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Home > News > Cohesion will be North U16 biggest challenge
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Your News Cohesion will be North U16 biggest challenge

HOSTILE weather conditions have handicapped the players and coaching staff of the North RU Under 16s, who will be making their bid for England recognition when they take on the South West in the Midlands on Sunday (11am).

Warm-up matches against Lancashire Under 17s at King Edward & Queen Mary School Lytham this weekend and a Development Day at Kirkby Lonsdale were both victims of the snow and ice, leaving a squad drawn together at a Final Trial in December with a difficult task in terms of gelling together as a unit.

Sunday's outing is scheduled to be played at Broadstreet RFC, Coventry, although current conditions suggest that a switch to an all-weather surface at Moseley may be a valuable option.

England have two selection festivals scheduled for Broadstreet in January from which they will name two sides. One will play in an international four- nations 'round-robin' tournament in Rome during the first week in April and the other, England 'A', will be at Wellington College for an eight-nations festival involving Canada and a range of European countries, also at the beginning of April.

The selection for the North's second match, against London & South East on Sunday, January 24 will be announced later. The five additional boys listed below will come into contention for both this and the third of the North's matches, against The Midlands at Longton RFC, Stoke on Sunday, February 21.

The North U16 squad is:

Backs: Marcus Webber (The Manchester GS, Cheshire); Tahir El-Mahdi (Audenshaw HS & Aldwinians, Lancashire), Niall Crosley (Bishop Rawstorne HS & Preston Grasshoppers, Lancashire), Ralph Dowds (King Edward & Queen Mary School, Lancashire), Oliver Cicognini (Ermysted's GS & Otley, Yorkshire); Jonathan Burn (The Duchess's Community HS & Alnwick, Northumberland), Charlie Swarbrick (Ripley St. Thomas HS & Vale of Lune, Lancashire);

Forwards: Scott Wilson (Eyemouth HS & Berwick, Northumberland), Jake Nickson (Arnold School, Lancashire), Matthew Beaumont (Bradford GS, Yorkshire); Daniel Grange (Ilkley GS & Ilkley, Yorkshire), Guy van den Dries (Barnard Castle, Durham); Hugo Peterson - Captain (Sedbergh School, Cumbria), Jack Allcock (Sedbergh School, Cumbria), Josh Francis (Sacred Heart HS & Waterloo, Lancashire).

Replacements: Jake Armstrong (Benton Park School & Otley, Yorkshire), Luke Cole (Hipperholme & Lightcliffe HS & Old Brodlians, Yorkshire), James Flynn (Stockport GS & Manchester, Cheshire), Mike Haley (Hutton GS & Preston Grasshoppers, Lancashire), Sebastian Tullie (Bradford GS & Otley, Yorkshire), Andrew Hodgson (King's School Macclesfield, Cheshire), Alex Wooton (Sedbergh School, Cheshire).

Also in the North Squad: Conor McGrath (St. James' C of E School & Bolton, Lancashire), George Hymes (Ellesmere College & Chester, Cheshire), Blair Hutchison (Longridge Towers School & Melrose, Northumberland), Jonny Taylor (Cheadle Hulme School & Manchester, Cheshire), Sam Peet (Lowton HS & Preston Grasshoppers, Lancashire).

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