NLD U20s

NLD U20s

The NLD U20 squad competes in Midlands Pool 1 of the Jason Leonard Under 20 Championship Competition.

The programme exists to provide young, talented players within the Community Game the opportunity to play representative rugby at CB level and beyond at Midlands and England Counties.

As well as providing opportunities to players, the U20s competition gives talented and dedicated coaches the chance to experience the challenge of representative rugby.

The competition consists of geographical pool matches before teams progress to knock-out Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Finals.


Coaching Team

The U20s are led by Team Manager Graeme Gunn, supported by:

Coaching Team

Matt Derbyshire

Matt Vassey

Scott Johnson


Holly Calver

Midlands U20s

Based on their performances in the Jason Leonard Cup, 13 members of the NLD U20s squad were invited to the Midlands U20s Camp at Burton RFC on 29 May – invited players were:

Brayton Taylor – Ashfield RFC

Morgan Jones – Ashfield RFC

Oliver Avison – Ashfield RFC

Cameron Finlay – Derby RFC

Josh Perch – Melbourne RFC

Mack Welch – Melbourne RFC

Joe Lucas – Melbourne RFC

Oliver Dodders – Newark RFC

Josh White – Newark RFC

Aaron Vilalta – Nottingham University Medics RFC

Archie Small – Nottingham University

Tom Davies – Paviors RFC

Dan Flint – Paviors RFC

Team Manager Graeme Gunn described the players’ achievement as ‘a great honour’, noting that having 2-4 players invited to the Midlands camp would be a good performance.

Following the trial, the following players have been selected for the Midlands U20s squad:

Mack Welsh (C) – Melbourne RFC

Oliver Dodders – Newark RFC

Aaron Vilalta – Nottingham University Medics RFC

Tom Davies – Paviors RFC

Congratulations to all of the triallists on a fantastic achievement, and in particular the four players selected.

Match Reports

Jason Leonard U20 County Championship - Midlands Pool 1

19th March 2023
NLD U20s
52 ‐ 15
Leicestershire U20s

Matchday Squad

Starting Forwards

M Towndrow       (West Bridgford)
G Doughty          (Ilkeston)
G Ndlovu            (Melbourne)
B Taylor              (Ashfield)
B Poyzer             (Matlock)
O Dodders          (Newark)
M Welsh              (Melbourne)
J Lucas [C]          (Melbourne)

Starting Backs

D Flint                 (Paviors)
D Jowett             (Moderns)
C Finlay              (Derby)
M Jones              (Ashfield)
N Catly                (Keyworth)
T Davies              (Paviors)
J Pearch              (Melbourne)


D Moore              (Keyworth)
F Barton              (West Bridgford)
J Trethewey        (Ashbourne)
J Naylor               (Ilkeston)
S Barre                (Moderns)
J Cantrell             (Derby)
E Trethewey        (Ashbourne)

Match Report

NLD U20s made an impressive start to the U20 Championship with an emphatic victory over Leicestershire U20s. The young side outscored the opposition eight tries to three in an enjoyable and highly entertaining match.

A bumper crowd, cheered on the blue’s from the start and the home side did not disappoint. Eager to play rugby the NLD U20s looked to impose themselves on a much bigger opposition in the form of Leicestershire U20s. After fourteen minutes a dominant scrum, 5m out from Leicestershire try-line, NLD moved the ball through two phases seeing loose head prop Towndrow cross the line assisted by Ndlovu and Dodders.

Five minutes later NLD took a line-out on the halfway and saw play calmly taken forward. NLD’s flint took the ball forward before getting caught in the ruck, only for blind wing  to pick quickly and attack the disorganised defence, throwing a miss pass out wide for backrow Lucas [C] to go over for NLD’s second try.

NLD held firm defensively for the first twenty minutes, pressuring Leicestershire when they had ball in hand and forcing several handling errors.

On twenty six minutes NLD produced a beautiful piece of rugby. Defending their own 5m line they forced an error leading to a scrum. Holding the much bigger pack, No.8 Lucas broke off the scrum from inside his own five, driving through the Leicestershire defence and offloading to the supporting Jones who, calm under pressure, continued to drive himself forward and throw a neat inside pass to scrum half Flint, lively all game, who then spread the ball wide to Davies as he sprinted clear and across half the field to score under the posts.

On the half hour mark Leicestershire got their reward for some sustained pressure, moving the ball wide with a mismatch spotted. Simple hands and good execution in the wide channel allowed the Leicestershire wing to sneak in for their first score.

Three minutes later it was NLD who again produced an excellent attack. From a line-out wide right, NLD saw quick ball delivered to the backs, as they drove hard onto the Leicestershire defence, spotting the space out wide they moved the ball effortlessly onto fullback Pearch, making the most of a two man overlap, for his first score of the game and NLDs fourth try.

With forty four minutes on the running clock and the last play of the first half, Leicestershire re-gathered and took a quick tap penalty using there forwards to gather momentum before getting the ball into space and touching down for their second try of the game.

HT Score:  26 -10

The second half was a similar tale with NLD scoring four more tries to Leicestershire’s one.

From the restart Leicestershire saw a handling error knock the ball on, allowing Jowett to pounce on the ball and drive forward into the 22, recycling the ball through the phases before inside centre Morgan spotted a gap and scything through and beating the covering defence to dot down.

Changes were made with the introduction of Naylor and Barton freshening up tiring legs and there impacts were immediate with Naylor’s defensive work and Barton’s carrying evident for all to see.

In the next ten minutes it was home club Finlay’s turn to showcase his abilities as he finished off a neat exchange in the visitors twenty two. He then claimed his second with a breakaway try five minutes later, using his footballing skills to keep the ball ahead of him and gather before sprinting clear and beating the last defender for NLD’s seventh score.

Leicestershire looked rejuvenated in the last twenty as they continued to recycle their players from the bench and had their strongest period in the game scoring their third try through good physical carries by the pack. Shifting the ball onto the short side and bulldozing over the NLD defence.

However, the final try of the game fell to replacement prop Barton, who tirelessly closed down a clearance kick in Leicestershire’s 22, regathering the ball and sprinting through the disorganised defence for the final try of the match.

Flyhalf Jowett converted six of the eight tries.

Final Score: 52 – 15

This was an excellent squad performance and the coaches have been really pleased with how committed the lads have been, how hard they have trained and how well they have implemented the game plans whilst also brining their own strengths forward to play enjoyable rugby. This result is not the result of solely the match day 22 but the whole squad who have trained really well over the last couple of months. We look forward to our next match in April vs East Midlands.


Player of the match was voted as J Lucas [NLD U20 Captain]

Forward of the match – B Taylor

Back of the match – D Flint

Related Information

NLD fixtures, results and table for the 2022-23 Jason Leonard U20s Cup

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