News Archive

Former England Performance Coach at Long Eaton RFC

January 30th, 2019 by

Former England Performance Coach, Russell Earnshaw, will be bringing The Magic Academy to Long Eaton RFC on 8th March.

Click here for full details and to book tickets for the event.



NLD U16s v Staffordshire U16s

January 23rd, 2019 by

Match report by Adrian Taylor

Sunday 20th January 2019

The U16’s first proper fixture saw them take on Staffordshire at Derby RFC on the new all-weather pitch.  Luckily the drizzle in the air on arrival soon stopped and the match was played in still, dry, over-cast conditions.

NLD started brightly, recycling quick ball for the backs, but Staffs took control for most of the first half keeping NLD pinned in their own 22. Then, at about 25 minutes in, Roman Priestley-Nangle broke out of our half with a massy run taking him to within yards of the Staffs line. A great tackle prevented him scoring, but quick ball resulted in a George Park taking the ball in space to open the scoring.  The conversion went over and against the run of play NLD led 7-0.

Soon after, the backs, with confidence growing put a flowing move together with Ethan Heath-Drury cutting back inside to score, not converted.  Half-time saw NLD leading 12-0, which in no way reflected the amount of possession Staffs had.


Following a good team chat at half time the second half saw more direct running from NLD putting pressure on the Staffs defence and this resulted in a loose kick being taken by our winger who ran it straight back, and with quick ball being sent wide to the other wing, Daniel Stokes scored an unconverted try.

With heads up, NLD kept up the pressure, and with the penalty count rising for Staffs, a penalty kicked perfectly into the corner led to a clean lineout drive being set up but Staffs, to their credit, stopped the drive perfectly, but NLD rolled off and fed quick ball to our 10 who chipped through for Cormac Calnan to touch down almost under the posts, making an easy conversion.

Not to be out done, Staffs came back at NLD well and a great passing move saw them score their first converted try.

Growing in confidence, Staffs started to run the ball, but a missed pass saw Josh Clarke gather the loose ball and run through to score a converted try under the posts.

With time running out NLD keep up the pressure and scored the final try of the match in the corner with Jack Hinks picking up from the base of a 5 metre scrum and again quick ball saw Ben Hart dive over to score.


Final score NLD 36 Staffs 7

Big thank you to our hosts Derby RFC, and the Referee and his assistants from NLDRFURS.

Next fixture is on Sunday 3rd February at Derby RFC; 2pm KO against Eastern Counties, on the new all-weather pitch.



New Chair of NLD Disciplinary Committee

January 21st, 2019 by

Ahead of the NLD Disciplinary training day on 27th January 2019, NLD RFU are delighted to announce the appointment of Matt O’Grady as Chair of NLD Disciplinary Committee.  Matt offers a significant amount of experience in ensuring fair and equitable processing of cases; his 5 years of experience refereeing at elite level; experience advising sports people on approach to pleading in discipline cases and his professional experience as a barrister.  We would like to welcome Matt to the team and wish him every success in his new role.  We have no doubt that he will be a very positive influence on Discipline in the CB.

***AMENDED*** NLD U17s Trials

January 21st, 2019 by

The NLD U17 Development Programme will run during February, March and April of 2019 and the nomination process for the Trial is outlined below:

As the NLD U16’s programme is already underway, there will NOT be a separate U16 trial. Players from that squad will be considered for inclusion in final trials following discussion with the U16’s Head Coach.

Trials for the U17 players will take place in the afternoon of Sunday 3rd February.

Venue: Derby RFC (AGP facility)

Time: 16:00 – 18:00 

To ensure that we receive only your best players, each club and school is allowed to nominate a maximum of three players only for the U17’s Trials. It is important that the players nominated are of a standard, in terms of skills set, physicality, motivation and game management, sufficient to challenge for a Midlands Counties Trial in January 2020.

If any teachers/coaches are uncertain as to what level of performance is expected from players nominated, they should contact the Head Coach, Stuart Morley on 07970 973708 or at [email protected] .

It should be remembered that nominating players who are not ready to play at this elevated level can have an adverse effect on self-esteem and considerable thought should be given as to how this may affect individual players.

If you believe you have more than three players who are genuinely capable of playing at and beyond NLD level it is mandatory for you to contact the Head Coach, Stuart Morley, to discuss possible additional nominations.

