Yorkshire Carnegie held two successful ERDPP trial days this week at West Park Leeds and Queen Ethelburgas that attracted over 500 young players from across Yorkshire.

The trials were for players aged between 12 and 14 who had been nominated to take part by their schools and clubs in Yorkshire Carnegie’s six Satellite Academy areas.  Day one at West Park Leeds had players from West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and central Yorkshire along with the U13's and U14's girls groups from around the whole of Yorkshire. On the second day North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and coastal Yorkshire were all represented. 

The sessions were attended by members of the Yorkshire Carnegie first team squad – Joe Graham, Charlie Beech, Fred Burdon, Oli Goss, Richard Beck, Ben Hooper, Lee Imiolek, Chris Walker, Chris Pilgrim, Oli Hayes, James Fitzpatrick, Harry Casson, Liam Edwards and David McIlwaine as well as Academy players Tom Bullough, Max Wright, Luke Chadwick, Jordan Poole, Nathan Smith and Charlie Capps – who assisted with coaching and talent ID. 

The young athletes, boys and girls, were assessed across four different stations; handling, which looked at their catch and pass skills and passing variety; defence, which tested their individual tackle techniques and defensive organisation; conditioning, which involved them being timed over a 20m sprint and measuring their standing broad jump, and finally they were put through their paces in small sided games with different constraints to test their all round game awareness.

The trial days were run by Yorkshire Carnegie coaches Jon Pendlebury and Adam Blades and the pair were assisted by the club’s six Satellite Academy coaches – Pete Taylor, Andy Rickard, Craig Lovelock, Jamie Pocklington, Sam Pocklington, Jay Robinson, Rich Nicholson, Luke Pendlebury, Nick O’Connor, Andy Murphy, Kristian Sharples, Christina Head, Danny Wild, Andy Brian, Martin Webdale, Andy Bevan and Jacob McRobert.
The players who were successful in the trials will regularly train with their local Satellite Academy and will be working towards selection into the Yorkshire Carnegie Under-16s side, which is the first level of entry into the Academy. 

Speaking about the day Community Manager Adam Blades said: “We were extremely impressed with the level of talent on display over the two days.  The athletes who were nominated may not necessarily have a Rugby Union background but have been nominated because they have shown talent in another sport and the skills they have can be transferred and developed in our Academy structure.

"It was also pleasing to see the girls game growing so well, with over 100 girls from around Yorkshire attending the West Park Leeds trial day. The girls ERDPP group that currently runs alongside the boys programme in West Yorkshire will benefit a great deal with the new influx of girls coming into the programme giving them a more direct pathway into the county squad.”

Academy Coach Jon Pendlebury added: “This trial day has been particularly successful because we have been able to attract and identify potential players from across the county thanks to our Satellite Academy structure and this further shows our commitment to developing the game throughout Yorkshire for boys and girls.

”We would like to thank the hard work of all the academy and senior players who attended the sessions and also all the coaches who helped out and are a massive support to Yorkshire Carnegie development pathways. 

“This is the third trial that we have held, the first was back in September 2013 and the second in February 2014.  This year’s trial has seen a big increase in the numbers nominated and attending, and each time the standard has increased. This makes for an exciting time to be a young aspiring rugby player in Yorkshire!”