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Yorkshire Schools finals at QEGS Wakefield

13 February 2013

  • Former internationals challenge talent spotters
  • Cream of Yorkshire schools at Wakefield

It's been a while since future England players such as Mike Tindall, Jon Sleightholme, Bryan Barley and Michael Harrison strutted their stuff on the playing field of Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School at Wakefield.

As sons of Wakefield, that quartet were regulars on the upper slopes at QEGS, where school games and junior games from Wakefield RFC were played.

On Saturday, March 16, 2013 the same pitches will be hosting the Yorkshire Regiment-sponsored Yorkshire Schools Cup Finals programme, a festival of youth rugby that provides a stage on which the best young schools players in the county can test themselves against their rugby playing peers.

This is the 18th year of the event, which brings together schools from six different age groups – Under 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18 – who have reached the finals through a series of qualifying rounds.

The games run in tandem because of light constraints, with the Under 12s and Under 13s kicking off at 12 noon, playing for the R.F.S.U. Cup and the Ralph Kester Cup respectively.

The Under 14s compete for the Jack Hempsall Cup (1.30pm), while the Ian Briars Cup is the prize for the Under 15 winners, that match also starting at 1.30pm.

The name of another great servant of Yorkshire Schools rugby, Graham Liddington, is engraved on the Under 16s Cup, which kicks off at 3.30pm, while the final of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment Shield competition for Under 18s starts at 3pm and concludes the programme.

Whether there will be future England players on show remains to be seen, but given the track record of Yorkshire schools rugby down the years, it would be a surprise if a discerning talent spotter did not identify at least a couple of players with obvious international credentials.