The 2018 NLD Women’s programme was headed up by Dan Edson with coaches Carl Whitley, Gareth Pilkington and Sam Bignall with the NLD Women playing in the Gill Burns RFU Shield competition travelling to Leicestershire & Cheshire and hosting Staffordshire at Derby RFC on the new AGP pitch.
2018 was a bit of a mixed bag. Along with the rest of the country we had to contend with the “Beast from the East”, (messing up this season’s trial), but the good news was a high proportion of returning players to the county programme and some very talented new players who came through the NLD Girls U18’s. Although losing both away matches the Women developed as a team producing ever stronger performances as the programme progressed. Leicestershire were a tough opening match which could have gone either way at half time. The second match saw a travelling NLD squad battle it out against a full Cheshire squad in summer temperatures. The Women finished their programme with a win against Staffordshire, which was always going to be hotly contested, no pun intended; it was 23 degrees though!
NLD Head of Women & Girls Rugby Neil Clack commented; ‘Dan, Carl, Gareth and Sam have again committed their own time into making the CB programme as challenging and rewarding for players as possible; so a big thank you them. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the physios, Steph and Jenny, who have tended to players throughout the programme and to Caitt, who as squad manager, has put in a lot of work behind the scenes to make the programme go as smoothly as possible. It goes without saying that we would not have a programme at all without players who are proud to put on the Blue and White shirt and represent their 3 counties. To all of you who have committed to the this seasons programme, a very big thank you.
With the new season soon upon us we are looking at ways to make the County programme more challenging and rewarding for players and coaches alike. There are several meetings that take place throughout the season which are intended to be your forum to offer your suggestions so please get involved. If you want to challenge yourself and take an active part in the County programme please come along to trial sessions or look out for coaching vacancies on the NLD website. You will always be made welcome and the more support we get the better we play.’
NLD RFU & Nottingham Academy had four players representing England Counties Under 20 on the recent Tour to Georgia.
Jacob Wright, Dec Neary, Henry Clement and Connor Field all featured in the Two Test series, Connor scoring a try in the first test which were both won in exciting last minutes dramas.
The First Test at Avchavcha Arena Stadium was a physical test against a huge Georgian pack, billed as a final warm up for the Georgian Professional team before they go to the World U20 Championships in France. In an exciting and outstanding performance from the England boys who had been together for just three days, a last-minute score from Tom Carleton earned them a 24 – 17 Victory. In the Second at Rustavi Stadium Test, six days later, if the first test was exciting, then this was surpassed. The Georgians fully loaded their team with revenge on their minds. An intensely physical encounter, a last play penalty kick from Mitch Pinkus with a 40-meter touchline conversion to secure the victory 24 – 22.
Chris Brookes, England Counties U20 Manager was over the moon with the Tour. “The Tours for the aspirational pathway are not just about the Test Matches, it’s also an ambassadorial tour for the players coaches and management to promote the RFU values and standards. Without doubt this Tour as both successful on an off the pitch. All the players including the local boys did the red rose proud. Obviously, I am in neutral position with England, but naturally I am always pleased to see my own CB and Division do well. My first opportunity of managing the aspirational route was with NLD U18 and following two promotions, its real honour to be Manager of the England Under 20’s.” he added, “the support of the Clubs, Coaches and CB for the aspirational pathway is paramount to its success. We are lucky that with the growth of the profile of the Counties program that we are seeing more and more clubs across the country support their players in the pathway. Long may this continue, and, fingers crossed, I look forward to seeing more local lads on Tour next season, I’m not biased though!”
(Players) – Left to right Dec Neary – NLD U20’s Long Eaton and Nottingham Academy. Henry Clement – Nottingham Academy and Nottingham Trent University. Connor Field – Nottingham Academy and University of Nottingham. Jacob Wright – NLD U20’s, Long Eaton, Nottingham Academy and Leeds Beckett University. (Management) Chris Brookes – Team Manager, Paul Arnold – Coach, formerly of Nottingham Rugby, after the second test victory in Georgia.
The NLD U20 squad to line up against Lancashire in the Jason Leonard RFU U20 County Championship Final has been announced.
After a nail biting last grasp victory against Devon in the Semi Final the squad will make the considerably shorter journey to Moseley RFC on Sunday 6th May 2018 to face their northern rivals, kick off 2pm.