Nominations exceeding the limit of three without the approval of the NLD Head Coach will be rejected, as will nominations made by parents on behalf of their own child – nominations will only be accepted through the approved route of clubs and schools.

Those responsible for nominating players should also give consideration as to whether any individual concerned will be prepared to commit the necessary time to complete the process. The success of the Midlands Campaign relies upon the quality of players available for selection for the NLD Squad. Recent years have seen a reduction in nominations from some quarters and it is hoped that teachers, in particular, will value the opportunity for their better players to have a chance to represent at this elevated level.

For clarity, it should be pointed out that the U18s campaign for season 2019-2020 (which these trial pertain to) takes place within the Age Grade Structure window so as NOT to conflict with key School and Club competitions. 

Nominations can be made by clicking here

Please note that only Head Coaches & Teachers are eligible to nominate players.

For information, eligible players are those born on or after 1st September 2001, but not later than 31st August 2002, i.e. those who are currently playing U17 rugby at school or club.

Any player who has played for NLD U18s this season and is eligible to play again next year (i.e. who is currently U17) does not need to be nominated as he has an automatic invitation in to the provisional U17 Group squad.  Once the programme reaches the trial match stage, the existing squad members will compete on a level footing with the new intake.

The closing date for the nominations is Wednesday 30th January 2019. Nominations received after this date will not be processed. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Kind regards,

Lee Slack – Manager NLD U18’s Squad

NLD U20s v Staffordshire

January 17th, 2019 by

On a dry sunny day in Derbyshire, NLD U20s took on local neighbours Staffordshire in a pre-tournament match ahead of the forthcoming Jason Leonard cup matches.

Both sides were eager to impress, bustling with talent and eagerness.


The first forty minutes were a highly competitive stalemate as neither side could break the deadlock as defence won the first half. Plenty of changes were being made as the coaches of the two counties look to assess the quality and depth to their squads.

In the second forty it was Staffordshire who established an early lead as they used their powerful centre partnership to split the NLD defence and score left of posts for a converted try.

NLD soon began to gain ascendency. Having defended resolutely it was now the three counties opportunity to attack, and quick thinking by the backline saw the ball moved wide left for Josh Beech to run a well timed inside line, scything through the Staffordshire defence and evading the covering back three with his sheer pace to dot the ball down centrally for a well converted try.

NLD soon showed their fitness as they began to stretch the Staffordshire defence on more frequent occasions, working well as a team and executing in their simple game plan.

It was Fin Tweedy who soon secured a secured try for the blues, as the scrum half benefited from an excellent maul set-up by the forward pack who outmuscled the opposition. Tweedy spotting a defensive mismatch darted into space to touch down. 12 –  7

The home side were buoyed by a confident display and it was the turn of No.8 Josh Sarsfield whose quick thinking saw an opportunity present itself. The speedy back row, took a quick tap penalty and fended the nearest defend before getting in behind the broken defensive line. Despite the best attempts of the covering Staffordshire players no-one could capture the nifty back-row.

To cap off a fine display, centre Rob Aikman used typical physicality and a fine inside running line to hammer the ball home right of the posts and round off the scoring for the day with Jamie Rudd converting.


Final Score 24 – 7



Matt Derbyshire (NLD U20s head coach) stated; “Considering we have a squad of newly nominated players that have only trained together once thus far, the display on show was a credit to each and every player. The guys looked like they enjoyed themselves out there and that is No.1 for us as coaches.

“We have a very talented squad and that is a true testament to the strength of coaching we have across NLD  and the three counties in both clubs, colleges and universities.

“We want to give the best account of ourselves that we can this year. It will be challenging having been promoted following last years success, but we are excited by that challenge.”


NLD Players make the Midlands Development Squad

January 17th, 2019 by

The final Super Sunday games were held at Loughborough University on the AGP last weekend, with NLD completing a clean sweep by beating East Midlands 29-26 in a closely contested match.

Following these last three games, the Midlands Selectors met to decide on which players would constitute the the initial 40 man squad for the Midlands Development Days on 27 January and 03 February at Leicester Grammar School.

Over the course of the Midlands campaign almost 200 of the best U18 players in the region have competed to wear the famous Blue Midlands kit and it is a significant achievement for the players to make it to the final 40.

