It has been a busy five weeks across the county for the Yorkshire Carnegie Academy with position specialist coaching sessions, development and identification festivals, JDS Under-15 playing for the club as well as continuing to grow our network of contacts and support for youth development across the clubs and schools within the county.

Strictly Scrum Dancing – This front row specialist clinic was held at Sandal RUFC and had attendees from over the county as well as further afield. The session was aimed at both Under 15 and Under 16 players as well as coaches within the junior game with a focus on performance and the technical areas of front row play. There were over 50 coaches in attendance and well over 80 players who took part in the sessions that were led by Yorkshire Carnegie first team players as well as specialist front row coaches. The initial feedback has shown this to be a clear success and more position specialist player development sessions will be held in the new year in partnership with the county and England Rugby, using the ERDPP as a development vehicle and target.
ERDPP playing festivals – A big well done to all players and coaches involved in the ERDPP development programme over the past season, the ERDPP programme for 2015-16 concluded on Sunday 1st May at Pontefract RUFC with competitive festivals for all of the Under-14 and Under-15 players within the programme to put into practice the skills and understanding that they have been shown over the year’s monthly delivery sessions. The Under-16 had their festival on Sunday 10th April at Skipton RUFC which was a resounding success in regards to the quality of rugby and also identifying some new players into the programme for the extended programme into the Under-17 next year. We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the ERDPP coaches and staff in the successful running of the ERDPP programme through the year, all of these people are volunteers and have taken the ERDPP to another level, on behalf of Yorkshire Carnegie, thank you.

U15 JDS players on debut – The Yorkshire Carnegie Under-15 squad, under the tutelage of Stuart Lancaster, have been training for the past few weeks in preparation for the RFU Under-15 festivals. Yorkshire Carnegie entered two teams into a warm up festival at Kingston Park where both teams played against Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons’ finest Under-15 players. As an occasion it was a fantastic event and experience for the young players and Newcastle did a fine job in hosting the three academies. From the 32 players who attended the Newcastle festival, and the group of players that were involved in the coveted Yorkshire cup finals on the same day, 24 players will head to Newark RUFC tomorrow to take part in the RFU Northern 12-aside Under-15 festival. Following this a group of players from the JDS and ERDPP will be identified to start preseason in June as the Yorkshire Carnegie Under-16 Junior development Squad.

Developing relationships – The Academy staff have been busy across the county meeting with schools, clubs, universities and county representatives to continue to develop relationships between Yorkshire Carnegie and wider stakeholders. Next month, to continue the themes of sharing knowledge and clarity along the pathway there will be a stakeholder forum held centrally to keep all rugby partners across the county in the loop in regards the direction and enhancement of academy programmes.