Category: county teams

Durham County Sevens Winners receive silverware and a ticket through to National Final

Durham County Sevens Winners receive silverware and a ticket through to National Final

Billingham Men and Sunderland Ladies represented Durham County in the Regional RFU Sevens competition at West Park Leeds RFC.

After topping their groups and winning their finals at the Durham County 7s tournament at Billingham, the hosts Men and Sunderland Ladies were invited down to the regional competition.


In the Ladies competition there were a number of drop outs leaving the Flames to play Preston Grasshoppers, Harrogate Ladies and West Park Leeds in a round robin event.

Across on the other pitch, the Billingham Men took to the field against Mighty Peth, Northern Assassins, Ilkley and International Gents.

Both the Billingham Men and the Sunderland Ladies came away winners on the day.
The ladies won the Regional Plate final 34-14 against Preston Grasshoppers, while Billingham Men won two out of three pool games to face International Gents in the cup Final. Despite a 29-17 defeat to International Gents, as Cup runners up, Billingham will travel to the England Rugby 24/7 National Final at Bath at the end of the month.

Billingham Men pick up runners up prize in Cup Final


Scorers across the day came from a number of players within the Flames including; Becky Robson, Clarissa Murphy, Jenny Cox, Karen Donkin, Kirsty Paterson, Olivia Davison and Steph Maddison, while all of the Billingham Men players picked up a try too.

Peter Evans, Billingham Men’s Coach, said: “Everyone scored on the day, but a special mention goes out the youngsters, 18 year old Alfie Lawson and 17 year old Joe Ross.

“They both stood up well on the senior stage and performed for the benefit of the team.”

In the Ladies competition, last year’s champions West Park Leeds went on to win the cup final against Harrogate.

Evans added; “It is a fantastic achievement for a young bunch.

“We played against regular 7s squads who are put together from far and wide, with much more experience in the shorter game than us.

In our cup final we were down to nine men, due to injuries and anyone who has played 7s will know it is a squad game and it was hard work out in the heat.

“Fortunately as we all play regularly together and have a tight squad we managed to get up to speed quickly and turn things around.

“The trip will give some of the lads who have not played on a bigger stage the experience and exposure which will benefit them in the long run.”

The National Final will be played via an online stream, with a total of eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams competing to be named the best amateur Sevens side in the Country.

Durham County RFU would like to wish the best of luck to Billingham in the final event.

View the pictures from the Durham County Sevens qualifier by Sally Evans, here. 

By Clarissa Murphy

Durham Men triumphant at Twickenham to take Bill Beaumont Division Two Championship title

Durham Men triumphant at Twickenham to take Bill Beaumont Division Two Championship title 

Durham County Senior Men claim the Bill Beaumont Division Two Championship title in a 46-12 victory over Warwickshire at Twickenham.

CHAMPIONS: Durham Senior Men lifting the Bill Beaumont Division Two plate at Twickenham


The Durham lads kicked off the game heading into the opponents half with the first of many strong carries from Danny Dixon.

Showing their abilities early, Euan Tremlett and Sean Moloney wormed their way through the Warwickshire defence with speed and agility putting the Warwickshire side on the back foot.

Despite a failed sixth minute attempt for the posts, Josh Bragman boot kick started the scoring with a 3-0 lead in the thirteenth minute.

Warwickshire’s first sight of the Durham’s half came in the 20th minute with a kick for touch seeing Durham steal the first of several defensive line out ball through Dixon and Tom Larder.

The first promising break for the posts came through Durham’s Ralph Appleby, but lost in the offload, Warwickshire were on the attack.

The leaders second appearance on the board followed another break through the defence, coming from Martin Foley, stopped short of the line it was down to Bragman to add a penalty to lead 6-0.

A change from the bench saw Peter Homan making instant impact as he sent Jack McPhillips over, but with the try disallowed the Durham side set up again in the 22 with a carry from Callum Whitehead creating the platform for wide attack. Conner Foley set the back line away with Dixon out wide to make the last carry over the line for a converted try by Bragman to conclude the first half scores at 13-0.

Returning the field, the North East guests were straight back on the board with a driving maul leading the way for Dixon to cross over for a converted try by Bragman.

