Category: Schools News

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 

Durham County U16s name two squads to travel to Cumbria this Sunday

Durham County U16s name two squads to travel to Cumbria this Sunday


Durham County U16s travel to Penrith RFC this Sunday for their re-arranged fixture against Cumbria.

This fixture will conclude the 2017/18 season for the U16, with one victory and one loss so far.

There will be two teams making the journey, the Bishops and the Princes.


 Durham County Bishops 

1. Joe Berry (Capt)                                   Darlington Mowden Park

2. Owen Chaplin                                       Durham City

3. Adam Hutchison                                   West Hartlepool 

4. Lewis Simon                                          Billingham

5. Michael Heatley                                   Ryton 

6. Will Shipley                                           Ryton

7. Ethan Forester                                     Houghton 

8. Harry Wilson                                         DMP

9. Ben Turnbull                                          DMP

10. Harry Leyland                                      Gateshead 

11. Matthew Ward                                    Durham City

12. James Pearson                                     West Hartlepool 

13. Tom Nelson                                           DMP                                              Yarm School 

14. Jacob Edwards                                      Barnard Castle

15. Sam Berry                                               DMP

16. Michael Carr                                           Durham City 

17. Matt Mercer                                           Durham City 

18. Dylan Penny                                            Billingham

19. Matthew Carruthers                              Houghton 

20. Kieran Roddam                                       Ryton 

21. Hassan Berba                                          West Hartlepool 

22. Rob Carney                                               DMP

23. Ezra Laundy Blair                                     DMP

24. Jack Archer                                               Durham City 


Durham County Princes 


1. Matthew White                                          DMP

2. Reece Kundu                                               Billingham

3. Jaime Minto                                                 Ryton

4. Matthew Etherington                                Gateshead 

5. Louis Peacock                                              Barnard Castle

6. Joe Houston                                                 Durham City

7. Will Barker                                                    Bishop Auckland

8. Innes Hill (Capt)                                           DMP

9. Luke Redfern                                                 Bishop Auckland 

10. Niall Butler                                                   Durham City

11. Aaron Fernandes                                         DMP

12. Oli Rouse                                                       Barnard Castle

13. Max Rafferty                                                 Billingham

14. Jake Boyle                                                      Ryton 

15. Sol Kench                                                        DMP                                                    Yarm school 

16. John McKenna                                                DMP

17. Owen Nugent                                                  West Hartlepool 

18. Phil Greenbank                                                Billingham

19. Jordan Hurdley                                                 Bishop Auckland 

20. Will Todd                                                            DMP

21. Oli Bales                                                              Barnard Castle 

22. Owen Westhrop                                                West Hartlepool 

23. Leon Kelly 

24. Harry Malcolm                                                    Houghton 


To see more about the team, check their page out here 

Durham County name U17 side to welcome Cumbria this Sunday at Ryton RFC

 Durham County name U17 side to welcome Cumbria this Sunday at Ryton RFC

Durham County U17s prepare to host Cumbria as they name players to pull on the jersey on Sunday.

This game will be the second, in their 2017/18 campaign having made a successful start against Northumberland at the end of January.

The game will take place at Ryton Rugby Club, kicking off at 3pm…

    Club School
1 Nathan Smith South Shields Westoe
2 Joe Sawdon Middlesbrough
3 Charlie Caswell West Hartlepool
4 Sam Shanks Darlington Mowden Park
5 Nick Blowey Durham City Durham School
6 Stephen Carrick Darlington
7 Will Dexter Billingham
8 Shane Ivey (C) Hartlepool East Durham College
9 Luke Pearson Billingham Durham School
10 Callum Robinson Barnard Castle School
11 Alex Ofiso Stockton Hartlepool Sixth Form
12 Callum Piert Darlington Mowden Park
13 Leon Turnbull Billingham
14 Luke Cooper Billingham Hartlepool Sixth Form
15 Joe Ross Billingham Hartlepool Sixth Form
16 Luke Hawkins Gateshead
17 Harry Thompson Billingham
18 Ethan Leddington West Hartlepool
19 Zak Swan South Shields Westoe
20 Oliver Connolly West Hartlepool
21 Alex Smith Durham City Emanuel College
22 Cameron Mather Gateshead Emanuel College
23 Harry Burnard Billingham
24 Dean Edmundson Sunderland
25 Sam Douglass Yarm School
26 Chris West Houghton


