Category: Age Grade News

EVENT: Transition Rugby workshop for your players and coaches

EVENT: Transition Rugby workshop for your players and coaches


Durham County Rugby Football Union are teaming with RFU professional staff to bring you a transition rugby workshop for players, coaches and club committee.

The workshop will take place at Horden and Peterlee RFC on Wednesday May, 9 from 6.30pm.

The workshop welcomes players from U16 – U18 at both the male and female game, coaches of those age groups and Directors of Rugby or Chairpersons.

It will be a proactive workshop looking at;


  • Contextual information; what the facts and figures say about the transition from age grade rugby to senior rugby. We will be looking at the 14-24 age band, and observing how priorities around rugby change throughout these ages.
  • Action: This is your chance to be proactive. We will be discussing what clubs already offer, what clubs achieve from alternative offers and the next step forward.
  • Plan a discover session back at your club: This workshop will give you ideas of how you can get more of your young players talking, and turn that 15 year old player into the 25 year old player.
  • Finally, we will be observing how discussions on the day, and any ideas can be supported by Durham County RFU.

We welcome as many attendees as possible, in order to make a success of the event and take true reflections from those affected into the next steps.

We want your say!! We do not want to guess or assume what you might want from rugby.

RSVP event

Sign up now using this link!

Durham County U15s conclude campaign with two away victories against Cumbria

Durham County U15s conclude campaign with two away victories against Cumbria

Cumbria welcomed the Princes and Bishops to the new and modern home of Kendal RUFC for two physical and team performances.

Durham secured a 50 – 14 victory followed by a last play of the game 26-19 win for the Princes to keep an unbeaten record for their 2017/18 season.

Durham Bishops took to the field first with tries coming from; Captain Sam Turnill (2), Jack Trainer, Evan Lawther, Ben Heighway, Aidan Young, Joe Dufton (2) and Michael Graham with a further ten points from the boot of Dufton.

A number of the Durham Bishop tries came from the Durham players hitting lines at pace and with meaning to allow them to break free and cross the line.

Cumbria were not without their own success as their determined attitude saw them score two converted tries late on in the game.

After a high flying opening game, Durham were surprised with a dominant Cumbrian side in the Princes fixture.

Despite Oly Stables opening up the scoring with an intercepted try from the half way line to score and unconverted try, it was then the hosts leading the attack.

Cumbria ran in three tries to sit 19 – 5 ahead, but Durham demonstrated their resilience for a try from Michael Graham after efficient hands and a kick through the defensive set up, converted by Ewan Greenlaw to cut the deficit to 19-12.

Scoring his second of the game, Stables was set up by the pack to run over for a converted try by Greenlaw to see the two sides 19 a piece on the score board.

But, it was the visitors that proved their thirst for another victory as the last play of the game saw kicker Greenla, break the line before offloading to Graham to finish under the posts for a converted try to win 26-19.

Pete Addison, U15s backs coach said: “It was a great day, with some superb rugby on display in both games.

“As coaches we talk about resilience, and todays Princes game was a perfect example of what, never giving up can achieve.”

Durham County Manager, Phil Lax added: “ As a coaching team we are extremely proud of all thep players.

“And of course, a huge well done to our coaching team; John Forester, Philip Shaw, Pete Addison and Rob West.”

By Clarissa Murphy

Durham County announce U15 squads ahead of away trip to Cumbria on Sunday

Durham County announce U15 squads ahead of away trip to Cumbria on Sunday 

Durham County U15s face their last game of the 2017/18 campaign away to Cumbria at Kendal RFC on Sunday.

The side will travel with two reduced sides due to player unavailability, but will look to end their campaign the way they started against Northumberland.

Here are the players making the journey;

PLAYER                                         CLUB                      SCHOOL

1. Tom Mitchell (C)                         DMP
2. Kai Leake                                   Gateshead              Emmanuel College
3. Max Eyres                                  Durham City
4. Jamie Pender                             DMP                        Yarm School
5. Thabo Dube                               Blaydon                    Emmanuel College
6. Connor Charlton                        Durham City             Durham School
7. Jacob Rowley                            Blaydon                    Newcastle School for Boys
8. Oscar Arkley                              Durham City
9. Oliver Turner Blake                   DMP                          Carmel College
10. Tristan Sommersall                 Northern                   Newcastle School for Boys
11. Jack Hillary                             Blaydon
12. Aaron Norman                         Durham City             Venerable Bede C of E
13. Ewan Greenlaw                      Durham City               Durham School
14. Oliver Stables                         Durham City               Houghton Kepier
15. Josh Irving                              DMP                           Carmel College

