News Archive

NLD U16’s Impress against Warwickshire

October 11th, 2013 by

Thursday 10th October 2013 Chesterfield RFC

NLDU16s 31 – 24 Warwickshire U16s

Thursday saw this season’s NLD U16 squad take to the field for the first time to take on Warwickshire U16s.  The coaches decided to play the entire squad so that they could see all the boys in a game situation, and they and the watching crowd were not disappointed on a wet windy night at Chesterfield RFC’s excellent brand new facilities.

The game started brightly, and it was clear both sides were intent on proving what they could do with ball in hand, but it was NLD that began to play the conditions better and soon had the first score of the game through prop John Willingham-Statham, who burst through from close range following good build up play.  Danny Openshaw added an excellent conversion given the conditions.

This gave NLD confidence and soon after they had a second score through the lively centre Lewis Winterbottom, who ran a great line for a score near the posts. Openshaw again added the extras.  Warwickshire were not to be outdone and keen to show the journey was not in their legs worked upfield for a score through the forwards.

NLD were intent on scoring further points before the half was out and with the forwards giving great ball the backs were cutting through.  Ryan Olowofela in particular looked dangerous, but it was his fellow winger Andy Musvaburi who completed the first half scoring with a classic wingers finish in the left corner.  A tricky conversion was missed.

With plenty of fresh legs being brought on throughout the game, NLD were in no mood to take their collective feet off the gas, and the second half began in a similar vein as Ryan Olowofela scored a deserved try at the posts followed by Winterbottom who completed an impressive brace following another good break by Openshaw.  Both conversions left NLD looking pretty at 31-7 in front.

Warwickshire had other ideas, however, and began an unlikely come back with 3 quick fire tries including an impressive gallop from half way from one of their forwards to set up a tense last 5 minutes.  A cool NLD side did enough to see out the victory which on the balance of play was richly deserved.

A cracking start to this year’s programme, where all the boys should be proud of their performance, with still areas to work on.  Many thanks to the parents for getting the boys to and from Chesterfield, and to Chesterfield RFC for their excellent hosting of the game in their cracking new ground.

Squad from:

Charlie Barker, Kaine Buchanan, Jack Dickinson, Calum Donnelly, Michael Hawksworth, Joe Heath, Matthew Hopkins, Joshua Hubbard, Jake Jordan, Josh Latham, Joe McMenamin, Andy Musvaburi, James Newman, Jordan Olowofela, Ryan Olowofela, Daniel Openshaw, Zakery Poole, Hyran Powell, Alex Scott, Connor Slack, Jordan Slack, John Willingham-Statham, Lewis Winterbottom, Jack Lennon, George Eley, Henry Pymm


July 9th, 2014 by

Players who are in the under 20’s NLD squad now have their own Facebook page. Graeme Gunn (Team Manager) and Dave Andrews (Head Coach) who both run the page said “ Facebook is a fantastic tool which enables us to communicate with our players efficiently. An example is that we had a record number of players at our first session following their introduction to the squad via facebook.” To join the NLD U20 page on Facebook, search ‘NLD’ and request to join the group.

Harry Rudkin Wins First England U20 Cap

February 17th, 2014 by

Leicester Tigers Academy player Harry Rudkin picked up his first England cap last weekend in the U20 Six Nations fixture against Scotland.  The prop started on the bench in the match at Netherdale in Galashiels in which England ran out convincing winners.

19 year old Harry played his club rugby at Derby RFC and came through the NLD Representative sides before moving to take up a place at Tigers Academy 3½  years ago. RFU Council Members for NLD, Tracy Edmundson & Mike Waplington, attended the game & witnessed Harry being presented with his U20 cap by RFU President, Bob Reeves.


Harry with NLD Council Member Tracy Edmundson

NLD v Cumbria Match Report

May 11th, 2014 by

NLD vs Cumbria

10th May 2014

County Championship Shield – Pool 2

NLD started the 2014 County Championship at Sleaford against last years’ Shield runners up Cumbria. The squad had prepared well for this years’ competition and the players and management went into the game confident that they could achieved a good result.

With the wind behind them the away team started the brightest racing into a 14-0 lead, first up tackles were being missed however this was due to NLD getting use to playing with each other for the first time. As the team began to gel NLD started to put the pressure on and from a penalty kicked to the corner Alan Symcox scored a well worked catch and drive to make the score 14-7.

NLD began to take hold of the game and when Cumbria lost a player to the sin bin the hosts were unlucky not to score before the break. A well worked series of pick and goes made space out wide however the pass didn’t go to hand and the opportunity was lost.