For more information on the U17s page check out their page here 

Durham U16M victorious away to Yorkshire

Durham U16M victorious away to Yorkshire


Durham U16M took on Yorkshire away at Keighley RFC where they reigned victorious with a score line of 22-18.

Pictured: 2017/18 Durham team v Yorkshire U16s


At the impressive facility, the Yorkshire hosts settled quickly and pounced upon Durham mistakes to take a lead by two unconverted tries.

But, with the costly wake up call, Durham started to exert pressure and the forward domination in the scrums and lineouts started to create chances, one of which was finished superbly by Matthew Ward.

Trailing by one, this changed the dynamic and momentum as Durham piled on the pressure. But, to Yorkshires credit, their defence stood firm and from a quick break away, the Yorkshire winger chipped the ball over the defence to score an excellent try to lead 15-5 at the half time break.

Back from the break, the visitors came out with a calm yet determined attitude. Marking his name on the board for a second time was Ward following great hands seeing him over the hosts try line.

Making a short return, Yorkshire extended the lead with a penalty sailing through the posts to lead before a penalty at the scrum lead to a try from Sam Berry to trail 18-15.

Durham sealed the win with five minutes on the clock as a break through the centre from Charlie Bourne set up Max Rafferty to score a try, converted by Harry Leyland to make the final whistle go with a score of 22-18 to the Durham visitors.

Nigel Aucott, Lead U16s forward Coach, commented on the game saying; “Today was an absolutely cracking win for the lads.

“For me, what we take away from today is resilience – even when we went two tries down, the lads did not let it affect their performance and looked like the stronger team finishing the game.”

While programme leader, David Hill said, “Pride does not cover it today, it was an awesome performance from everyone, on and off the field!”

The final and re-arranged fixture against Cumbria will take place on Sunday, Feb 25 at Penrith RFC.

See team sheet for Yorkshire 

Durham County U16s name side to travel to Yorkshire on Sunday

Durham County U16s name side to travel to Yorkshire on Sunday


Durham County U16s travel away to Yorkshire this Sunday in the second of their three fixtures in their 2017/18 campaign.

The coaching staff have slimmed the large pool of players down to a travelling 24 to make the trip to Keithley RFC.

Best of luck to all players named;  


1. Joe Berry-(Capt)                                          Darlington Mowden Park

2. Owen Chaplin                                              Durham City

3. Owen Nugent                                              West Hartlepool

4. Matthew Etherington                                Gateshead

5. Sam Shanks                                                  Darlington Mowden Park

6. Ezra Laundy Blair                                         Darlington Mowden Park

7. Ethan Forester                                             Houghton

8. Innes Hill                                                       Darlington Mowden Park

9. Luke Redfern                                                Bishop Auckland

10. Niall Butler (V-Capt )                                 Durham City

11. Matthew Ward                                          Durham City

12. James Pearson                                           West Hartlepool

13. Charlie Bourne                                           Darlington Mowden Park

14. Sol Kench                                                    Darlington Mowden Park

15. Sam Berry                                                   Darlington Mowden Park


16. Matthew White                                         Darlington Mowden Park

17. John McKenna                                           Darlington Mowden Park

18. Louis Peacock                                            Barnard Castle School

19. Lewis Simon                                               Billingham

20. Max Rafferty                                              Billingham

21. Jake Boyle                                                   Ryton

22. Ben Turnbull                                              Darlington Mowden Park
23. Harry Leyland                                            Gateshead 


Travelling reserves 

Harry Wilson                                                   Darlington Mowden Park

Adam Hutchison                                             West Hartlepool

To see more about the U16s side, check out their 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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