UNDER 18s / UNDER 18s Development (UNDER 17s) – 2016 Season Review

UNDER 18s / UNDER 18s Development (UNDER 17s) – 2016 Season Review

Stuart Kohler

Lancashire 18 Group Manager

The U18s enjoyed a largely successful season with the following results.

Sunday 18th October 2015 - Warwickshire 7 – 25 Lancashire - Kenilworth RUFC
Sunday 25th October 2015 – Lancashire 23 -11 Northumberland – Liverpool St Helens RUFC
Sunday 1st November 2015 - Yorkshire 21-10 Lancashire – Morpeth RUFC
Sunday 29th November 2015 – Cheshire 0 – 20 Lancashire – Wilmslow RUFC

Of the 28 players that were chosen to represent Lancashire U18s in the autumn of 2015, 9 were chosen to trial for North and seven made it to the divisional games. Of that group, Tom Carleton (Kirkham Grammar School and Wigan RUFC), Nick Ashcroft (Kirkham Grammar School and Wigan RUFC) and Matthew Woodward (Kirkham Grammar School and Tyldesley RUFC) were selected to play for England Counties U18s against France and Ireland in Ireland at Easter 2015.

Over 80 players were nominated to attend an open trial for places within the new U17s squad in February 2016 and as always, thanks to the School and Colleges Directors of Rugby and Club Coaches for their support in this process. Although it is always a labour intensive approach, we finally selected a squad of 28 players to represent the Lancashire u17 development squad, with the following results ...

Sunday 1st May 2016: Staffordshire 12 v 49 Lancashire – Stoke RUFC
Sunday 24th April 2016: Cheshire 14 - 7 Lancashire - Chester RUFC
Sunday 17th April 2016: Yorkshire 36 v 12 Lancashire – Queen Ethelburga’s College, York

The coaches and selectors select a squad based on what we see of the players on the day of the trial, and interestingly, this year over half the squad selected had not played County rugby before. This tells me that the aspirational player pathway is a good method of identifying players whose skills may have been missed between ages 14 and 16. However, there is always the chance that that players may have been injured on the day and not attended the trial, or were on holiday and therefore not able to attend, or some who simply did not perform on the day to the level that you may know they are capable.

For this reason we will be holding two development sessions at Myerscough College on 11th and 18th September, where the U17s squad will be joined by some additional players, so that we can be confident that we can select a squad capable of performing to the requisite standard in the three North Division 2016 selection games. Those games will be played on.

23rd October v Durham at a venue in Cumbria yet to be confirmed (Divisional Festival where all 6 counties play each other at the same venue on the same day)
30th October v Cheshire at a venue in Cheshire yet to be confirmed (Divisional Festival where all 6 counties play each other at the same venue on the same day)
6th November v Yorkshire at a venue in Yorkshire yet to be confirmed

Preparation for those games will be held on the following dates at Blackburn RUFC: 26th September and October 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st

The U17 and U18 Coaching and Management team are continually appreciative of the support we receive from the County Board and would like to take this opportunity to thank you again for all your efforts. We would also like to think that we have an open relationship with all our key stakeholders and we want to ensure that we are always looking to enhance our effort and processes