Taking advantage of the wind and despite a heavy down pour NLD really took the game to Cumbria, the away team were reduced to 13 men after two yellow cards for foul play. In this period NLD battled hard at the Cumbrian line however their defence held up and no tries were scored. This proved to be a key period as with NLD chasing the game Cumbria managed to break and score the decisive try which put the game out of reach. The away team showed their clinical edge to score two further tries to make the final score 40-7.

Stephen Fowkes NLD team manager said

“The senior clubs and players have really bought into the programme this season and this showed in this first game. Make no mistake Cumbria are expecting to win the Shield competition but we put them under pressure for 60 minutes of the game. In the end their experience and team cohesion came through but the NLD lads should be very proud of their efforts.

Ultimately the County Championship is about winning games but this was the first step and we hope to keep this group of players together for years to come. With this level of support from senior clubs and players I believe we have the foundations for future success.”

Next week NLD travel to Burton to play Staffordshire in the hope of recording their first win in 3 years.

NLD Squad v Cumbria

1 Chris Starling Market Rasen & Louth RFC
2 Gareth Mist Scunthorpe RFC
3 Tom Holland Ilkeston RFC
4 Aaron Langan South Leicester RFC
5 Alan Symcox Mansfield RFC
6 Matt Brewer Newark RFC
7 Cameron Curry Newark RFC
8 Tom Taylor-Dawes Derby RFC
9 Will Harrison Scunthorpe RFC
10 Danny Graney South Leicester RFC
11 Nick Galinski Newark RFC
12 Alex Ayres Ilkeston RFC
13 Steve Parker Scunthorpe RFC
14 Henri Packard Matlock RFC
15 Matt Sutton Market Rasen & Louth RFC
16 Craig Dowse Boston RFC
17 Joe Tinsley Newark RFC
18 Leigh Dearden Market Rasen & Louth RFC
19 Adam Corcoran Ilkeston RFC
20 Dave Starling Market Rasen & Louth RFC
21 Jack Partington Ilkeston RFC
22 Jay Heath Ilkeston RFC

NLD Announce Senior XV Coaching Team

April 9th, 2014 by

NLD are pleased to announce the appointment of the NLD Senior XV Coaching team for the 2013-14 & 2014-15 Seasons.

Head Coach Bob Nashed
Backs Coach Mark Hobson
Forwards Coach Rhuari Pike

RFU Level 3 Coach Bob Nashed takes on the role as the Head Coach of the side who will begin their 2014 Campaign over the coming weeks. Having previously been Head Coach for Club and University sides within NLD Bob also has considerable representative coaching experience having spent 7 seasons in the coaching set up for the NLD U18,19 & 20 sides as well as 5 seasons as a Midlands U20’s Coach.

Mark Hobson takes on the role of Backs Coach to the squad. Having completed his RFU Level 3 qualification in 2010 Mark is keen to progress up the coaching ladder. He is a keen supporter of representative rugby having himself represented Nottinghamshire from U23 level up to Vets.

Rhuari Pike completes the coaching team, returning to take up his position as Forwards Coach. A role he has enjoyed since first being appointed at the start of the 2011-12, he has been reappointed for a further two seasons.

Stephen Fowkes continues in his role as Senior XV Manager and will be able to assist with any queries relating to the squad –[email protected]

NLD are extremely lucky to have such an experienced and enthusiastic coaching and management team in place and we look forward to the start of the NLD Senior XV Programme which will commence in April.


June 20th, 2014 by

Dinnington RFC are hosting a Ladies Tag Tournament on Saturday 5th July 2014.  Registration is at 10am with the first matches kicking off at 11am, multiple team entries are permitted and the entry fee is £10 per team.

For more information please contact Chris Ross – [email protected] or download the entry form below.

Dinnington Entry Form

The RFU’s new Concussion Management Standards

June 20th, 2014 by

THE RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION is putting in place new standards relating to the management of concussion and extending the reach of its concussion education initiatives.The return to play pathway for players who have sustained a concussion is dependent on the player’s age and the medical resources that they can access.

The new routine minimum stand-down period is 19 days for adults and 23 days for Under 19s.

The minimum stand-down period for those in an Enhanced Care Setting – typically professional and elite age-group players – is six days for adults and 12 days for Under 17-19s. These are players whose return to play pathway is closely supervised by an appropriately trained and suitably experienced medical practitioner.

New education measures include a mandatory player safety course for RFU Licensed Coaches and additional promotional materials that add to acclaimed existing resources.

