Archive for Under 20

U20’s Current Training and Fixtures information


Please find below information regarding the current published training and fixture dates for this season 2017/2018

First Phase -Training , Get to know the Coaches , The Drills,

Getting to know the team Expectations and Responsibilities Incorporating a couple of practice games.

2nd/3rd/4th & 5th phase’s – takes us through to the MUST WIN Competition games

Nick Jones

U20 Club Liaison and Development

Congratulations to Cheshire U20’s

A big ‘Congratulations’ to Cheshire U20’s who became the Winners of the Jason Leonard 2017 National U20 competition. Cheshire Played against Dorset & Wiltshire on Sunday 7th May at Moseley RUFC.


 Jason Leonard 2017 National U 20’s Final

Cheshire  (29)    v   Dorset + Wilts  (20) @ Moseley  RUFC  7/5/17

Glorious sunshine, a quick dry playing surface, accompanied by fabulous vocal travelling Cestrian support ringing out from the Moseley Terraces and a capable challenging opposition, set the scene for what was to be an enthralling final battle in this National competition final hosted by The RFU at Moseley.

This year’s Cheshire Under 20’s team, have gelled in a unique manner to encourage, challenge and improve each other’s performance both on and off the pitch. The ‘otherwise rivals’ from our county teams coming together to represent our fine county’s rugby heritage in the true spirit of our noble game. The players making the commitment to train, and compete at this higher level.

The travelling combined ‘Durnovarians and Moonrakers’ team, refreshed from their overnight stay in Coventry were undoubtedly the most organised team the young Cestrian’s had faced this year, Dorset may have been keen to excite but were prevented from doing so by a solid Cheshire defence, continuing forward superiority at the set piece allowing controlled release of the backs. Not to take anything away from the quality of the opposition today, a very active Dorset back line, throwing the ball wide and cutting play back to runners seeking to break the gain line, but they were equally matched at Moseley today to halt their intent in this contest.

Dorset were shocked when within a minute of kick-off, The Cheshire scrum half collected their ‘spill’, and with a skilled cheeky chip and a raging cheer from the terrace he dotted down to set the mark of what was to be an enthralling 80 minute encounter. Cheshire demonstrated their own skill and kept the ball alive & following 15 phases in play successfully put the right winger into space where he sprinted over the white wash, for another converted try in this charged competition for one prize. Both teams with a ‘brace of tries a piece’ left the field at the break at Cheshire 17 Dorset 13 .

Immediately after the re-start the Cheshire forward dominance again continued and in a rolling maul close to the Dorset line, the continuing multiple infringements to impede the charge were just too much for the man in the middle Mr Thomas, who ‘blew’ for the penalty try in the young Cestrians favour. This was followed 10 minutes later by a ‘battering -ram‘ mismatch where the Dorset backs sought to impede the charging Cheshire No 8, who with a 40 metre sprint dispatched the ‘last guard’ full back to hit the try line at full pelt.

Four Cheshire Tries to three from the opposition, in a thrilling encounter,tallied alongside conversions and penalty points saw the final whistle blow at 29 to 20. The true competitive spirit in which this final 80 minutes was played was a credit to both camps.

After the game Manager Ian Stanton said “ We came here today to do nothing other than play our own game, and we did that. This year’s objective was promotion and we did that as well. We knew Dorset had a capable back line, but so do we as you have just witnessed, Were only a small county, but we punch above our weight ! and it was interesting to see the two sets of backs perform under pressure. Our guys played some great rugby today, the forwards set the control and it became clear that any mistakes would be punished if we didn’t keep a grip on this game. As I’ve said before, I’m very proud of all the lads all of who have ‘bought in’ to the commitment to get to this stage. I know that the Cheshire management team and the two coaches, who played a valuable part in this, Mike and Tom have similar high regard for the guy’s efforts, and again I would like to thank them on behalf of the Team and Cheshire RFU for their personal commitment this year. Now we can all relax and then at the end of summer we can start to prepare for the fresh challenges 2018 season brings and build on what we have achieved together”

The run of games that led to this final are as follows;
Staffs (5) v Cheshire (31) 26/2/17
@ Longton
Cheshire (41) v Lancs (7) 16/4/17
@ Lymm
Cheshire (35) v NLD (5) 2/4/17
@ Wilmslow
Cheshire (22) v Lancs (17) 16/4/17 @ Birkenhead

A number of thanks must be made, firstly to the Cheshire Clubs who released their players to compete. To the squad players who trained and didn’t make selection, The players (and coaching staff !) recovering from injury, The RFU and Moseley RUFC for hosting this fixture, and importantly thanks to The Dorset team who turned up seeking the same prize and although they only left the field with runners up medals, they certainly won the respect of their Cheshire counterparts.

