Category: Schools News

Book Now; Durham County Coaching Conference

Book Now; Durham County Coaching Conference


Durham County RFU have teamed with the Rugby Football Union Staff once again to bring you the 2018 coaching conference.

The conference allows attendees the opportunity to pick one of three workshops to attend. The RFU delivered CPD courses will be; Developing People and Quilter Refereeing Children with Durham County providing a masterclass workshop with guest coaches about selection, the scrum and innovating attack.

You can book NOW online HERE 

drfu conference flyer 2018

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!

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