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Home > News > Roses rivals face traditional U20 challenge
Your News Roses rivals face traditional U20 challenge

THE traditional challenge to the big guns from Yorkshire and Lancashire in the National Under 20 County Championship arrives on Sunday, when Northumberland and Cheshire respectively seek to claim a home tie in one of the Northern play-off places.

Yorkshire, beaten by champions Gloucestershire in the semi-finals at Halifax last season, will travel to Northern RFC on Sunday (February 26, 2012) to take on Northumberland, who, like the White Rose men, put Durham to the sword in their only previous game.

With their preparations hit by bad weather, Yorkshire have a new-look side for the trip to the North East, with six changes to the team that scored 12 tries against Durham in recording a 66-0 victory at Ilkley last weekend, with Morley full-back Jack Moon claiming a hat trick and Ilkley centre Ned Brown grabbing a brace.

With a 62-5 win over Durham to launch their challenge, however, and with home advantage, Northumberland are in buoyant mood.

Tynedales Tom Bramald, their lead coach, said: Yorkshire are always a strong side at any level, but the Northumberland squad is really benefiting from strong club/youth programmes and I think we have an excellent chance against them this weekend.

Percy Park, Alnwick, and Tynedale are just some of the clubs whose excellent youth programmes are helping our squad. Selection has been tough this week and has given myself and assistant coach Loren Nardini a headache or too some lads have been really unlucky to miss out on this game.

Northumberland welcome flanker Jack Davidson (Percy Park) and second row Chris Campbell (Darlington Mowden Park) into the starting pack, but will be without fly-half Grant Connon (Darlington Mowden Park), who has a knee injury. Scrum half Hugh Todd will skipper the side with his Alnwick team-mate Toby Davidson also making the starting line up on the wing.

On the West of the Pennines, Lancashire launched their campaign with a resounding nine-try, 51-12 victory over Cumbria at Liverpool St Helens, leaving the Red Rose men facing a showdown with Cheshire in their final group game at Lymm RFC on Sunday.

Braces from both Ben Rath and James Laycock saw Lancashire through, although it wasnt entirely plain sailing after a first-half that brought the home side six tries, Cumbria fighting back valiantly in the second period.

Coach Paul Arnold said: Obviously Im really chuffed with the result. There are things we can improve on, but I definitely would have taken 51-12 before the game. There were some big performances and the lads are absolutely dead on their feet. They gave it their all, loads of commitment, loads of effort, but we picked up a few knocks so well just assess it and then hopefully build on this for the Cheshire game.

Cheshires previous outing produced a 32-14 win in Cumbria, so like Nortumberland, they will be licking their lips ahead of a tilt against the local rivals.

This season the Northern structure has been changed to produce two divisions split East and West with the top two in each group playing off for a final divisional decider, which effectively means that the same pairings will be in action again in trans-Pennine game on March 18.

The County Under 20 Championship has the double incentive of a Twickenham final and the chance to earn a place in the England Counties Under 20 team, which is chosen from players within the championship.

Northumberland Under 20s (v Yorkshire Under 20s at Northern RFC): Harry Clarke (Northern); Guy Pike (Tynedale), Cameron Mitchell (Darlington Mowden Park), Tom Bramwell (Tynedale), Toby Davidson (Alnwick); Kris Borthwick (Northern), Hugh Todd (Alnwick) capt; Gus White (Tynedale), Joe Northwood (Tynedale), Adam Telfer (Tynedale), Chris Campbell (Darlington Mowden Park), Max Smith (Morpeth), Jack Davidson (Percy Park), David Watchorn (Blaydon), Sean Williamson (Percy Park).

Replacements: James Cowans (Alnwick), Jonny Dubois (Percy Park), Jareth Main (Border Park), David Batey (Tynedale), Matt Williams (Tynedale), Paul Spowart (Percy Park), Dom Fawcett (Northern).

Reserves: Matthew Jollie (Alnwick), Aaron Smith (Percy Park), Graham Robson (Tynedale), Christo Arundel (Border Park).

Yorkshire: Jack Moon (Morley); Arnie Ellison (Harrogate), Joe Martin (Hull), Ned Brown (Ilkley), Matt Lovett (Leeds University); Greg Lound (Hull), Joe Rowntree (Harrogate); Jack Bergmanus (Harrogate), James Brown (Bradford & Bingley), Tom Francis (Leeds University), Dean Scotthorne (Sheffield Tigers), Piers Phillips (Darlington M.P.), Henry Forbes (Darlington M.P.), Jack Gatus (Sandal), Ben Morris (Blaydon) capt,

Replacements: from Ben Johnson (Beverley), James Munro (Leeds University), Jak Gaff (Leeds University), Mike Bradshaw (Beverley), Andrew Tamani (Doncaster Pheonix), Tom Bagnall (Beverley), Sam Kerry (Wheatley Hills), Piers Goodwill (Newcastle University).

Cheshire (v Lancashire at Lymm, kick-off 2.15pm): from - Joe Murray (Wirral ), Adam Neal (Birkenhead Park), Adam King (Chester), Jamie Redmond (Burnage), Doug Day (Manchester), Nathan Bailey (Altringham Kersal ),Martin Gerrard ( Anselmians), Jack Richards(Anselmians), Shaun Underdown(Chester), Matt Beesley (Sandbach), Mike Barlow (Stockport), James Flynn (Manchester), Lewis McKay (Wilmslow), Jordan Hill (Stockport), Jordan Widdrington (Lymm), Harrison Lewis (Wilmslow), Richard Cottrel (Chester), Harry Broadbent (Caldy), Sam Mullarky (Sale FC) capt, Matt Lister (Stockport), Ciaran Connolly (Sale FC), Tom Bills (Wirral), Callum Yates (Altringham Kersal), Luke Emmit (Lymm), Phil Brocken (Anselmians), Giles Dugdale (Sale FC), Andrew Rowley (Sale FC).

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