The standards, which come into effect immediately, have been put in place following revised guidelines from the International Rugby Board.

The IRB acknowledge the diversity in health care support available in different countries and at different levels, and permit member Unions to adapt their guidelines to suit their local circumstances.

The RFU has consulted with the game and independent medical experts to create simplified and standardised return to play pathways that cover players of all ages and at all levels. These stand-down periods are to be seen as the minimum periods before a player can return to play and may be longer where appropriate.

The return to play pathway is made up of rest and Graduated Return To Play (GRTP) phases. Taken together they form the minimum stand-down period.  The length of these phases for an individual is determined by the player’s recovery and informed by clinical assessment.


The revised RFU guidelines simplify and standardise the return to play pathway and timelines for all players, especially those under the age of 19 which is consistent with the advice to manage children and adolescent players more conservatively.

The measures have been approved by the Professional Game Board and the Community Game Board, the two bodies that manage the game in England.

Dr Mike England, the RFU Community Rugby Medical Director, said: “We hope everyone involved in the game – parents, players, coaches and medics – take the rationale for the changes on board and find it helpful in managing concussion in conjunction with the online HEADCASE resources the RFU provides and the guidance we’ve made widely available to the game through coaching, refereeing and medical education.

“Expert advice is that concussion should be managed on an individual basis. There is a need however for more clarity and guidance to reinforce the message that players need time to recover fully before returning to play and that young players in particular need to be managed more conservatively than adults. What hasn’t changed is that being able to return to play is still a clinical decision based on an individual player’s recovery.”

Dr Simon Kemp, the RFU Chief Medical Officer, said: “The revised guidelines are consistent with the IRB guidelines and the Zurich Consensus statement and will bring greater consistency to the management of all players but especially the concussed player over 16 who is part of the performance pathway. They recognise that not all players can presently access the same level of concussion care but will act as a driver for the development of Enhanced Care Settings in clubs, universities and schools.”

Concussion and player safety information is already built into the RFU’s coach, referee and medical education programmes as part of the “Don’t be a Headcase” programme, while the HEADCASE online resource developed with the Headway charity has been praised as the leading resource in sport in the UK.

This has been supported with collateral including 200,000 awareness cards  distributed to the game, whistle lanyards for referees, beanies for players and coaches, and most recently by new changing room billboards.

Other education measures include:

  • RFU Licensed coaches (9,500) to take a Player Safety Course as part of licensing and re-licensing process
  • Player Safety Course offered to all registered coaches (about 15,000) and upgraded face-to-face concussion education added to mandatory Rugby Ready coaching foundation course (6-8,000 annually)
  • Concussion education delivered by RFU and others as part of community programmes
  • Delivery at regional coaching seminars for schools this summer

The quality of the RFU’s resources have been endorsed by Dr Richard Greenwood, a Consultant Neurologist at Homerton Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Dr Greenwood said: “Having reviewed the RFU’s HEADCASE resource as an independent expert, I think that it is an excellent source of information for those involved with rugby. It is an accurate, thorough and appropriate source of information, based on the most up to date medical consensus. The RFU should be applauded for making this available in such an accessible format.”

For more information please see the link below to the RFU’s ‘Headcase’ webpage.



June 20th, 2014 by

NLD have joined forces with Original Giving to offer clubs within the CB the opportunity to save up to 70% on amazing offers.

All clubs now have the opportunity to take advantage of a range of leisure and entertainment offers on the OriginalGiving website.   The offers on their site are heavily discounted meaning you can save up to 70% on some brilliant experiences. However, the most exciting part of our partnership is that OriginalGiving will donate up to 25% of the purchase price back to your club.

In order to take advantage of the offers available the process is very simple and outlined clearly on the below ‘How To’ Guide.

How to join NLD & Original Giving

Visit the NLD ‘landing’ page below to find out more about the offers available and register your team today.


June 20th, 2014 by

30 players from this year’s NLD Under 18s squad attended a Strength and Conditioning workshop at OutKlass Fitness, East Drayton on Sunday 11th May. The day was planned in military style with one group working in the gym from 1000-1200, all of the players and parents attending a nutrition seminar from 1200-1300 and the remaining players working in the gym from 1300-1500.

