SOME of the north’s finest young rugby union players took another step towards England representative recognition on Sunday (January 6) when they underwent a Development Day at Newcastle, with four players from the Northumberland RU area being involved.
The programme involved training at Bullocksteads and playing a training match against a Newcastle Falcons Academy XV at Druid Park, a process which was followed by the group of 24 being trimmed to a match-day squad of 22.
The first outing for the North team will be at Rugby Lions at 2pm on Sunday, January 27, when they will tackle the Midlands. Their second match will be against London/South East at West Park Leeds on Sunday, February 17.
The squad contains two players from last year in the shape of England Under 16 player Sam Allen and Declan Dunn, who are both from Yorkshire.
Jack Maplesden and Daniel Preston-Routledge have also been named in the England Under 17 squad, while Jonathan Coser, Jack Maplesden and Liam Parfitt were all named in England Under 16 squads last year.
North Under 18s: Sam Allen (QEGS, Wakefield and Doncaster), Matt Beaty (Lancaster RGS and Preston Grasshoppers), Sam Bedlow (Myerscough Coll and Rossendale), Sean Brown (Mowden Park and Durham School), Dom Butler (Ripon GS and Ripon), Nick Cairns (Prudhoe Community HS and Tynedale), Jonny Coser (Barnard Castle), Bradley Drysdale (Myerscough Coll), Declan Dunn (Prince Henry’s GS), Ollie Hodgson (Gosforth Ac and Middlesbrough), Jack Maplesden (Woodhouse Grove), Tom Morton (Stockport GS), Eldon Myers (Hartlepool VI FC and Billingham), David Nelson (Durham School), Dominic O’Connor (Kirkham GS), Liam Parfitt (Rishworth School and Old Brodleians), Tom Penny (RGS Newcastle and Alnwick), Daniel Preston-Routledge (Prince Henry’s GS), Robert Rekis (Prince Henry’s GS0, Jake Squirrell (Myerscough Coll and Vale of Lune), Joshua Walters (Prince Henry’s GS), Aston Whitlow (Gosforth Ac and Alnwick), Brodie Wilson (Crossley Heath and Old Brodleians), Will Witty (Norton Coll Sixth Form and Malton and Norton).