Archive for 21 May 2015

U16 Group Nomination 2015-16




 The U16 age group is yet another opportunity for young players to representative their County.  In previous years players have had the opportunity to progress to represent the North Division and their Country, however, this will no longer be the case.

The route that a representative player will now take will be via Sale Sharks Academy.  A player may be invited to attend the Sale Sharks Academy and if successful will ultimately be selected to play at the prestigious Wellington Festival in Berkshire.  It should be noted that Cheshire has a strong tradition of players being selected to play representative rugby at a higher level.

Cheshire Rugby Football Union invites you to nominate players who you consider to be of County standard. All players must complete a nomination form. Please send the forms to me no later than 7th July 2015

Details of the trial dates and venues and a list of nominees informing them which venue to attend will be posted on the Cheshire R.F.U. website,

Please note that players who turn up on the day, for whom no nomination form has been received by the due date, will not be allowed to trial.

All information regarding the outcome of the trials will be posted on the Cheshire R.F.U. website so clubs and schools will not be contacted directly about the arrangements.  The website will also give details of the dates and times of County training sessions as well as the programme of matches against other counties as soon as they become available.

Cheshire XV v Durham XV – Saturday 23rd May -Results

County Championship ‘Bill Beaumont Cup’
Saturday 23rd May 2015
CHESHIRE 52    V     DURHAM 40
Match Report to Follow

Cheshire XV

15 Tom Foden – Chester
14 Nick Royle – Caldy
13 Forbes Edwards – Sandbach
12 Tommy Banks – Caldy
11 Ali Baker – Wirral
10 Jack Lavin – Birkenhead Park
9 Nick Allsop – Sandbach

1 Matt Beesley – Wharfedale
2 Henry Platt – Sale FC
3 Elliot Millar-Mills – Macclesfield
4 Tom Sanders – Caldy
5 Ross White – Chester
6 Nyle Davidson – Caldy
7 Mike Craven (C) – Chester
8 Adam Bray – Lymm


16 Ben Jones -Caldy
17 Tom Doubleday – Sandbach
18 Jack Leech – Sandbach
19 Adam Kelly – Caldy
20 Derek Salisbury – Caldy
21 Kyle Joseph – Chester
22 Gavin Woods – Chester

Cheshire Presidents Volunteer Awards 2015

Cheshire Presidents Volunteer Awards 2015

The inaugural Cheshire Presidents Volunteer Awards Presentation Dinner was held at Bowdon RUFC on Thursday 14th May 2015. Nominations had been made by rugby clubs across Cheshire identifying and recognising the efforts and commitment of volunteers. In total there were 37 nominations from 14 clubs.

Nominations were grouped into 9 categories, copying the RFU Presidents awards categories, with 2 additions for Mini and Juniors, and Women’s and Girls. Martin Wroe, President of Cheshire RFU led the judging in each category to select a recipient for a Blue Plaque award.

The Plaques were presented at the dinner by Paul Warrington, next year’s President, standing in for Martin Wroe, with all other nominees receiving RFU branded gifts and certificates from David Ewing, The RFU Council rep for Cheshire. Colin Free, Chairman of Cheshire RFU announced at the end of the presentations that Rugby World Cup tickets had been secured for every nominee as well.

The awards evening was a lively affair attended by 70 people from 10 of the 14 clubs who made nominations. A lot of camaraderie was shown within the rugby fraternity with the efforts of volunteers being appropriately recognised and celebrated.