16. Charles Siddle                      Westoe                        Whitburn C of E
17. Harrison Minto                      Westoe                        Whitburn C of E

PLAYERS                                   CLUB                              SCHOOL

1. Kiran Hope                             Durham City
2. Jack Dunphy                          Durham City                    St Johns RC
3. Lewis Pressley                       DMP                                Longfield Academy
4. Matthew Stevens                   Bishop Auckland              King James 1st Academy
5. Adam Thornton                     Yarm                                 Egglescliffe
6. Jack Trainer                          Yarm                                 Ian Ramsey C of E Academy
7. Jack Moralee                         Durham City                     Durham School
8. Sam Turnill (C)                      Durham City
9. Jaden Robson                       DMP
10. Joe Dufton                           Durham City                     St Leonard’s
11. Callum Morris                      Yarm                                 All Saints Academy
12. Evan Lawther                      Blaydon                            Emmanuel College
13. Michael Graham                  Durham City                     St Johns. RC
14. Oliver Stables                     Durham City                       Houghton Kepier
15. Josh Irving                          DMP                                  Carmel College

16. Zach Welsh                        Durham City                       RGS

Durham County U15s triumphant away to Northumberland in opening fixtures

Durham County U15s triumphant away to Northumberland in opening fixtures


Durham County U15s secure two convincing wins away to rivals Northumberland, to end their winning streak at Alnwick RFC.

Durham Princes and Bishops took to the road to make their way north to take on the Northumberland Reivers and Jacobites.

In the first game, Northumberland Reivers welcomed the Princes to the sunny Alnwick grounds for what turned out to be a fast running game of rugby, resulting in a 62-21 victory for the visitors.

Durham U15s 2017/18: Princes Team photo after Northumberland victory


Phil Lax, Durham County U15 Team Manager said: “There was lots of excellent play throughout the game.

“The Durham lads turned up focussed and ready to play”

Durham asserted dominance early, through their forwards before shipping the ball out quick to Jake Anderson to score the first of his two tries.

Other tries came from; Ewan Greenlaw (2), Oliver Stables (2), Jakob Ogundipe, Tristan Somersall and Thabo Dube.

Durham’s Tyler Hepple converted six of the ten tries scored by the visitors to extend their lead.

Lax added; “To Northumberland’s huge credit, they kept battling and scored three tries, all of which were converted.”

Following in the footsteps of the Princes, the Bishops dominated the score board in the second game, recording a 55 – 7 win over the Jacobites.

Due to having the delayed kick off time, the Durham Bishops got off to a slow start.

Lax commented; “They took a few minutes to find their feet, but once they did they displayed some exceptional rugby with pressure in defence.”

The Durham Bishops tallied up nine tries against the hosts, with points coming from; Archie Thompson (2), Michael Graham (2), Oscar Jacques (2), Aiden Young, Evan Lawther and Sam Turnill with Joe Dufton scoring ten points from his boot.

Durham U15s 2017/18: Durham Bishops team photo after Northumberland victory


Lax said: “For a first game together, to accumulate 19 tries and only concede four across the two fixtures, shows the tremendous talent and dedication of the players.

“It is also credit to the new coaching set up, Philip Shaw, John Forester, Pete Addison and Rob West, who were deservedly a very happy group of coaches.”

The next fixture will see the sides travel to Cumbria for their re-arranged fixture on Sunday April, 8 at Kendal RUFC.

To see more, check out their page here. 

Young Match Officials from Thorp Academy make their first County appearance at Durham Schools Sevens

Young Match Officials from Thorp Academy make their first County appearance at Durham Schools Sevens


Durham County RFU Schools Union mark another day in history as eight young match officials referee the U12 Boys County schools seven’s tournament at Ryton RFC.

On the breezy Thursday afternoon, eight schools turned out to play a waterfall contest in the first of the County Schools sevens events.

Due to weather forcing cancellations throughout the competition, this was the first round to go ahead, thanks to; Ryton RFC volunteers, Barnard Castle School volunteer competition co-ordinators and the young match officials from Thorp Academy.

Pictured by Thorp Academy: Thorp U12 Boys at Ryton RFC


This competition was the first involvement the young match officials have had with the Schools Union since obtaining their Kids Kirst Old Mutual Wealth Refereeing Children qualification, delivered by North Durham CRC, Jon Benson.

John Pearson, DCRFU Schools Union Secretary, said: “It was a great pilot scheme to introduce the match officials into our competition set up.

“It was undoubtedly a success, as it gave the young officials a chance to use their qualification and be mentored by Durham County RFU Society referees.