NLD U20 Head Coach Nic Corrigan commented ‘This campaign has been enjoyable and we set out to create a learning opportunity for the players who have taken part. I am indebted to Graeme, John, Matt, Tim & Steph for their work on the program this season. It hasn’t been straight forward managing many areas outside of the sessions but nevertheless to be on the eve of national final is a highlight in all of our rugby journey’s irrespective of route. The focus has been these players developing and learning to challenge themselves. They have appointed their own leadership group and are at the point where they run the game plan and are mentoring each other in smaller groups to add it together as a unit which they have forged.
I am a proud Cestrian (someone from Cheshire) to play against such a distinguished county as Lancashire in this competition is a challenge not many get the chance to take them on. Lancashire are a fantastic CB with names in the coaching game such as Mark Nelson, Brian Ashton MBE, Paul Arnold and Warren Spragg to name a few over the years who have dominated both the senior competition and U20s competition. I wish them and the NLD team the very best for the day but approach this from a point of view that players involved have an opportunity to demonstrate the value of knock out rugby in a highly structured and busy season.’
|1||Henry Trimmer||Nottingham Trent University|
|2||Jack Weedon||Long Eaton RFC|
|3||Kane Linklater||Scunthorpe RFC|
|4||Charlie Barker||Derby RFC|
|5||Toby Hutchinson||Nottingham Academy|
|6||Natty Brisco||West Bridgford RFC|
|7||Luke Brown||West Bridgford RFC|
|8||Jacob Wright||Long Eaton RFC|
|9||Jamie Murray||Nottingham Trent University|
|10||Harrison Wells||Nottingham Trent University|
|11||Josh Arimoro||Nottingham University|
|12||Josh Bloomfield||Nottingham Trent University|
|13||James Peachey||Nottingham Trent University|
|14||Aaron Walker||Long Eaton RFC|
|15||Dan Glasse||Nottingham Academy|
|16||Ben Jesson||Nottingham University|
|17||Tommie Collingwood||Nottingham Trent University|
|18||Dec Neary||Long Eaton RFC|
|19||Joe Mcmenimin||Long Eaton RFC|
|20||Will Harding Terry||Newark RFC|
|21||Oscar Malik||West Bridgford RFC|
|22||Adam Castle||Long Eaton RFC|
Great news for the NLD under 20 squad. Following their semi final win over Devon a couple of weeks ago and in advance of the final of the Jason Leonard under 20 county championship division 2 this Sunday, the following players have been selected for the midlands for divisional weekend on the 12th May.
The next honour potentially available to these players is a cap for England counties under 20 and a trip to Georgia involving two tests after the divisional trials.
The players are (alphabetical order)
Luke Brown – West Bridgford
Kane Linklater – Scunthorpe
Dec Neary – Long Eaton
Tom Tucker – Long Eaton
Jack Weedon – Long Eaton
Jacob Wright – Long Eaton
Dan Glasse – Nottingham Academy
Toby Hutchison – Nottingham Academy
Henry Trimmer – Nottingham Trent University
Huge congratulations to all of the players!
NLD have 8 players in the full Midlands squad of 30 to play Nottingham Academy in a trial match at Long Eaton RFC on Sunday 29th April. All are welcome to come and watch.
This follows on from NLD’s under 20 last gasp victory against Devon to reach the final of the county championship. This is to be played at Moseley RFC on Sunday 6th May – kick off at 2.00pm. Put that date in your diary and come and support your CB’s up and coming young stars on their quest to win the county championship final!
Dan Glasse – Academy
Henry Trimmer – NTU
Jack Weedon – Long Eaton
Kane Linklater – Scunthorpe
Dec Neary – Long Eaton
Toby Hutchinson – Academy
Tom Tucker – Long Eaton
Jacob Wright (reserve) – Long Eaton
The NLD U20 Squad made the long trip to Devon on Sunday (15th April) worthwhile as they secured a dramatic, last moment win in the Semi Final of the Jason Leonard RFU U20 Division 2 County Championship.
After a three tough matches in The Jason Leonard under 20 county championship, the NLD squad headed all the way down to Ivybridge RFC. This was always going to be a tough ask for the NLD squad (mainly players who are playing level 7 and below) against Devon (whose squad featured no less than 9 players who currently play level 5 rugby).
The pitch had been suitably softened up by the amazing wet Devon weather so a free flowing game it wasn’t.