The NLD coaches made the decision to source some S&C advice for several reasons:

  • The current squad contains a lot of players in the U17 bracket and they will be giving away a year in the competitive matches.
  • The players in the squad had indicated a need for some additional work but didn’t have the expertise available to them.
  • This year’s squad contains 36 players and in some positions there is no separating players in terms of skills – the coaches hope that with some fitness advice given players will now work hard over the summer and selecting a squad to play in September will become easier!
  • If physical gains can be made then it is hoped that NLD players will get more recognition from the Midlands selectors in the graded matches. A perfect example of this is shoulder strength amongst the forwards and it’s now hoped that the lineout for example will become more explosive showcasing our players ability.

The focus of the sessions in the gym was movement and the players were shown a wide variety of activating stretches to assist lifting techniques, reduce injuries and make the body stronger on the posterior and anterior axis. It also destroyed the uneducated myth that you have to lift heavy weights to become strong as all of the exercises demonstrated saw the lads lift their own body weight or a barbell weighing no more than 20kg. This was vital in the education process as players can now replicate these movements throughout the summer without having to join expensive gyms.

Luke Staton of OutKlass commented “it was fantastic to see young lads hungry to learn and we were very impressed by their work rate, professionalism and desire to better themselves. We were asked some great questions by nearly every player who came to the gym and the parents were equally responsive in the nutrition session.”

Every player who attended the workshop will receive a full programme from OutKlass with pictures showing the techniques they practiced and suggested session plans to link the lifts and sessions together.

This was the first time that NLD 18s have been involved in a workshop on strength and conditioning and the coaches are keen to stress that this was to address a particular need from the current squad. It is hoped that the experience will be replicated in future years but aspiring NLD players are reminded that your own strength and conditioning work should be done where possible and at trial stages the coaches will be looking at your skill sets and game understanding rather than how strong you are!

Nathan Smith
NLD 17/18 Head Coach



June 20th, 2014 by

Please see below the official update from the RFU regarding Goggles.


As you may be aware, the RFU and Constituent Bodies have received a number of complaints over the last season relating to the prohibition on sports goggles in all contact rugby at all ages.  Discussions and considerable efforts have therefore been taking place internally for some time and the RFU has been liaising closely with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians to develop a practical solution to provide a wider degree of flexibility to enable great social inclusion in Rugby Union.

The RFU has therefore decided to introduce in England a trial that would enable the wearing of certain sport goggles (dispensed under professional supervision) by players playing contact rugby at the Under 13 age grade and below.  This trial is a variation of the RFU’s current regulations which prohibits all types of goggles to be worn in contact rugby.

Whilst for the most part the trial will not take full hold until next season, the RFU recognises that some players may be in a position to adhere to the conditions of the trial in this current season.  If this is the case, the RFU sees no reason why such players should be prevented from participating in the trial this season, provided all of the trial conditions are satisfied.

To this end, the trial will commence with immediate effect and will last until the end of the 2014-15 Season, whereupon the position will be reviewed further.

Conditions of the trial

The trial will permit players playing contact rugby at the Under 13 age grade and below to wear specially designed and manufactured sports goggles subject to the following conditions (all of which must be met):

(a) The sports goggles must be dispensed by a registered dispensing optician who is a member of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians* (“ABDO”); and

(b)The player must have written confirmation from the ABDO dispensing optician that the sports goggles:

  1. Are required to correct the vision of the player or are required to protect the player’s eyes due to a medical condition, to enable the playing of Rugby Union; and
  2. Do not substantially restrict any normal field of vision and are suitable for use in evasion contact sports; and
  3. Do not constitute a physical danger to the player or other players; and

(c) The match referee is entitled to object to the player wearing the sports goggles if the referee reasonably believes that they are unsafe; and

(d)Clubs must notify the RFU Legal Officer of all players participating in the trial by emailing [email protected]; and

(e) Clubs must report any injuries caused as a result of the sports goggles to the RFU Community Medical Team by emailing [email protected] and the player’s parents must report the injury to the ABDO dispensing optician who prescribed the goggles.

*If an optician is registered with the Association of British Dispensing Opticians, the optician will be listed on the General Optical Council’s list of registered members which is available at  Please check the list by inserting the name of the individual optician or opticians practice.

Onward communication

In light of the number of upcoming festivals (including CB festivals), we wanted to inform Constituent Bodies, the ERSFU and the Referee’s Union as soon as a decision was made and in advance of the rest of the Game so that you have the opportunity to raise any queries directly with us if you so choose.

In due course, we will be notifying clubs of the implementation of the trial but should you wish to inform your clubs directly in the meantime, the RFU would have no objections to that.


Should you have any queries or require further clarification and guidance in relation to the proposed trial, please contact Alys Lewis on [email protected].