As momentum continued to build, Durham played their fast paced attacking game with Hopley, McPhillips and Luke Wilson expanding out wide, as play jolted at the 22, it quickly switched wings with Moloney crossing over in the left corner to extend the lead to 27-0 through Bragman’s boot.

Durham’s dominating lead fired the opposition away in the 56th minute as they retaliated with pressure in the 22 resulting in one unconverted try and a converted try to trail 27-12 as Appleby took to the sin bin.

Remaining focused with the prize at stake, Durham’s Rob Stanwix, Larder and Kieran Clark put strong tackles in to end any Warwickshire chances of attack.

The dominating Durham side continued to play the quick, fiery game that had proved dividend throughout to secure a further two converted tries through Moloney and Stanwix before the side were forced into phase ball on the ten metre line setting Taliete Vaioleti up for the final try of the game, converted once more by Bragman to conclude champions with a 46-12 reign over Warwickshire.

2017/2018: Durham Senior Men and staff outside the Spirit of Rugby, Twickenham


Chris Wearmouth, Durham Senior Men Captain said: “We are over the moon as a team, it is a great achievement for us and a fantastic occasion.

“To play at Twickenham is the pinnacle of county rugby, and we thank the RFU for that opportunity.

“We had a great squad out today and they have all brought into the Championship which has made the win possible.

“Personally, I played here three years ago and we lost so to come here today and right the wrong is something we will never forget.”

Pictured: Coach Andrew Bagget with Manager Gus Miller with Championship Plate, and Coach Wearmouth with team photo presented by the RFU

In addition to picking up the Championship title, Max Connon and Conner Foley were both awarded their County caps for five Championship appearance.

A video of the trip to Twickenham will follow in the coming weeks, so keep a look out!

By Clarissa Murphy

Preview: Durham Men prepare for Bill Beaumont Division Two final at Twickenham

Preview: Durham Men prepare for Bill Beaumont Division Two final at Twickenham


Durham County Senior Men announce the squad to face Warwickshire in the Bill Beaumont Division Two final at Twickenham.

Following three graceful and hard fought victories, the Durham Men have earned their spot at the home of rugby, on Sunday.

The side topped the table in pool one with fourteen points after a 64-5 victory over Cumbria, a triumphant 99-7 reign over Staffordshire and a hard fought 32-10 win over Leicestershire.

Throughout the Championship, players have made appearances from across the County including; Barnard Castle, Billingham, Darlington Mowden Park, Hartlepool, Hartlepool Rovers, South Shields Westoe and West Hartlepool.

2017/18 squad: team photo against Cumbria


Gus Miller, Durham County Men’s Coach said: “We have had three tough games, but we have gone out and stuck to our game plan and the results have followed.

“The Leicestershire game was a great end to the pool fixtures, it was hard fought and a great note to end on heading into Twickenham.”

Durham’s finalists opponents for Sunday completed their Championship in pool two with three victories over; Hampshire, Somerset and the North Midlands.

The team to take the field at Twickenham is;
1. Michael Hughes (Barnard Castle)
2. Tom Larder (Harrogate)
3. Ralph Appleby (DMP)
4. Chris Wearmouth – Capt (Barnard Castle)
5. Talite Vaioleti (DMP)
6. Callum Whitehead (Hartlepool Rovers)
7.  Euan Tremlett (Middlesbrough)
8. Danny Dixon (Billingham)
9. Connor Foley (Middlesbrough)
10. Josh Bragman (DMP)
11. Sean Moloney (Middlesbrough)
12. Peter Youll (West Hartlepool)
13. Jack McPhillips (Middlesbrough)
14. Martin Hopley (Billingham)
15. Max Connon (Carlisle)

16. Kieran Clarke (Middlesbrough)
17. Charlie Purkiss McEndoo (Harrogate)
18. Andrew Kirton (South Shields Westoe)
19. Rob Stanwix (Barnard Castle)
20. Callum Burke (DMP)
21. Peter Homan (Middlesbrough)
22. Luke Wilson (Billingham)

Travelling Reserves

23. Tom Johnson (Hartlepool)
24. Ryan Foreman (Hartlepool Rovers)


Durham will begin their trip south on Saturday afternoon for an overnight stay ahead of the fixture.

