Category: Age Grade News

Durham County Age Grade Cup Draw announced for upcoming season

Durham County Age Grade Cup Draw announced for upcoming season


After some delays with the Age Grade County Cup draw, we are pleased to announce the round one fixtures for each age group.

The fixtures are appointed with an on or before date to be played by, it is important that we stick to these date to ensure we remain inside the club approved playing windows for Age Grade, and to ensure we can progress with round two, smoothly.

All results and any issues with play dates are to go through the cup administrator, Peter Greenwell.

Please send a copy of your results to for upload to the website and social media.

This year we would really like to encourage clubs to send in pictures of either after match team shots or, in play snaps so that we can curate content online and on social accounts! 

Best of luck, everyone.

U14s         U15s          U16s         U17s          U18s 

Consett Rugby Club U18s reign victorious during tour to America

Consett Rugby Club U18s reign victorious during tour to America


Consett Rugby Club return to the North East as Great Lake Sevens winners after an unforgettable summer tour for their under 18 boys.

Consett RFC visited the Milwaukee and Chicago area for the fourth time with the 2017/18 season U18 Boys for sightseeing, Sevens rugby, music festivals and the first leg of a 15aside fixture against Illinois State Tornado’s.

Consett U18 Boys: The victorious touring team after their victories at Great Lake 7s


Consett U18s reigned Great Lake Sevens Champions during their twelve day stay with five from five victories, including a 45 -7 final result in the competition at Chicago Blaze Rugby Club.

The competition final saw tries from; Daniel Smith (Capt), Oli Bartles Smith, Matthew Lovett, Oliver Smith, Owen Young & Callum Smith.

During their visit to the USA, the Great Lake Sevens was not the only rugby on the agenda, as the North East tourists played in the Lakefront 7s, the largest sevens competition in the USA, followed by the largest music festival, Summerfest and a 15 aside fixture against Illinois State Tornado’s ending 55-14 to the visitors.

David Trott, Chairman and Tour Leader commented on the trip, saying: “These opportunities are really important for keeping the interest in rugby, especially for an age grade that generally struggles to retain players.

“The expectations and pleasure in seeing the players take the field and interact in another countries rugby culture is truly inspiring to both the young adults and coaches, who in some cases have been together for 12 years.

“Now we hope they take to the field as senior players and continue to play rugby for many years to come.”

Across the trip to America, the Consett boys were able to experience a host of attractions off the field as well, including; Lambeau Field, Home of NFL team Green Bay Packers and the Hall of Fames, Summerfest, Raging Waves Water Park, University of Notre Dame tour, Shedd Aquarium, Sky Deck including the glass ledge walk, Chicago Zoo, Fireworks on lake Michigan, Museum of Science, Wrigley field for Major League Baseball, and even a spot of a shopping.

Even with such a spoiling choice, player Matthew Lovett said his highlight was the full access tour of the University of Notre Dame seeing all the sporting facilities.

Lovett added: “To see their indoor training facility, 24 man jacuzzi in the practise locker room, physio room and weights room used by the football team was just amazing.

“The history of Notre Dame and the fighting Irish Football team was truly unforgettable.”

Lambeau Field: Consett U18s tour of the home of NFL Green Back Packers


While, Daniel Smith, U18B Captain, said: “ It was an amazing experience and a one that will never be forgotten.

“Getting to explore new surroundings and magnificent places while meeting new faces was an amazing aspect of the tour.

“With playing rugby came a big challenge which we matched and succeeded in, coming away with a well-deserved victory in the Great Lake 7’s.”

By Clarissa Murphy 

Durham County RFU pledge to become rugby safe as they prepare for launch in clubs

Durham County RFU pledge to become rugby safe as they prepare for launch in clubs


Durham County RFU are preparing to become ‘Rugby Safe‘ through the England Rugby 2018/19 initiative.

This will be officially launched to our clubs and safeguarding officers at the CB Safeguarding conference at Houghton Rugby in September.


The main focus of Rugby Safe is to look at the welfare of all players and the people that are involved in the game; this is supported by the RFU and the CB.

Some of the areas that the Rugby Safe programme will highlight, are; first aid, concussion, provision of activity and more. Through this learning, clubs will be tasked with developing and educating, checking and challenge volunteers.

Chris Simpson, Durham County RFU CB Rugby Safe Lead said: “We plan to launch the programme in the 2018/19 season and we will support clubs to develop their own strategies and policies to ensure that clubs become Rugby Safe.

“This is a really positive step forward in ensuring we are doing all we can to support and protect our players and volunteers throughout the game.”

To find out more, get in touch with us on on any of our social accounts!

Durham County Schools beach festival sees a record number of girls playing rugby

Durham County Schools beach festival sees a record number of girls playing rugby


Durham County Schools Girls beach festival recorded its biggest attendance so far with 250 girls playing touch rugby.

