- Parling supplies icing on Terrington Hall cake
- Leeds meeting an inspiration for youngsters
Photo: Getty Images
When Terrington Hall 1st XV rugby team collected their second tournament win of the season in September by winning the inaugural Parling Cup competition at Durham School there was predictable elation at the York school.
But that success was decorated with another tier of delight at the Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Friday, January 25, when the team attended an England squad open training session.
That visit provided them with an opportunity to meet England and former Stockton RFC and Newcastle Falcons lock Geoff Parling and be part of a picture with both him and the trophy awarded in his name.
The fact that the Terrington Hall party was among an audience of around 6,000 people – mostly youngsters – who turned up for the session on a bitterly cold morning with a bleak weather forecast in place, underlines the impact the England team’s visit had in the North.
Chris Jones, whose son Tom is a member of the Terrington Hall team, said: “Days like this are massively inspirational and the excitement generated has to be seen to be believed. To get so close to the players and be able to talk to them is hugely important and central to what Stuart (Lancaster) has been trying to do.
“This is a great bunch of young players, who realise what it’s like to be inspired by someone you’ve seen on television. To see them in the flesh makes all the difference. It’s a wonderful opportunity and long may it continue.”