The North East side will round off the day of events at Head Quarters as they follow the Barbarians match and kick off at 5.15pm. The match will be available through live stream on

By Clarissa Murphy

Durham County players announced in England Counties squad ahead of Romania Tour

Durham County players announced in England Counties squad ahead of Romania Tour


Durham County and Mowden Park triplet announced in the England Counties squad to tour to Romania.

England Counties Team Manager, Matt Long has confirmed a squad of 29 players to travel to Romania for the team’s three match tour.

The first game will see the side kick off with a warm up game on June, 1 against CSM Bucharest, followed by fixtures against Romania U23s and Romania A on June 5 and 8.

The three players that will make their debuts for England are; Ollie Hodgson, Warren Seals and Grant Connon.

(Left to Right: Photo Credit: DMP Pitchero; Grant Connon, Ollie Hodgson and Warren Seals)


The announcement comes ahead of the Bill Beaumont County Championship Division Two final at Twickenham on Sunday.

Throughout Durham’s Championship campaign, the Darlington Mown Park players have all made their impact to the sides success with three appearances from Hodgson, two from Connon and one from Seals with a total of five tries and thirteen conversions between them.

The players selected in the squad, represent a range of clubs and counties from across the country. As well as their fixtures, England Counties will be undertaking outreach work in Bucharest to help grow the game in Romania.

“We’re incredibly excited about the opportunity to tour Romania,” said Long.

“Representing your country is an unforgettable experience and for many of the players involved on the tour it will be the pinnacle of their rugby careers.

‘’Following up on a previous visit by England Counties in 2015, we are expecting a series of physical games which will test the new England Counties squad’’

England Counties will be hoping to continue their success from their last tour in Spain, having finished it unbeaten.

Other players that make up the squad feature from Counties including; Cornwall, East Midlands, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, North Midlands, Surrey and Yorkshire.

Durham County RFU wishes England Counties the Mowden lads the best of luck whilst on tour.


By Clarissa Murphy

Durham Senior Men victorious over Leicestershire to win the league and claim their spot in Twickenham Final

Durham Senior Men victorious over Leicestershire to win the league and claim their spot in Twickenham Final

Durham County Senior Men secure their spot at the Home of Rugby, Twickenham Stadium following their win over Leicestershire.

The Durham Men welcomed Leicestershire to the RFU 365 artificial grass pitch at Billingham for an exciting and fast paced game of rugby, ending 32-10 to the hosts.

One minute silence: Durham and Leicestershire aligned for a minutes silence in memory of Thomas Howard and Tom Baty.


Captain Peter Evans opened the scoring with the first of many points from his boot with a penalty in front of the posts to lead 3-0 in the eighth minute.

Just a few tackles, line breaks and off loads later, Leicestershire evened the score with a penalty through their fly half, Ricky Alley.

Taking back their lead, Durham’s Chris Wood tallied the first unconverted try on the board as he crossed over in the left hand corner to lead 8-3.

Durham began to find their feet going forward and demonstrated some great attacking play as their offloaded before contact, putting the visitors on the back foot.

At fly half, Evans controlled the game well with his boot relieving any pressure put on them in their half.

In the forward pack, Durham carried the ball well to allow the attacking line to reset at each play, to play their expansive game.

Down the left wing Sean Moloney added the last score before the break with an unstoppable try, breaking free of the defensive line, Evans conversion added security to lead 15-3 at half time.

Returning to the field, Durham maintained their posture and stuck at the task at hand as Conner Foley intercepted the visitors attack to run in under the posts for an easy converted try for Evans.

The visitors remained in the game despite the 22-3 deficit, forcing the Durham Men to be clinical in their defence to withstand their powerful forwards.

Durham’s final try was scored by Daniel Dixon with another bursting attack, finishing under the posts for Evans boot to add a further two points.

Leicestershire’s persistence and evident strengths finally made their mark on the board with a score from second row Chris Arnold, converted by Alley to trail 29-10.

Just moments before the final whistle, Captain Evans sailed his fifth and final ball between the posts with a penalty to see in a 32-10 victory.

Gus Miller, Durham County Senior Men Manager, said: “It was a hard fought game, as all three have been.

“But, it was a great game to conclude the championship, win the league and secure our spot at Head Quarters, with.