Early tries from both sides in the first half left the half time score 14-12 to NLD who succeeded with both conversions. The NLD back row of Brisco and Brown were dominant and it was Brown and Tucker who scored both tries first half.
Both sides had to work hard on defence and NLD saved the use of our subs by keeping some back for a final flurry which worked. The half time team talk was led by Trimmer who rallied his team and the squad responded, coming out after the break hard and fast although Devon did likewise. 19-19 with 45 minutes gone.
At 49 minutes NLD took the lead with Kane Linklater of Scunthorpe crashing over in the corner. This was closely followed by a try from the Devon 12 – who had been hard to stop all game (26-24 Devon). Aaron Walker of NLD then scampered in for a try on the 69th minute to make it 29-26 NLD. Then – on the 79th minutes the NLD hearts sunk when Devon went over for a converted try (33-29 to Devon.
Was that the game over? Not for the NLD Squad. They managed to win the ball from the restart and after last play was called at 80 minutes and two penalties awarded to NLD from which they opted for scrums, in the 83rd minute NLD’s skipper Henry Trimmer crashed over for the winning try under the posts, converted by Harrison Wells.
In a pulsating fixture that really did go down to the wire huge credit to the entire squad who were a credit to themselves, their clubs and NLD with their demeanor on and off the pitch.
The squad now face Lancashire RFU in the final on Sunday 6th May at Moseley RFC, kick off 2pm.
Henry Trimmer Nottingham Trent Uni
Jack Weedon Long Eaton/Notts Academy
Kane Linklater Scunthorpe
Jacob Wright Long Eaton
Joe Mcmenamin Long Eaton
Natty Brisco West Bridgford
Luke Brown West Bridgford
Tom Tucker Long Eaton
Jamie Murray Nottingham Uni
Harrison Wells Nottingham Trent University
Josh Arimoro Nottingham Uni
Josh Bloomfield Nottingham Trent University
James Peachey Nottingham Trent University
Jake Keeton Lincoln RFC
Aaron Walker Long Eaton
Ben Jesson Nottingham University
Chris Rudkin Melbourne RFC
Dec Neary Long Eaton
Tommie Collingwood Nottingham Trent University
Jonnie Doyle Derby RFC
Will Harding-Terry Newark RFC
Alex Harrison Newark RFC
Tries scored by Luke Brown, Tom Tucker, Henry Trimmer (2), Kane Linklater, Aaron Walker
Conversions – 3 by Harrison Wells
Enjoy the winning moment by clicking here!
The 2018 Wellington Festival has drawn to close after a day of action-packed rugby involving English rugby’s 14 regional academies.
The week-long programme, held annually at Wellington College, Berkshire, aims to develop both academy players and coaches on and off the field in a variety of areas and featured a number of NLD U16 & Leicester Tigers Academy players.
On the field, the academy teams trained and played against each other in a number of matches, challenged with law variations which encourage ball in play, skilful rugby. Off the field, players were also given education and guidance in nutrition, anti-doping and professional sports pressures.
Wellington Festival is the largest academy festival in English rugby and is seen as a key experience in a players’ development and transitional experience.
Leicester Tigers Junior Academy Manager Jamie Taylor commented; ‘The Wellington festival is the culmination of the U16 regional player pathway and to be selected as part of a thirty player group at this level is a tremendous achievement. The players here have all entered the pathway at different stages via schools and clubs across NLD and have represented them with the highest standards.’
As well as game days on Tuesday and Saturday, players had the opportunity to meet head of England Sevens Simon Amor, as well as watch a sevens exhibition match. Referee Wayne Barnes also gave the players a presentation on officiating on Monday, while Thursday was National Coaching Day.
Players were immersed in skill zones and masterclasses throughout the week. Central to this was CARDS (creativity, awareness, resilience, decision making and self-organisation) – the pathway priority skills for helping develop the next generation of England Rugby players both on and off the pitch.
14 Premiership Rugby Academies: Bath Rugby, Bristol Rugby, Exeter Chiefs, Gloucester Rugby, Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, London Irish, Newcastle Falcons, Northampton Saints, Sale Sharks, Saracens, Wasps, Worcester Warriors, Yorkshire Carnegie.
