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Home > News > North Lancs RU development league a great success
Your News North Lancs RU development league a great success

The first-team pitch at Powderhouse Lane, Lancaster, the home of Vale of Lune RUFC has hosted some prestigious matches down the years, not least the visit of the Wallabies a decade or two ago, but few will have been as entertaining as the recently completed series of games played in a successful Secondary Schools Development League.

Object of the exercise was to give youngsters who had never previously played the game a chance to put a toe in the water and what a success the project proved with players, teachers, parents, coaches and organisers.

The chance of a level playing field for the newcomers and players who could not get into school teams, together with an organised fixture framework, brought a strong response from local schools to the invite from organiser Martin Powell, the Community Rugby Coach for Lancaster & Heysham, who was able to set up leagues at Under 14 and Under 16 level.

Another important initiative which helped make the league more attractive to newcomers to the sport was an adjustment to the laws. Uncontested scrums and a ban on lifting in the lineout addressed both safety and technical issues for players starting out on a development process, while the regulation preventing kicking in open play fulfilled expectations in producing some free flowing open running rugby.

"The league has been a great success," says CRC Powell: "Everyone has enjoyed it and from a Vale of Lune perspective, they have not only attracted 10 new players to the junior section, but also wooed back a few Under 16s who had found other interests.

"Being allowed to use the first team pitch was a real treat for the lads, who relished playing on the biggest pitch in the North West.

"As ever, the support of our sponsors Pye Motors and Iveco with kit and prizes was a major boost.

"We'll be running the league again next year after such a good start, but then we'll be introducing the full range of techniques into the competition."

Unbeaten Carnforth finished at the top of the Under 14 League ahead of Central, with the roles being reversed in the Under 16 table, where Central edged home by a couple of points, with Morecambe finishing third.

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