Those NLD players who were successful in reaching the next stage are:

James Brogden

Elliott Caunt

Oliver Chessum

Will Harding-Terry

Stan Hoare

Harry Finney

Jacob Pearson

Will Seage

Caius Tweed


Congratulations go to these 9 players, who will now compete to be included in the final 23 man Squad to play in the Divisional games towards the end of February.

Equally, congratulations must also go to every member of the NLD Squad who has participated in the campaign. Without the support of those other team members, none of the successful 9 would have had the platform to be able to shine individually. The camaraderie and togetherness of this season’s Squad has greatly impressed the Coaching and Management Team and the achievement of providing almost a quarter of the Midlands Development Squad is testament to the hard work put in collectively by the players since the start of the campaign.

We wish all those players who were selected every success and look forward to their continued progress within the Midland’s set up.

New Chair of NLD County Schools Union

January 17th, 2019 by

NLD are pleased to announce the appointment of James Hamilton from Nottingham High School as Chair of NLD County Schools Union.  James brings with him a wealth of experience which we believe will be of great value within school rugby within NLD.  He will be supported by Chris Whitworth from Derby Grammar School, Dave Laventure from Stamford and Nick Cairns from West Bridgford.  We wish the team every success in taking the County Schools Union forward in partnership with NLD and very much look forward to working with them.

Leicestershire U16s v NLD U16s

January 15th, 2019 by

This game on Sunday 6th January 2019, formed part of the Super Sunday fixture held at Loughborough University.  Being the first fixture the plan was to give all the squad an opportunity to play at least a third.

Playing on the all-weather pitch in near perfect conditions, the sun even made an appearance; it gave both sides every chance to run the ball.

Leicester Manager, Stuart Davies summed up the day nicely.

“It was an enjoyable day yesterday and I thought all went well.  We had some good rugby and you [NLD] clearly have some talented players”


The scores were:

Game 1: 3 tries 1 conversion to 2 tries, two conversions.  So a 17-14 score.

Game 2: 1 try.  No other score so 5 – 0.

Game 3: 5 tries, 4 conversions to 2 tries, 1 converted, making a 33-12 score.

The total would therefore be 55-26 to Leics.


Next fixture is on Sunday 20th January at Derby RFC 2pm KO against Staffordshire, on the new all-weather pitch .

2019 NLD Colts Festival

January 15th, 2019 by

On Sunday 6th January 2019, seven teams competed in the NLD Colts Festival.


This year the newly formed NLD RFU Youth Council took charge of organising and running the tournament which was kindly hosted at Kesteven RFC, with players visiting from Newark, Lincoln, Sleaford, Mellish, Oundle and Spalding.


The teams competed in a round robin tournament which was officiated by a team of referees from the NLD Referee Society. The team included three Young Match Officials demonstrating their fitness and management skills, which contributed to a fantastic day. Many thanks to Owen Baines, Sam Yates, Aidan Baker-Johal and David Hurst for their help.


Throughout the day the players demonstrated all the core values of rugby, often lending players to other teams. All players competed at an impressive standard and are a credit to the NLD RFU.


The Youth Council would like to thank all the volunteers at Kesteven for their help on the day, and it hopes to host future events across the region. They are keen to here from clubs with new ideas and schemes, and if you want to reach out please contact [email protected]

NLD U20s 2019 Campaign

January 11th, 2019 by

NLD Under 20s campaign 2019 kicks off with a friendly against Staffordshire on Sunday 13th January, at Derby RFC. Kick off 2.15pm

Around 30 players from 12 clubs and universities will take part in a training game against Staffordshire.

This is the second gathering for this season’s players looking to enhance their rugby with potential representative honours going forward.

This season the squad has been promoted to Division 1 in the Jason Leonard Under 20 County Championship, having reached the final of Division 2 last season. This was the best result the age group has had for many years.

Head coach Matt Derbyshire said; “I am really excited about this campaign and, looking at the quality we have, I’m hoping for some strong results. We welcome as much support as possible to come and watch some future stars playing. Indeed, NLD have had players feature in the full England counties Under 20 squad for each of the last 5 seasons.”

The competitions league matches coming up are on Sunday 3rd February at home against East Midlands and Sunday 24th February away against North Midlands. Venues are still to be confirmed.