- Students defy wintry conditions in Midlands
- Snowy preparation for trip to Portugal this month
Photo: RFU Archive
The England Students squad displayed true grit to beat the freezing conditions today as they completed a two-day training camp on the University of Birmingham's all weather pitch.
All 36 members of the students squad, who are preparing for their first match of the season against the Portugal national side in Lisbon this month, had gathered yesterday.
And the arrival of several centimetres of overnight snow did not deter them from training this morning on the university’s third generation rubber-crumb pitch.
"We cleared the snow from the touchlines and other pitch markings and got on with a full training session this morning as planned," said Keith Green, England Students team manager.
"We had an RFU national panel referee, Guy Steele-Bodger, who also travelled to take part in the session, and were able to work as scheduled on our principles of play and framework for the season.
"To me, this is the beauty of working with the England Students team. They don’t ask for anything, they get on with doing what they have to do and exercise their minds to meet whatever challenge is in front of them."
Players from Durham and Northumbria in the north to Exeter and Bristol in the South West, and many points in between, turned up for training, along with support staff including coaches Paul Westgate and James Farndon, team doctor Richard Usher, physiotherapist Angela Cumine and video analyst Dan Maisey.
This was the penultimate training session before the England Students face Portugal at the Estádio Universitário de Lisboa on January 27, with matches to follow against Irish Colleges in Newcastle (February 26) and France Universities in Riom, France (March 19).
England Students training squad:
Andrew Archibald (Northumbria), Jon Aston (Loughborough), Nick Barrett (Birmingham), Adam Bellamy (Bristol), Matt Berry (Loughborough), Tim Brockett (UWIC), Phil Burgess (Loughborough), Royce Cadman (Hartpury), Nicholas Carter (Nottingham), Kristian Cook (Loughborough), Richard Coskie (Manchester), Patrick Crossley (Cambridge), James Crozier (Durham), Sam Dimmick (Hartpury), James Fouracre (Loughborough), Tom Hockedy (Exeter), Dave Hughes (Loughborough), Matt Humphries (UWE), Ben Maidment (Cambridge), Oliver Mines (Durham), Tom Mitchell (Bristol), Greg Nicholls (Bristol), Tom Peddie (Exeter), Henry Pyrgos (Loughborough), Paul Roberts (Bath), Derek Salisbury (Edge Hill University), Tom Shiel (Durham), Matt Smith (UWIC), Evan Stewart (Manchester), Tim Streather (Nottingham), George Thomas (Loughborough), Alex Waddingham (Durham), Geraint Walsh (Loughborough), Mike Ward (Durham), Will Warden (Loughborough), Mark Wilson (Northumbria).