“A number of the candidates will go on to the next level of the referee award in the next year and will therefore extend their benefits to the County Schools competition setup.

“More than anything, this must be seen as an outstanding example of the core values of the game.

“We are creating meaningful experiences for young people in the game, in more ways than just playing.”

Durham County Schools Union will continue to look at their Young Match Officials opportunities throughout the year, working with RFU professional staff to increase the number of qualified young referees in Durham.

The only other competition to go ahead has been the U13 Boys, moved to Barnard Castle School to accommodate seven visiting schools.

All of the teams got the opportunity to play four games each under the organisation of Luke Monument of Barnard Castle School, and supervision of Society Referees, David Swainson, Dave Bennett and Pearson.

In pool one, hosts Barnard Castle ranked top, followed by Egglescliffe, St John’s and Conyers (team one), while the winners of pool two were Durham School followed by, Ian Ramsey, Durham Johnston and Conyers (team two).

In the final games, pool one faced its equal opponent from pool two, where Barnard Castle and Durham battled it out for the trophy.

Pearson commented: “There was some great rugby on display throughout the afternoon and great to get some sevens games played.

“The final match between the hosts and Durham can only be described as David versus Goliath with a physically small but highly mobile Castle overcoming a much larger Durham School team.”

Keeping a clean sheet, Barnard Castle reigned Durham County Schools Union U13 Boys Sevens winners with seven tries to nil.

In other results, Egglescliffe beat Ian Ramsey 7- 2 for third place, St John’s took fourth with a 3 – 1 victory over Durham Johnston and Conyers placed fifth.

Durham County Schools Union saw a double in the number of entries for this year’s sevens competitions, showing the growth the County is experiencing.

This growth will continue as they prepare for next year’s competition offers.

By Clarissa Murphy 

Durham U15s prepare for Northumberland clash as they name Princes and Bishops squads

Durham U15s prepare for Northumberland clash as they name Princes and Bishops squads 

Durham County U15 travel to Alnwick this Sunday in their clash with rivals, Northumberland in the 2017/18 campaign.


Durham County Princes
Shirt Number Surname First name School Club
1 Mitchell Tom DMP
2 Leake Kai Emmanuel College Gateshead
3 Newnam Jacob Barnard Castle School Barnard School
4 Thornton Adam Egglescliffe Yarm
5 Schiable Oliver Barnard Castle School Darlington
6 Charlton Connor Durham School Durham City
7 Archer Ralph Durham City
8 Hepple Tyler Emmanuel College Northern
9 Turner Blake Oliver Carmel College DMP
10 Shaw Elliot Egglescliffe Yarm
11 Stables Oliver Houghton Kepier Durham City
12 Greenlaw Ewan Durham School Durham City
13 Anderson Jake Lord Lawson of Bemish Gateshead
14 Seymour Jay Barnard Castle School Barnard School
15 Sommersall Tristan Newcastle School Northern
16 Charlie Siddle Whitburn Westoe
17 Bowler Henry All Saints Academy Yarm
18 Ogundipe Jakob Egglescliffe Yarm
19 Heighway Ben Guisborough
20 Ward Jack Thorp Academy Ryton
21 Eyres Max Durham City
22 Pender Jamie Yarm School DMP
23 Thabo Dube Emmanuel College Blaydon
Norman Arron Venerable Bede C of E Durham City Forward Travelling Reserve


Durham County Bishops        

Shirt Number Surname First name School Club
1 Hope Kieran Durham City
2 Rowley Jacob Newcastle School for Boys Blaydon
3 Pressley Lewis Longfield Academy DMP
4 Minto Harrison Whitburn C of E Westoe RFC
5 Arkley Oscar Durham City
6 Sanderson George Barnard Castle School Barnard Castle
7 Moralee Jack Durham School Durham City
8 Turnhill Sam Durham City
9 Robson Jaden DMP
10 Dufton Joseph St Leonards Durham City
11 Jacques Oscar Barnard Castle School Barnard Castle
12 Thompson Archie Barnard Castle School Barnard Castle
13 Graham Michael St Johns RC Durham City
14 Lawther Evan Emmanuel College Blaydon
15 Young Aidan Northfield Billingham
16 Welsh Zac Newcastle RGS Durham City
17 Irving Josh Carmel College DMP
18 Morris Callum All Saints Academy Yarm
19 Robinson Leejay Harton Academy Gateshead
20 Dunphy Jack St Johns RC Durham City
21 Feeney Jacob Grindon Hall Sunderland
22 Trainer Jack Ian Ramsey C of E Academy Yarm
23 Stevens Mathew King James 1st Academy Bishop Auckland

Three Durham Schools prepare for North East and Cumbria U15 Girls Finals

Three Durham Schools prepare for North East and Cumbria U15 Girls Finals


Three Durham County RFU Schools will head to Tynedale RUFC on Thursday to compete in the North East and Cumbria U15 Girls School finals.

