the last game’s slow start, NLD set out to make amends. Running hard at EC’s defence they made the most of early possession to force a penalty, which Tom Wigglesworth stepped up and turned into three points. 3-0

From the restart, NLD kept the ball well and, when EC had the ball, pressured their line forcing a penalty from not releasing in the tackle.  From the resulting line out on the EC 22-yard line, a clean catch and drive saw the NLD pack rumble all the way to the try line with Ben Hart peeling off to score the first try. 8-0

Straight from the KO Liam Cooling ran straight back at EC offloading to his fellow prop Josh White. The pair looked more like centres than forwards and with the ball being fed quickly wide, Tom Davies scored; this time the conversion was good. 15-0

EC came back at NLD and with some good attacking play looked like forcing their way to our try line, but a great steal at the tackle saw NLD counter-attack and Jack Taylor strode away to score the third converted try. 22-0

The final try of the half came from yet another break by a prop feeding the ball to Tom Wigglesworth who dutifully touched down under the posts and converted his own try. 29-0 at the break.

Making several changes at half-time left us wondering if we had tinkered too much, but the bench proved just as worthy of game time as the starters.

Stealing the ball once more at the breakdown saw a kick ahead chased and gathered by Harry Clough who scored a converted try. 36-0

EC tried attacking from their own half but struggled to break out and a forced pass led to Ben Hart gathering a loose ball, which fed to Cormac Calnan saw him score a converted try 43-0

The next try came from a scrum in midfield which saw a great interchange and straight running by the centre pairing resulting in Ethan Heath-Drury scoring a converted try bringing up the 50 – 0  

Not to be outdone by the backs Jake Dunn broke through the EC defence and set up a thoroughly deserved try for Liam Cooling. 57 – 0

With the clock ticking down NLD then conceded a series of penalties which lifted EC, they drove to the NLD line and from a five metre scrum their No 8 pealed blind and dragged three NLD players over the line for a much deserved consolation try.

Final score NLD 57 – EC 5


“Good performance yesterday and an enjoyable game for the spectators too.” Lee Slack NLD U18s Manager


Big thank you to Derby RFC once again for their hospitality and to NLD for providing the three officials.

Next and final fixture is away against Leicestershire and looks like being a late kick off 3.30pm at Leicester Forest RFC on their all-weather pitch.

NLD U17s Squad announcement

February 5th, 2019 by

The NLD U17s Trials were held on Sunday at Derby RFC with about 40 players from around the Three Counties taking part.

Following the session, the Coaching & Management Team met to discuss a rationalisation of the Squad, which has inevitably resulted in a reduction in numbers, especially in those positions where there are multiple duplications.

The ability of the players on show on Sunday is testament to the depth of quality within the CB and any players who have been left out at this stage should feel proud of having been nominated as one of the best players within the Three Counties in their position.

Moving forward, a number of players in the current NLD U16s Squad, who will be identified by the U16s Coaching Team as being capable of stepping up, will be invited to join the Provisional U17s Squad along with those returning U17s players from the last campaign.

Further training sessions have been arranged with a view to refining the final numbers within the Squad to a more manageable level prior to reconvening for the warm up games in April and the Midlands U18s campaign next season.

Those sessions will take place on:

Monday 18 February & Monday 25 February

Venue: Newark RFC

Time: 18:00 for Registration

Duration: 18:30 – 20:00

These sessions will be skills based and NON-CONTACT.

Evidence shows that many of the players involved at Representative level are already playing an increased amount of rugby at school and club.

Consequently, the NLD programme acknowledges the heightened physicality such players undertake and it is designed to develop and enhance higher level skills and decision-making rather than merely reinforcing the physical aspects of the game.


Provisional U17s Squad



Charklie BEECHAM














Aneirin LEWIS

Oliver LOWE












William YATES

Braedon YOUNGS




Returning U17s from this season



Taran ELMS



It’s early 2019, and the journey starts here. Who knows which players might shine brightly enough over the coming months to wear the blue shirt as a Midlands player or even the coveted White shirt of England!

Bring it on!

Lee Slack