The nominations and Plaque awards are as follows

Category Nominee Club
Player Recruitment Phil Cardus – Plaque Award New Brighton
Ian Grassby Northwich
Karen Gooch Nortwich
Matt Baty Crewe and Nantwich
Player Retention Keith Ashford – Joint Plaque Award Holmes Chapel
Jon Griffin– Joint Plaque Award Holmes Chapel
Andy Partington– Joint Plaque Award Holmes Chapel
People Power Mark Fenby – Plaque Award Bowdon
Ralph Savill Liverpool Referees Society
Club Management Roy Kitchiner – Plaque Award Bowdon
Myles Kitchiner Bowdon
Len Galey Liverpool Referees Society
Peter Owen Congleton
Better Facilities Dickie Smith – Plaque Award Caldy
Brian Welch – Plaque Award Winnington Park
Andrew Patterson New Brighton
Craig Randles Crewe and Nantwich
Peter Baldwin Bowdon
Andy Hines Bowdon
Geraint Jones Amselmians
Community Engagement Andy Brown – Plaque Award Crewe and Nantwich
Mark Hiney Stockport
Matt Griffiths Gentlemen of Moore
Presidents ‘Beyond Rugby’ Award Kay Weeks – Plaque Award Stockport
Robin Cheeks Gentlemen of Moore
Chris Pemberton Crewe and Nantwich
Minis and Juniors Emma Reid – Plaque Award Ramsey – IOM
Steve Holding Crewe and Nantwich
Gareth Harris Bowdon
Lisa Reid Bowdon
Tony Bennett Bowdon
Malcolm Cooke Stockport
Matt Langtree Stockport
Gail Surplice Gentlemen of Moore
Lisa Franklin Gentlemen of Moore
Tim Kilpatrick Caldy
Women and Girls Matt Baty – Plaque Award Crewe and Nantwich
Ian Grassby Nortwich
Karen Gooch Northwich
Brendan Bailey Wirral

Mark H Jordan

Cheshire CB Volunteer Co-Ordinator

18 May 2015

Age Grade Competition Review May 2015

12th May 2015

Age Grade Competition Review

The RFU Council meeting of 17th April agreed key actions to drive implementation of the Age Grade Competition Review (AGCR) from September 2016.

The AGCR Implementation Action Plan, which also includes a new strategic direction for Under 16 representative rugby, has foundations based on the firm principles that the game must be “player-centred, development-driven and competition-supported”, in that order.  This ensures that the motivations and welfare of all players, no matter their experience or ability, are the cornerstone of the game they play week in week out.

The plan includes, from the 2016-17 season, consistent age bandings and incremental player progressions for all Age Grade Rugby; a nationally consistent playing menu and calendar that increases inclusivity, clarifies player priorities and dovetails club, school, college competitions; an integrated England Rugby Player Development pathway and representative framework and training and Continuous Professional Development for coaches, referees, parents, teachers and others.  It will support and work with counties, clubs, schools and colleges over the next 16 months to make the changes.

Implications requiring some change for those organising, delivering and playing rugby at Under 18 and below include:

Playing Framework

  • Mixed contact rugby finishes after U11
  • U13 dual age band for girls does not include U11s
  • 15 a side rugby starts at U14
  • U13 New Rules are implemented nationally in 2016-17
  • Lineout introduction is delayed to U14

Competitive Diet and Season

  • A nationally-defined consistent menu of national and county competitions per age group
  • No formal league rugby before U15
  • Competitive festivals before U12, not competitions/tournaments that find overall winners
  • Competitions and representative rugby at all levels (local to CB to national) to be played in specific, nationally-consistent season windows

Representative Pathway

  • Formation of Regional Player Pathway Groups to drive the programme
  • Divisional representative level replaced by regional programme matched with the 14 Regional Academies at U16 (implementation of this point from 2015/16 season)
  • No representative rugby before U15
  • No district programmes at U16

The significant changes to the England Rugby player pathway in this third section will result in development opportunities extended to 250 more English players each year (with a residential festival involving 14 Regional Academy sides) and a single clear pathway from 2016/17. A strategic review of the U16s programme studied the AGCR’s work, the RFU Talent Symposium’s findings and best practice from other nations.  The Review Group recommended broad numbers accessing talent development opportunities, less layers of representative rugby, improved pathway clarity, more development, less selection and age appropriate competition.

Implementation will be carried out in two stages and be managed locally by the newly-formed Regional Player Pathway Groups to ensure implementation best overcomes local challenges.  Key stakeholders from across the Academy Region have a critical role to schedule development activities and manage player programmes to ensure they are mutually supporting and not conflicting.

Please Note: The full Under 16 Pathway Strategic Review is available here. The file is from a trustworthy source and opens as a pdf document.

150508 NROP and Player Progression Pathway 2015-16

Between May and September 2015, an information and awareness campaign will share the plan detail to ensure that everyone involved in Age Grade rugby union knows how the game will look from September 2016 onwards.  Regular updates on, in Touchline and other game communications will be key to keeping everyone informed.

A series of resources, events and support programmes will continue through to and beyond the start of the 2016-17 season.  The RFU is committed to helping the game to make the changes and to be ready for kick-off in 16 months’ time.

