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 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 Cup Fixtures for the 2018/2019 season have landed

Durham County Cup Fixtures for the 2018/2019 season have landed


Durham County RFU have done the first set of County Cup fixture draws for the 2018/2019 season and you can see them here first.

The first rounds will commence from August, 25 with semi finals dates set for March, 16.

Check them out now…



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

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

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

Over eighty volunteers recognised by Mitsubishi Motors England Rugby programme in Durham County

Over eighty volunteers recognised by Mitsubishi Motors England Rugby programme in Durham County

Mitsubishi Motors has recognised over eighty Durham rugby volunteers in the 2018 volunteer of the year awards.

Vic Young: Durham Volunteers with their awards and guest Katy Daley-Mclean 


Durham County volunteers were invited to two evenings, one for the South of Durham volunteers at Tees Valley and one for the Mid and North volunteers at South Shields Vic Young dealership.

The Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer Awards is a programme created alongside England Rugby to recognise and reward volunteers of the grassroots game all over the country for the time they give back to the game.

During the events, volunteers are recognised with a certificate and a Mitsubishi Motors England Rugby Volunteers fleece presented to them. As well, as part of the Durham County RFU Volunteers scheme attendees were also presented with a 25 pound voucher for the England Rugby Store.

At the Vic Young dealership, volunteers had the company of England International and South Shields born, Katy Daley-Mclean to present awards and pose for pictures with.

At each event across the country, a Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year is named and presented with a glass plaque and a bottle of champagne along with an invitation to the Volunteer of the Year awards at Twickenham.

On behalf of Durham County, Graham Newton of Stockton Rugby Club was named Mitsubishi Motors Volunteer of the Year at Tees Valley described as: “The principle person behind a move of the rugby club to a new shared partnership with Stockton Cricket Club and Grangefield Academy, the club now has funds to improve facilities and has turned into a community club.”

Volunteer of the Year Graham Newton


At Vic Young, Graeme Holloway of Horden and Peterlee Rugby Club was presented the Volunteer of the Year award due to his work with the Girl section at the club. His nominator said: “Graeme has made immeasurable contributions towards girls rugby in Horden bringing the team from six to 44 due to his determination, enthusiasm, encouragement and support.

“He has had a massive impact in pulling in new recruits and driving the game forward at the club.”

Volunteer of the Year Graeme Holloway collecting award from Katy Daley-Mclean


Across the county, a massive 23 clubs were represented with volunteers receiving recognition for their hard work.

A huge thank you and congratulations goes out to all of the 2018 nominated volunteers from Durham County, for their continued support, including; Adam Pace, Alison Coldwell, Andrew Bell, Andy Flisher, Andy Wilson, Anita Wilson, Barbara Smith, Bill Coatsworth, Billy Lithgo, Bob Newsome, Brian Abbey, Carmel Hurray, Carol Candlish, Caroline McHale, Ciaran Horgan, Charles Thoburn, Clarissa Murphy, Craig Alderson, Dave Bottoms, Dave King, Dave McLeod, Dan Harrison, David Donaldson, David Hill, Elaine Barrett, Emily Hunter, Francesca Harding, Gary Farman, Gary McKay, Gary Routledge, Glyn Hewitt, Graeme Holloway, Graham Newton, Grant Borrill, Ian Kitching, James Houghton, James Sant, Jan Duncan, Jason Barrett, Jim Huxley, John Davidson, John Howe, Kate McHatton, Keith Higgins, Kenny Braham, Liam Lester, Lisa Ingham, Lucy Summerside, Lynne Murphy, Marc Watchman-Atkinson, Mark Handy, Michael Birch, Michael Geritz, Michael Murphy, Michelle Martin, Michael Wilkinson, Natalie Wintersgill, Neil Rochester, Nigel Aucott, Oliver Clewes, Paul Davis, Paul Evans, Paul Geehan, Paul Vinnicombe, Phil Lax, Phil Robson, Richard Lydiatt, Richie Johnson, Richard Wilkinson, Sally Evans, Sarah Grainger, Sarah Sowerby, Simon Ayre, Stewart Hind, Stewart Webster, Terri Miller, Terry Robinson, Tony Hodgson, Tony Irwin, Tony Mills, Traci Jewitt and William Etchells.


By Clarissa Murphy

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