On Saturday 21st April Yorkshire Carnegie’s Under-15s represented the club for the first time in their development journey. The players, who competed in a festival at Silcoates School against Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons, had been identified from the ERDPP programme, through training and playing festivals, and had several training opportunities under their belts to be able to identify their team strengths, how they wished to be seen as a team and what they were going to measure success as.

Chris Stirling, Director of Rugby for Yorkshire Carnegie, was present at the festival and enthused for the future of the club.

“It was a very enjoyable day attending the Under-15s festival at Silcoates School,” Stirling said. “The young talent on display was of a very high standard and combined with the great work from the Academy staff and support from parents it is clear that youth development at the club is in a strong position. I very much look forward to watching this talent develop, come through and push for top level rugby at the club.”

The players had identified strengths of: supporting the player with the ball, decision making of how to move the ball to critical space, intensity, work rate on and off the ball and physicality at the contact area.  From these strengths the players had then come up with a number of key performance indicators on how to measure success. Yorkshire Carnegie player Ollie Fox, who has come through the clubs Academy system and now coaches in the Academy was pleased with the players’ learning.

“It was great to see the lads finally match up against Falcons and Sharks,” Fox said.  “This was a valuable learning experience for them in their first taste of academy rugby”.

The format of the day was festival based where two 12-a-side team from each academy played the teams from each other academy – in total four 20 minutes games were played by each team and overall the coaches were delighted with the performances of the players.

Luke Pendlebury, Academy Coach for Yorkshire Carnegie enthused: “It was fantastic to see all the players put their aims and objectives into such fast, competitive rugby and come out on top in so many areas. There were also lots of great discussions and feedback given from the injured players on the day who acted as the team coaches.”

The Under-15s group will now regroup, analyse the games against their measures of success, identify how they can grow their strengths ready for the RFU 12-a-side festival on Monday 7th May at Sheffield Hallam against other Academy teams. The highlights show the real potential of this talented group of players and we are looking forward to seeing this more over the next few years.