For more detail about the AGCR Implementation Action Plan, its back story and the rollout please go to or contact

New Rules of Play – from September 2015

A key element of the AGCR is the player progression pathway from Under 7 through to 15-a-side rugby.  Relating to this, the RFU Council also agreed the rules and regulations for the 2015-16 season in April 2015.  Under 11 New Rules of Play come into effect nationally from September.

In early 2015, the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), of which the vast majority of rugby-playing prep schools are members, adopted the New Rules of Play up to Under 11 for 2015-16 and at Under 12 & 13 from September 2016.  IAPS and the club game are therefore aligned

The attached table shows a summary for each age group of the game format for next season, including the discretionary age group of Under 12 and the ongoing pilots at Under 13 and 14 for information.  The full rules themselves will be uploaded onto by the end of May 2015 latest.

For more information about the New Rules of Play please contact

Monthly “Rugby Shorts” – Positive Stories from Across the Game

Please find attached the latest “Rugby Shorts” which highlights just a few of the many positive stories from across the Game.

Rugby Shorts – Apr 2015

Cheshire 25 Yorkshire 19- Match report

Having lost narrowly to Lancashire the week before, the Cheshire squad arrived at Doncaster Knights determined to put on an improved performance against Yorkshire. For the first 20 minutes our defence was often stretched, but our tackling was tenacious and it had to be, as Yorkshire had most of the possession and territory. Cheshire were still guilty of conceding too many penalties, 11 in the half! Yorkshire, however spurned many kicks at goal and went for the catch and drive. Cheshire’s resolute defence kept them out time and again, until finally Yorkshire crossed the line and converted the try. 7-0. From the restart Cheshire got possession and made inroads deep into the Yorkshire half. Probing for a gap to score. A good chance came, but then it was dashed. Cheshire continued to play in the Yorkshire half and were rewarded with two penalties kicked by  Annetts 7 -6 at half time, and Cheshire were still very much in the game. A missed fly hack clearance by Cheshire and Yorkshire swooped on to the loose ball and ran through to score close to the post 14-6. Finally Yorkshire’s tactic of kicking to touch was rewarded with a pushover try  for a big lead of 19 -6. Not long now to the final whistle, were Cheshire finished?. Not at all. First Nick Royle made a high juggling interception and scored wide out. 19- 11. Next Forbes Edwards scored with Annetts making it worth the full 7. 19-18. Only a few minutes remained. Yorkshire were required to defend stoutly as Cheshire pressed hard looking for any score to win. Then after two good drives, the ball was in Lavin’s hand and he danced through to score and convert his own try. 19-25. And so to Durham next week, where only a big win for Cheshire will give them any chance of getting to Twickenham for the final. A low scoring win by Yorkshire over Lancashire would be very helpful, but unlikely. However one never knows.

Cheshire Team:
James Annetts , Nick Royle,, Forbes Edwards, Tommy Banks, Ali Baker ,
Jack Lavin, Ben Jones, Matt Beesley, Henry Platt, Elliot Millar-Mills
Tom Sanders, Jack Collister, Nyle Davidson, Mike Craven, Guy Ford (C)


County Championship result & Match report

Cheshire played Lancashire on Saturday in the ‘Bill Beaumont Cup’ at Chester RUFC, the result was

Cheshire 18 Lancashire 21

For Cheshire to reach the Final of the Bill Beaumont Cup at Twickenham, we would surely need to beat Lancashire, the perennial winners it seems, at Chester. That we got so close to doing so, at a 18-21 , reflects great credit to the players and the coaching staff. It was certainly not for want of trying; and maybe at times a little too much, as we gave away 21 penalties and with them yards and yards of territory, as well as 9 crucial points. Lancashire, as usual, brought a squad of big talented men, eleven of them from the  Fylde club, so there was plenty of experienced combinations and team work. The game was ever competitive, but too often Cheshire were on the wrong side of the halfway line and the Red Rose county just had too many big guns. Cheshire’s scorers were Liam McGovern with two fine penalties, a try from Elliott Brierley and a try and conversion from Jack Lavin. Man of the Match was thoroughly deserved by Nyle Davidson’s fine showing. Getting so close to a win will give the squad plenty of encouragement for the next game against Yorkshire at Doncaster, but no doubt the coaches will be looking for an overall improvement in team and individual performances as well as finding a way to reduce the number of penalties against.