St Thomas Moore, Harton Academy and High Tunstall College of Science were invited to the Schools Final following their success in the Durham County Schools Union Cup competition at the end of last year.

St Thomas Moore reigned Schools Cup Winners, with Harton finishing a close second.

The Durham Schools will face one another, as well as teams travelling from Cumbria and Northumberland, including; Queen Elizabeth, Workington Academy and Netherhall Academy.

The competition will be played in a round robin format with each team playing each other in a bid to be the best on the day, and win the North East and Cumbria U15 Girls Final Trophy.

Games will kick off from 1pm at Tynedale RUFC, NE45 5AY.

Best of luck to all the players and schools making the trip.


England Red Roses Coach set for Rugby Masterclass at Billingham RUFC

England Red Roses Coach set for Rugby Masterclass at Billingham RUFC


Simon Middleton, England Red Roses Head Coach will visit Billingham RUFC to deliver an RFU masterclass alongside Professional Match Official, Ian Tempest.

The masterclass will be aimed at looking at decision making in phase play and will take place on the England Rugby 365 Pitch.

This masterclass is one of a series of six taking place across the country featuring various England Coaches on the RFU 365 pitches.

Simon Middleton has a broad range of experience from playing to coaching at elite level. Previous to his appointment as Red Roses Head Coach in 2015, he coached the England Women’s Sevens team and lead the programme for the Women’s Sevens campaign in the Rio Olympics.

In order to attend the course, you simply need to book at the following link and pay the CPD rate fee of £15. A small price to pay for a wealth of knowledge and to meet the Red Rose Coach.

The money collected will go to Rugby Football Union, not Billingham RUFC.


Young Durham County player called up for England Counties fixtures

Young Durham County player called up for England Counties fixtures


Durham County U18 Player, Eddie Anderson has been selected to represent England Counties ahead of their tests against Ireland in April 2018. 

The Yarm School pupil was selected into Managers, Dave Penberthy’s squad of 23 after a successful County Representative season as well as impressing at North of England trials and the National development weekend in February.

Anderson played openside flanker throughout the Durham campaign, making the starting XV for all three games against Northumberland, Cumbria and Yorkshire, including scoring a try during the 38-0 victory against Cumbria.

Durham County RFU U18 Coaching Team, commented on his success, saying: “We are delighted and proud of Eddie’s achievement.

“He is a superb player as well as a lovely, fine young man who is a credit to Yarm School, Yarm RFC and Durham County RFU.

“We wish him the best of luck in making the starting the XV for the games against Ireland and we will be rooting for him and the team.”

England’s preperations ahead of the Ireland clashes will include a match session against Ealing Trailfinders Academy on March, 10 with Head Coach, Giles Heagerty taking charge of the side.

The England Counties U18s will host Ireland on the April, 4 and again on April, 7 with both matches to be played at HMS Temeraire in Portsmouth.


Check out the England Counties Squad here

Durham U17s secure second victory of 2018 campaign against visitors Cumbria

Durham U17s secure second victory of 2018 campaign against visitors Cumbria


Durham County U17s dominated their way to a complimentary 69 – 17 victory over visitors, Cumbria at Ryton Rugby Club.

The age grade side demonstrated an impressive display against Cumbria under bitterly cold, yet sunny conditions at Ryton.

Led by skippers Shane Ivey from Hartlepool RFC, the Durham lads dominated the field with countless tries.

The tone was set early as Nathan Smith put the first points of many on the board.

Throughout the day, the tries flowed with scores coming from; Samuel Shanks, Callum Piert, Leon Turnbull, Harry Thompson, Joe Ross, Cameron Mather and two from Luke Cooper and Dean Edmondson. In a eleven try scoring fest, six points came from the boot of Callum Robinson, with a further eight from Piert.

Team that welcomed Cumbria 

Durham U17s: Ahead of victorious clash with Cumbria


Phil Lax, Durham County Team Manager commented on the game; The lads did fantastic, they kept their feet on the ground throughout and have set the tone building towards a tough but achievable victory in the last game of the season at Yorkshire.”

To find out more about the side, check out there page here 

Upcoming Events

  • September 25, 2018
    • CRSC meeting7:00 pmThe Community Rugby Standing Committee will meet at Gateshead RFC to discuss the season ahead.
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