The end of April saw Yorkshire play host to a Sweden Under-18s touring team. Following a Wednesday arrival, the Swedes trained the following day at Bradford and Bingley RUFC, with support from members of the Yorkshire Carnegie academy coaching team.

On Friday evening Selby RUFC hosted the first of the weekend’s fixtures, against an East Under-17 ERDPP Select side. In what was a high scoring, competitive game, which the Yorkshire Carnegie side came out on top 33-32.

Jonny Wheeler, East Under-17 ERDPP Lead said: “The fixture against Sweden was a tremendous test for our players and it was pleasing to see them express themselves and their learnings from the pathways in a competitive fixture. Full credit to Sweden who played a physical and direct style of rugby and dominated at set piece. The whole occasional was superb and hopefully a great experience for both sets for players which will help them in their rugby careers.”

On the Saturday the Swedish group attended the Yorkshire Carnegie first team game with London Scottish at Emerald Headlingley, followed by the second fixture on Sunday at Keighley RUFC, against a West U17 ERDPP Select. In what was again another competitive fixture, Carnegie again came out on top in a 22-5 victory.

Andy Hinchliffe, West U17 ERDPP Lead said: “It was a highly enjoyable and competitive match with some outstanding skills demonstrated by both teams in a game well managed by the match officials and played in the true spirit of the game by both teams. I’m sure we will see many of these young players move to higher representative honours and certainly all the ERDPP players become outstanding senior club players throughout Yorkshire and beyond, a pleasure to be involved in.”

The ERDPP select sides were made up of players that have progressed through ERDPP system in their regions, butd did not have the opportunity to represent the junior academy or the county Under-17s side this season. The players had trained together on only three occasions prior to the fixtures, with support from ERDPP coaches and some members of the first team playing squad.

Whilst some of the players may progress into county rugby next season, this opportunity represents the end of their time with the ERDPP programme and provided great way to end their time with Yorkshire Carnegie. As a tool for the further development of the players involved, the opportunity provided through this season has been invaluable in supporting players’ development through a combination of coaching contact time and playing opportunities, ultimately supporting their progression to the next step of their rugby journey.