Durham Beach Festival: record number of girls play school rugby

Over fifteen schools gathered at Seaburn beach on Friday afternoon to participate in the yearly Durham Schools beach festival organised by RFU Community Rugby Coach, Matthew Bradford.

Players from U13 and U15 age groups played in the touch rugby round robin games from schools; Castleview, Consett Academy, Dene Community, Durham Johnston, Harton Academy, Houghton Kepier, Kingsmeadow, Lord Lawson of Beamish, Monkwearmouth, Oxclose, Shotton Hall, Staindrop, St Johns, St Thomas Moore, Washington and Whickham.

Bradford commented: “It was fantastic to see so many girls along playing rugby for their school.

“Despite the sun hiding away it was a great afternoon with entertaining rugby on display.

“It was all about the schools and players having fun and enjoying an afternoon of rugby.”

As well as lots of young players enjoying playing, the beach festival also welcomed ten recently qualified level one referees from East Durham College and two from Durham Johnston through the Durham County Schools Union Young Match Officials Programme to help referee the games.

Bradford added: “The young match official programme with Durham County has allowed us to fund over thirty level one qualifications of recent.

“Having young officials at events like this are essential as they would not be able to go ahead otherwise.

“It is also a great environment for them to learn within and build their confidence.”

You can see photos of the event by Sally Evans, here


By Clarissa Murphy

New England Rugby XRUGBY7S format hailed an exciting success at Durham All Schools Festival

New England Rugby XRUGBY7S format hailed an exciting success at Durham All Schools Festival

Over one hundred boys and girls took part in the Rugby Football Union All Schools XRugby Seven’s Competition in front of England Rugby guests.

The girls and boys team were invited along to Billingham RUFC for an All Schools Festival with England Rugby guests, Steve Brown, Chief Executive Officer and Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director watching from the side lines.

The day welcomed eight boys teams and four girls teams to the RFU artificial grass pitch to enjoy sunshine and an afternoon of trying a new format of the game, XRugby 7s.

Team Photo: South Durham All Schools at the XRugby7s festival


Organiser Phil Wallis, South Durham RFU Community Rugby Coach explained that the purpose of the day was to celebrate the end of three years as part of the All Schools Programme for the Hartlepool based schools and trial the new format of the game.

He added: “It shows the progress those schools have made and gives the teachers, players and parents an opportunity to celebrate their hard work with a festival and an end result.

“We also invited along schools that will enter their first and second year of the programme in September to show the potential it holds for the schools that are a part of it.”

Manor Academy, Dyke House, St Hild’s and High Tunstall were those among the seven teams celebrating the end of three years, with Ian Ramsey concluding their first year and St Michaels experiencing a taste of what is to come as they look ahead to their entry year in September.

On the day we caught up with Mr Howe, Ian Ramsey’s Rugby Teacher, on what he thought about the new format of the game.

He said: “The XRugby7s version of the game is exciting, it is quite a fluent game and there is obviously a lot of opportunities to move the ball. There is not a lot of set piece and it gets the ball in play a lot which the kids enjoy.

“We are seeing lots of open running and decent tries here today.

“The whole idea of the scoring zones gives the kids more excitement and they are all encouraging each other into the zones.”

You can check out the full interview on our Facebook page.

Across the afternoon parents, teachers, Steve Brown and Steve Grainger enjoyed watching lots of talent, off loads and tries throughout all the games.

Brown and Grainger commented on the female games saying that “they were very impressed with the standard of rugby being played”.

England Rugby guests: CEO Steve Brown, Rugby Development Director, Steve Grainger and Teesside and Yorkshire RDO, Alec Porter


Between the 34 girls and 77 boys, there were over one thousand points scored and 336 minutes played.

Wallis added: “Events like this show the players their success and achievements and it exposes them to a new format of the game that they might not have seen before.

“XRugby7s invites them to try something new, be creative and develop different skills from the traditional XV aside game.

“It was great to see so many boys and girls at the same event enjoying the day and being able to interact with others schools.”

By Clarissa Murphy

Durham County Schools Union hail success of the return of County Cup and Plate competitions

Durham County Schools Union hail success of the return of County Cup and Plate competitions

In 2017/2018 the Durham Schools Union partnered with RFU professional staff to bring back the County Schools Cup and Plate competitions.

The first round of the competition saw schools play one another based on geographical location. Based on the table result standings from each event, teams were sent to either the Cup or Plate finals.

This year saw over 33 schools enter across the seven age groups and almost 1,000 students taking part in the game.

Check out the infograph below, to learn more.

The Cup and Plate competition will take place again in the 2018/2019 season with some additions to the format to accommodate the large uptake, experienced this year.

Keep and eye out for more details to follow, soon!

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