“Leicestershire were strong up front, with a tough pack but we stuck at the task and remained within our game plan to claim the victory.”

Durham Senior Men will hold their final training session on Thursday evening at Billingham RUFC ahead of Sunday’s match.

Miller added: “The players have come through the set up at all levels and their hard work has paid off.

“We would like to thank all the players, clubs and volunteers within the County that have contributed along the way.

“We would love as many supporters to come along and share this rare opportunity with us and see us step out at Twickenham Stadium.”

Durham Senior Men will play Warwickshire in the Division Two Final at Twickenham on Sunday May, 27 at 5.15pm.

The game will be broadcast live HERE, and if you are interested in tickets, please contact John Dove.


By Clarissa Murphy

Durham Senior Men announce squad for final pool fixture against Leicestershire Rugby

Durham Senior Men announce squad for final pool fixture against Leicestershire Rugby


Durham County Senior Men host Leicestershire Men in the final fixture of the pool stages in the Bill Beaumont Championship, this Saturday.

Durham Men will welcome the side to Billingham RUFC to see who will progress to the final at Twickenham Stadium.

Last week saw the hosts triumphant over Staffordshire at Durham City in a 99-7 display of attacking rugby.

Gus Miller, Durham County Men’s Coach commented on the game saying: “Staffordshire never gave up, but with lots of tries it was a great game for spectators to watch.

“It was a great second game for us to gather momentum heading into the last game.”

Durham currently sit top of the Division Two, Pool One table in the Bill Beaumont Championship with only one game and 67 points scored between them.

Miller added: “We are looking forward to our next challenge against Leicestershire. Last year they beat us at their place and Saturday will be our chance to reciprocate the favour to them.

“As coaching staff we could not be more delighted with the players’ attitude and commitment to the team, this year.”

The Durham County Squad will align on the 22 in front of the club house before kick off to host a one minute in silence in memory of Thomas Howard and Tom Baty, that sadly passed away this week

The team to take the field are;

Michael Hughes (Barnard Castle), Chris Wood (Darlington Mowden Park), Ralph Appleby (Darlington Mowden Park), Chris Wearmouth (Barnard Castle), Talite Vaioleti (Darlington Mowden Park), Ollie Hodgson (Darlington Mowden Park), Danny Burns (Billingham), Danny Dixon (Billingham), Conner Foley (Middlesbrough), Peter Evans (Capt, Billingham), Sean Moloney (Middlesbrough), Peter Youll (West Hartlepool), Jack McPhillips (Middlesbrough), Martin Hopley (Billingham), Grant Connon (Darlington Mowden Park), Kieran Clarke (Middlesbrough), Charlie Purkiss McEndoo (Harrogate), Andrew Kirton (South Sheilds Westoe), Rob Stanwix (Barnard Castle), Euan Tremlett (Middlesbrough), Peter Homan (Middlesbrough), Max Connon (Carlisle), Dan Finney (Billingham), Liam Checksfield (West Hartlepool).

The game will kick off at 2.30pm at Billingham RUFC, Greenwood Road, TS23 4BA.

Durham Senior Men triumphant over visitors Staffordshire in the Bill Beaumont Championship

Durham Senior Men triumphant over visitors Staffordshire in the Bill Beaumont Championship

Durham County Men performed in front of a home crowd to secure a 99-7 victory over Staffordshire Men at Durham City Rugby Club.

Durham ran in winners in their first home fixture of the Bill Beaumont Championship, on Saturday.

Despite a resilient visiting side, Durham proved dominant in attack to tally a number of tries across the afternoon.

The hosts made an eager start, almost scoring through Chris Wood on the first attack, but a tackle from Staffordshire caught the side short of the try line.  The reprieve was not to last for long and with just three minutes on the clock Wood crossed the line for a try converted by Warren Seals.

From that point on, it was a lot of one way traffic and by the 18th minute, Durham had scored 33 unanswered points thanks to a hat trick of tries from full back Grant Connon and one from captain Ollie Hodgson each of which were converted by Seals.

The hosts kept up the tempo and by half time they had tallied a further four tries through Conner Foley (2), Euan Tremlett and a second for the skipper. Seals success from the boot continued with three out of four conversions to lead 50-0 at the break.