Thanks must be to the travelling Cheshire parents / supporters who’s vocal encouragement and words of advice from the touch line was very much appreciated by all.

And the final thanks; Is to the players themselves, who as a group took no backwards steps, spent their time to rise to fresh challenges and displayed loyalty camaraderie and commitment at the highest level to this years cause.

As the older players now leave, they are particularly thanked for their commitment and tenacity over their previous 2 years and are wished the very best for their future studies / roles. The junior members of this year’s squad now progress to senior roles having been set a fine example to ensure continuity is maintained and built upon… The best is yet to come !

North and England Counties
Five of The Cheshire team from this years competition were selected for North of England duty;
Chris Taylor (Capt), Matt Palphreyman, Johnny Whittaker,Tom Poole and
Charlie Venables.
And from this three were further selected for England duty; Chris Taylor,
Johnny Whittaker, Charlie Venables.

Every success is wished to them for their forthcoming fixtures !

Nick Jones

U20’s in the Final v Dorset & Wiltshire 7th May, 2pm KO

After the recent 2nd success against Lancashire, Cheshire  are now both promoted, and in the final of the Jason Leonard  U20 competition, to be now  held at:

Birmingham Moseley Rugby club , Billesley Common, Yardley Wood Rd, Birmingham B13 0PT  

playing against Dorset + Wiltshire
this Sunday 7th May
Kick Off @ 2pm.

From this year’s games, the demonstrated commitment, shown both on and off the field has led to success… The Cheshire team is focussed  on the next 80 minutes,  to play with the same intensity and  focus and look to finish their campaign on a high!

Come and watch our young Cestrians compete in what promises to be a great final  !

Cheshire U20’s 22 Lancs 17 @ Birkenhead Park RUFC 16/4/17

With a couple of injuries in the ranks over the past 2 weeks, and other commitments; some minor adjustments needed to be made to the Cheshire team for this semi final fixture.

The last time Cheshire hosted Lancs on 19/3/17 @ Lymm RUFC, the home team dominated performance, leading to the 41-7 result that importantly achieved the team’s primary objective in gaining promotion.  A similar dominant  Cestrian performance resulting in 35-5 win v Notts / Lincs / Derby on 2/4/17 at Wilmslow brought about this semi at Park against Lancs once more.

Not being complacent Cheshire knew Lancs would be ‘throwing the kitchen sink’ at this game bringing to Park, a very different team and a very different game plan. They did not disappoint. With 9 changes to the team sheet, again man for man the Cheshire forwards were against their larger counterparts, and a much more effective  challenge from the refreshed Lancs back line who kept the ball alive searching  for a channel as they put width on every ball as they sought out their play makers.

Once more however the young Cheshire forwards dominated the constantly reversing Lancashire scrum, Lancs lucky not to concede more penalties from their many set piece infringements  as they ‘popped up’, ‘broke binds’ and generally could not compete loosing every contest. The line was a slightly more evenly met contest, but once again it was the Cestrian forwards who put down the mark to control this game and successfully impede the Lancs set piece

The game was played in true competitive spirit, two rival camps determined to commit to this cause. Both seeking the one ultimate prize. The W.

In 80 minutes Lancs secured 3 tries against the 4 of their hosts. In a far more challenging sequence of phases the defence of both teams was tested to the full, forced errors and lapse in ‘D’ allowing the breakthroughs on both sides. With Conversions / penalties the final score not only reinforced Cestrian promotion, but now places them in the Final against Dorset to be held at Worcester RUFC Six ways (Date / details TBC)