Back Row Left to right:
Josh Lugsden (Scunthorpe), Jack Wright (Boston GS & Spalding), Emeka Illione (Nottingham Corsairs, Nottingham HS), Bobby Singer (Carres GS & Kesteven), Will Bailey (Nottingham Corsairs), Harry Edmunds
Ollie Smith (Mansfield), Sam Edwards (Ashbourne), Joey Evison (Stamford School)
Two NLD clubs were in action in the National Semi Final matches at the weekend.
After winning the Area 4 Midlands title a couple of weeks ago, Newark U18 Girls were through to the National Semi Final (North) which was against Castleford and Worcester.
The girls faced a 3 way game and Newark drew the first and third game, which was an advantage.
First game was v Castlesford. A highly contested first 5 minutes saw Castleford break out of defence to score. Determined to fight back, Newark girls scored twice shortly after. Second half was tense as both teams worked overtime to stop any attack. Eventually Newark scored again. 19-5 to Newark.
After a short break, the girls faced Worcester in a “winner takes all” game.
Newark girls, scored and converted twice in the first half. Worcester sustaining strong attack and defence came back to score twice in the second half but missing the second conversion. The final ten minutes were very tense with sustained Worcester pressure but the Newark girls held out and won 14-12.
A huge achievement for Newark u18s to go through to the National Final, in only the second season of fielding an u18s team.
The girls now face Pulborough on 29th April, 12:45 ko at Ealing in the National Final as a curtain raiser to the Women’s Tyrell’s 15s Final – Saracens v Harlequins.
Mansfield U15’s played 2 keenly contested games against Old Crossleyans & Leek, whilst they weren’t successful in progressing into the final they take away the experience of playing in these games which will stand them in good stead in the coming seasons. Well done to all of the players, coaches & club.
Top: Newark U18 Girls Below: Mansfield U15 Girls
The Coaching & Management team have decided to CANCEL the NLD U17’s training session tonight (Monday 16 April).
With the high number of withdrawals through injury and with important games at the end of the season for many of the players, the decision was made to take ALL existing players within the Squad through to the start of next season.
The Squad will reconvene in September and, after a pre-season warm-up against Eastern Counties, the Squad will be cut to its final number and those players will go forward to compete as the NLD U18’s in the Midlands campaign.
The Coaching & Management Team would like to thank all the players who have participated in the programme so far, and look forward to starting the U18’s programme in September.
The NLD under 20 squad travel all the way to Ivybridge RFC to play Devon in the Jason Leonard U20 Championship Semi Final on Sunday 15th April.
This season the squad has involved over 40 players from a number of clubs, colleges and universities in the area as well as Nottingham Academy.
NLD Head of Representative Rugby Lee Slack commented ‘We are absolutely delighted for all of the players and the team who have worked exceptionally hard to get to this stage of the competition. As always we are hugely grateful for the support of the Clubs, Universities, Colleges & Academies who have released their players to feature in the squad’.
The squad are unbeaten so far this season with away wins against Leicestershire & Oxfordshire and a home victory at Derby against Buckinghamshire have set the team up well.
Nic Corrigan, Head Coach, has every faith in the squad, ‘the commitment the lads have shown has been unbelievable. We now face our biggest challenge to date in Devon in the semi final but I am confident the players will rise to the occasion’.
The squad for this fixture is:
Joshua Arimoro – Nottingham University
James Benstead – Melbourne RFC
Josh Bloomfield – Nottingham Trent University
Natty Brisco – West Bridgford RFC/ Nottingham Academy
Luke Brown – West Bridgford RFC/ Nottingham academy
Gabriel Calland – Glamorgan RFC/ Nottingham academy
Tommie Collingwood – Nottingham Trent University
Jonny Doyle – Derby RFC
Ben Jesson – Nottingham University
Jake Keeton – Lincoln RFC
Kane Linklater – Scunthorpe RFC
Malvin Mazorodze – Long Eaton RFC/ Nottingham academy
Joe Mcmenamin -Long Eaton RFC/ Nottingham academy
Jamie Murray – Nottingham Trent University
Dec Neary – Long Eaton RFC/ Nottingham Academy
James Peachey – Nottingham Trent University
Beefy Rudkin – Melbourne RFC/ Nottingham academy
Henry Trimmer – Nottingham Trent University
Tom Tucker – Long Eaton RFC/ Nottingham Academy
Aaron Walker – Long Eaton RFC/ Nottingham academy
Jack Weedon – Long Eaton/ Nottingham Academy
Harrison Wells – Nottingham Trent University
Jacob Wright – Long Eaton/ Nottingham Academy