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Saxons coaching session for NE youngsters

30 January 2013

  • North East boost for All Schools youngsters
  • Saxons coaching can inspire Northumberland children
England Saxons coach John Fletcher

Photo: Getty Images

Children involved in the RFU’s All Schools programme in Northumberland will get a major bonus on Thursday (January 31) when three coaches and a handful of players from the England Saxons squad will run a coaching session at Druid’s Park.

The All Schools youngsters from Burnside School will team up with five other schools from different sectors of Northumberland rugby in a coaching session with Saxons coaches John Callard, John Fletcher and Simon Hardy.

Richard Coates School, Ponteland, Norham High School, North Shields, Northumberland Church of England Academy, Ashington, Kenton School, Newcastle and Berwick Middle School will join Burnside in a masterclass with the England trio, who are in Newcastle ahead of the Saxons’ game against Scotland A at Kingston Park on Friday (February 1, 8pm).

The players will receive coaching from the England contingent from 10am-12.30pm before taking part in a rugby festival.

“I’m grateful to the Saxons lads for helping out,” said Northumberland Rugby Development Officer Dave Reed. “Obviously John Fletcher has strong links with the county and the city and volunteered to do a session for us when he was here with the Saxons.

“It’s a great opportunity for all the schools involved, especially Burnside, who are involved in the All Schools programme.

“We have Benfield, Churchill and Burnside High involved in the All Schools project, which caters for both boys and girls. It has been very successful and is fulfilling the aim of getting some concrete support for Wallsend RFC, who are working to get a junior section up and running, which is why we made the decision that All Schools could support them.”

The programme has been running in all three schools since September and has yielded a number of positive results. Only Burnside were playing any competitive rugby when the coaching started, but now all three schools have taken part in a number of competitions.

Also, all three schools have had teachers taking part in coach education workshops such as Rugby Ready and are looking to get Level 2 qualified, while Wallsend are backing the project with a number of coaches supporting the Community Rugby Coach Scott Powell in the school, which has produced a steady transfer of school pupils into the club teams.

The Northumberland RFU have invited a number of stakeholders from the area to attend the session and festival on Thursday, with the RFU team hopeful that a session with elite coaches will provide further inspiration for the youngsters to get involved in rugby at club level in the parish.


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