After the game Manager Ian Stanton in his assesment of the game said “Our first objective was promotion the guys achieved that back at Lymm, so there was no pressure on them today ..job done.   We knew Lancs were smarting, and we knew they would make changes, maybe not so many, but they did .. So it was interesting to see their new back line perform against us today, Our guys played some great rugby, Once again the forwards set the control, they all used  a pretty lively defence when required .The team was particularly looking forward to this fixture, but .. We had to make a few adjustments, and now they have their well deserved place in the final … they have gelled and it’s great to see them keep performing at this level. I’m very proud of the lads all of whom have ‘bought in’ to this years commitment.. but I must also mention the valuable coaching skills and drills instilled by Mike and Tom that were tested today. Now the guys are just focussing on Dorset so we’re all looking forward to that ! and were back in the training Paddock next week !! ”

A number of thanks must be made, firstly to the Cheshire squad players who trained and didn’t make selection; then to the guys recovering from injury a speedy resolve is wished to them, all remain an integral part of this year’s team. Birkenhead Park RUFC for its hospitality, and all the travelling Cheshire parents / supporters who once again gave great encouragement from the touch lines!

Cheshire U20’s v Lancashire- Semi-Final

Cheshire U20 are to play Lancashire U20 in
‘The Jason Leonard U20 County Championship’
at Birkenhead Park F.C. on the 16th April
KO 2.15pm

Cheshire v Notts, Lincs & Derby match report

Cheshire U20 –  ( 35 )     v      NLD U20 – ( 5 )              2/4/17 

@ Wilmslow RUFC

A scorching summer day, a vibrant vocal crowd of supporters on the terrace, and a fresh re-lined and rolled playing surface at Wilmslow’s Memorial Ground set the scene for an exciting encounter in this ¼ final clash on home turf between Cheshire and the Nottingham RUFC Academy squad that comprised the vast majority of the Notts/Lincs/Deby team.  A very physical opposition were with few exceptions larger in stature than their hosts, and it was quite apparent immediately after K.O. there was clear intent to ‘feed’ all their ball swiftly across the park to their accomplished centres and wings as if playing a 10’s fixture.

What NLD perhaps did not expect was the tenacious young Cestrian’s rapidly unpicking their game plan, thwarting waves of attack with a solid defence. The bigger men were surprised by the self believe of their determined counterparts. NLD frustration spilled out with several isolated ‘off the ball skirmishes’ against the hosts. This frustration was managed well by the Referee and his able A/R’s, who not only played equal advantage but encouraged a free flowing game of rugby in ideal conditions implementing  rules by clearly expressing decisions. At 20 minutes an NLD penalty awarded close to the sticks was pulled wide, and the relentless ‘Battle’ for position, territory and control continued. At 35mins stage, with a blank scoreboard, a solid movement by the Cheshire forwards from a penalty against NLD released a very mobile prop to take a ball at speed, in space and charge over for the Cestrian’s first converted score.  7-0 HT

Make no mistake, NLD had the players to turn this game around. The Cheshire coaches’ advice in the interval was heeded well, Refreshed, Hydrated and focussed NLD were virtually prevented from stepping across the ½ way line. They were pinned back by their dominant determined hosts, and five further tries were swiftly amassed by Cestrians taking full control of the fixture at every scrum and line-out, placing this game well out of reach of the visitors. Three forwards tries and two well-timed runs dotted down by very able backs, was all the ‘fun in the sun’ the Cestrian’s could muster before the final whistle blew.

With the trimmings a 35 v 5 win to the hosts now means (by way of the groups) that we will again meet Lancashire in the Semi-final (Date / Venue to be confirmed – detail to follow) The NLD post dinner address dismissed their performance taking solace in the fact that before this game had commenced they had secured 12 players into the Midland Counties Team.  I’m sure they will be a more cohesive team next season.

After the game Coach Finnemore stated “The guys adapted well in the first half, they read the game and put up a solid defence, when they then took control of the game it was free flowing running rugby, but we are now focussed on Lancashire, who will bring a different team than the last one to play us, so were back in training to iron out a few issues and plan ahead”

Manager Ian Stanton  made a similar observation “The boys have played well today, this game is out of the way, and at the on pitch debrief  all the Lads were focussed on was the next game, They have gelled and have done everything we have asked from them so far, They now want more”

Thanks must be made to the travelling parents, supporters and the generosity / hospitality of Wilmslow RUFC in hosting this fixture.  It should be mentioned that Wilmslow catering and hospitality post game ( for a later function ) were disrupted by a late kick off caused  as a result of the Wheels on the NLD Bus falling off on route to the game.