Rugby players from the Emmanuel Schools Foundation head to tournament

The King's Academy

Friday, 30th November 2018

Rugby players from the Emmanuel Schools Foundation head to tournament

TALENTED young rugby players roar into action

TALENTED young rugby players roared into action as they took their Lions squad on tour.

The crème de la crème of players from the Emmanuel Schools Foundation headed to Cumbria for a three match tour against some of the best players in the Lake District.

A squad of 24 Year 11 students was selected comprising players from The King’s Academy, Coulby Newham, along with boys from Emmanuel College, Gateshead, Bede Academy, Blyth, and Trinity Academy, Thorne, near Doncaster.

The boys played competitive sides from Egremont RUFC, Keswick School and Penrith RUFC coming away with three great results.

Against Egremont, in difficult weather condition, the 17-29 defeat failed to reflect the close nature of the match.

A 24-12 win against Keswick School saw both sides equip themselves well and exhibit some highly entertaining rugby as did the 21-12 win against Penrith.

Tour manager David Greenshields said: “We have received some fantastic hospitality and while the competition on the pitch was fierce our boys have forged some close friendships with their opponents through a common love of rugby.”

Tour coach Alun Barlow said: “The lads played exceptionally well and came away with a fine set of results. I was amazed how quickly they came together as a squad given they do not get the opportunity to play together that much. I think they will take their improved skills back to their own schools now and inspire rugby across the foundation.”

The Kings’s Academy provided the squad with three team members including second row player George Oakley, No 8 Jack Forster and scrum half Euan Lodge.

Lions coach Paul Johnson said: “They all did King’s proud with their performances both on and off the pitch. This is much more than a rugby tour with the boys taking part in dragon boat racing, 10-pin bowling and ghyll scrambling, as well as playing three great games and some invaluable training every day.”

George, 16, who also plays for Acklam, said: “The first match was gruelling because of the weather but we learnt a lot about resilience and played some good rugby. It has been absolutely amazing and I feel my rugby has really improved by joining the tour.

Jack, 15, added: “We do get used to playing the same sides and this challenged us by pushing us out of our comfort zones. It was tough to get into the Lions squad and I feel very proud to have taken part. We have bonded on the tour and made some great friends from the other teams. I am sure I will remember this experience for many years to come.”