Try time: Euan Tremlett crossing the try line against Staffordshire


The opening score of the second period came after just four minutes in, to total a third for Hodgson with Seals once again on target with the conversion.

Despite the best efforts of the visitors, they were unable to contain the rampant home side. On the 50th minute, Callum Burke joined the score board with an unconverted try. Following in his footsteps, the Durham attack triggered an array of points with two converted tries from Peter Homan and Talite Vaioleti.
Vaioleti added another to the score board as he barged over in the 68th minute with Seals continuing his clinical performance to slot the ball between the posts.

Staffordshire demonstrated their resilience in the 70th minute as they joined the scores sheet as Tom Windibank intercepted a pass before setting off the length of the field and crossing over, converted by Lee Brogan.

The visitors attack remained short lived as Durham proceeded to add points to the board through Homan and Peter Youll with four points from the boot of Seal to close the game 99-7.

Gus Miller, Durham County Men’s Coach commented on the game saying: “Staffordshire never gave up, but with lots of tries it was a great game for spectators to watch.

“For us it was a great opportunity to utilise our whole bench and give everyone a run out.

“It was a great second game for us to gather momentum heading into the last game.”

Following their triumphant win at the weekend, Durham currently sit top of the Division Two Pool One table with ‘points for’ separating them, and Leicestershire.

Miller added: “New players have come into the squad and fitted in really well.

“We have had around 26 players training and everyone is very enthusiastic about the championship and the feeling in camp is good.

“It is all part of the building process which is going really well.

“We are looking forward to our next challenge against Leicestershire. Last year they beat us at their place and Saturday will be our chance to reciprocate the favour to them.

“As coaching staff we could not be more delighted with the players’ attitude and commitment to the team, this year.”

Off the field, Durham awarded five of their players with County Championship caps including; Liam Checksfield, Peter Youll, Chris Wood, Andrew Kirkton and Charlie Purkiss-Mcendoo with Callum Whitehead and Peter Homan picking up their debutant ties.

Durham Senior Men that collected their County Caps


The week previous saw ties awarded at the Cumbria game to players; Jack  McPhillips, Sean Moloney, Michael Hughes, Rob Stanwix, Euan Tremlett and Luke Wilson.

Durham will host their second host fixture, this Saturday to determine the side to go on to play in the final at the home of rugby, Twickenham Stadium.

The game against Leicestershire will take place at Billingham Rugby Club, on Saturday May 19 from 2.30PM.


By Clarissa Murphy

Durham County Women finish in second place in Championships after victory away to North Midlands Ladies

Durham County Women finish in second place in Championships after victory away to North Midlands Ladies


Durham County Ladies concluded their Gill Burns County Championship campaign in second place after a 21-15 victory away to North Midlands.

Durham Ladies recorded their highest ever league positioning after the well fought victory away at University of Birmingham.

Team Photo: Durham Ladies V North Midlands 2017/18


The visiting Ladies opened the scoring up with a try from Claudia Macdonald after a line break from Tara Breslin fell short of the try line, seeing Macdonald speed through for the offload and under the posts for a converted try by Breslin to lead 7-0.

Durham’s attack seemed to ruffle the hosts feathers as they responded in the 22 with a fierce attack, and camped in the visitors half for the next ten minutes of the game.

But Durham’s determined defence left little room for them to optimise on, with great tackles from Lauren Rigby, Emily Hunter and Mackenzie Thomas.

Tackle: Claudia Macdonald of Darlington Mowden Park shutting down attack


After a couple of close calls, Durham finally moved play to the middle of the pitch to relieve the pressure, however the hosts used quick ball to exploit the overlap out wide and score in the corner, despite great covering tackles from Ursula Hardy and Macdonald to cut the deficit to 7-5.

Returning to the half way line, play resumed as the ball fell into Alex Webster’s hands and the Durham pack secured the ball to begin phase play in attack.

The visitors attack worked the hosts on to the back foot with great leadership from Macdonald and well executed quick pod work within the forwards allowing them to gain momentum going forward.

But, the hosts were not shy at creating a challenge for the North East Players as they were very reactive at the break down to steal the ball.

Durham minimised the attack opportunities the side created with line speed and pressure in defence from Amber Stonehouse, Nicole Irving and Steph Maddison.

The leaders second try of the day came from Macdonald once more as her quick thinking put her through gaps in the defence to score under the posts, converted by Kirsty Paterson to lead 14-5.

Line Break: Mackenzie Thomas puts Durham on attack

After the half time break, play began to slow as the heat caught up with both sides and the ball swopped and changed between sides.

The majority of the game remained in the centre of the field with Durham looking promising at times with breaks from Paterson, Thomas and Hardy.

Once again it was the visitors optimising the disjointed defence as they played quick in attack with Clarissa Murphy setting Paterson away into the 22, before offloading to Ellie Pigford who was halted five metres out, leaving supporting player Murphy to come in and score next to the posts, converted by Paterson.

In the last play of the game Durham set for a scrum just inside their own half, attempting to run it up field Jess Cheesman took the ball to floor and an attempt at kicking for touch bounced back off a player to fall back into the hosts possession.

Despite a tough defensive structure from Durham, the hosts concluded the game with a final unconverted try to trail 21-15 on the whistle.

David Addison commented: “Durham have proved themselves and shown that they have numerous talented rugby players, that have easily made up the strongest county squad we have ever had.

“The hard work and dedication to this Championships has given us everything a group of coaches need from a player.

“For me the key thing in rugby is how you pull together when the odds are down and you are under pressure and our discipline, especially yesterday, has been outstanding.”

Off the field Durham County awarded a further six county caps to players yesterday, including; Amber Stonehouse, Claudia Macdonald, Kirsty Paterson, Nicole Irving, Rachelle Cooley and Sarah Hall, with Tammy Theaker being awarded the Percy Trophy for her attitude and commitment towards the team.

Pictured: Tammy Theaker receiving Percy Award


Durham County finished second in the Gill Burns County Championship Pool One table with nine points, behind current Champions, Lancashire Ladies.

By Clarissa Murphy

Durham County Senior Men announce squad to host Staffordshire

Durham County Senior Men announce squad to host Staffordshire

Durham Senior Men welcome Staffordshire in the first home fixture of the Bill Beaumont Championship.

This Saturday, the Durham lads welcome the visitors to Durham City Rugby Club for their second fixture of the campaign.

Last week saw Durham pick up a comfortable 64-5 away victory against Cumbria.

The game saw Durham pick up points through; Conner Foley, Jack McPhilips, Liam Checksfield, Martin Hopley, Max Connon (2), Ollie Hodgson, Sean Moloney (2) and Tom Larder with conversions from Dan Finney (4), Max Connon (2) and Peter Evans.

Team photo 2017/18: Durham v Cumbria


Looking ahead to Saturday, Gus Miller, Durham Senior Men’s Coach, said: “Staffordshire are a strong team up front, so we will be preparing for that in training.

“Last week we were so successful because of the game we played, we were able to play expansive rugby and it produced results.

“This week we have a few more experienced players available from DMP and Billingham, so we are confident in a producing another strong performance.”

The players to take on Staffordshire are as follows;

Grant CONNON Darlington Mowden Park
Liam CHECKSFIELD West Hartlepool
Jack McPHILLIPS Middlesbrough
Peter YOULL West Hartlepool
Sean MOLONEY Middlesbrough
Warren SEALS Darlington Mowden Park
Conner FOLEY Middlesbrough
Michael HUGHES Barnard Castle
Chris WOOD Darlington Mowden Park
Ignas DARKINTIS Darlington Mowden Park
Andrew KIRTON South Shields Westoe
Talite VAIOLETI Darlington Mowden Park
Callum WHITEHEAD Hartlepool Rovers
Euan TREMLETT Middlesbrough
Ollie HODGSON Darlington Mowden Park
Charlie PURKISS-McENDOO Harrogate
Tom LARDER Harrogate
Callum BURKE Darlington Mowden Park
Tom JOHNSON Hartlepool
Kieran CLARK Middlesbrough
Max CONNON Carlisle
Peter HOMAN Middlesbrough

Miller added: “This week’s game is the next hurdle in our bigger challenge of reaching the final at Twickenham.”

Durham’s final fixture will see them host Leicestershire at Billingham RUFC on Saturday May, 19 from 2.30pm.

The hosts will kick off at 2.30pm at Durham City RFC, Hollow Drift, DH1 3JU.

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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