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Home > News > North U20 Championship gets underway
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Your News North U20 Championship gets underway

Yorkshire RU Under 20s start their defence of the Northern County Championship against Cheshire at New Brighton on Sunday (January 24, 2.15).

With seven members of the side which lost the County Final at Twickenham last season and two successive Twickenham final defeats at the hands of Gloucestershire behind them, Yorkshire will not lack motivation when they go into action at Hartsfield.

What they will lack, and which concerns Team Manager Keith Dyas, is match practice and preparation.

Many of the squad have been out of action for over a month because of the weather, two warm-up games were cancelled and a belated trial game at Pontefract on Sunday merely underlined how the inactivity impacts on players.

"We were very, very rusty," says Dyas: "With so little preparation, we are also going into the game blind and there is no chance these days of getting the players together in mid-week. My only hope is that we do not pick up any further injuries in Saturday's club matches."

Cheshire have also been victims of the freeze in terms of preparations, so they too go into the game facing the difficult task of producing a team effort with so little match preparation.

Northumberland, who open their programme with a home game against Lancashire, have also been disrupted because of the weather, but despite losing two practice matches to the conditions, there is optimism in the camp.

"The squad look in extremely good shape and are keen to commence this season's campaign." Says Team Secretary Andy James: "Several players are new to the squad this year. They have performed well at U18 age group championship games last season and will be valuable additions to the U20s".

The Northern Under 20 Championship programme is:

January 24 - Cheshire v Yorkshire at New Brighton RFC, Durham v Cumbria at Gateshead RFC, Northumberland v Lancashire at Northern RFC

February 7 - Cumbria v Lancashire at Carlisle RFC, Cheshire v Durham at Lymm RFC, Yorkshire v Northumberland at Driffield RFC

February 21 - Lancashire v Durham at Wigan RFC, Northumberland v Cheshire at Tynedale, Yorkshire v Cumbria at Wharfedale RFC

February 28 - Cumbria v Cheshire (TBC), Durham v Northumberland at Bishop Auckland RFC, Lancashire v Yorkshire at Fylde RFC

March 14 - Cumbria v Northumberland (TBC), Cheshire v Lancashire at Crewe & Nantwich RFC, Yorkshire v Durham at Malton & Norton RFC

Cheshire U20s (v Yorkshire at New Brighton, Sunday, January 24): from - Mike Auden (Ashton-on-Mersey), Jack Ashcroft (Birkenhead Park), Joe Cardus (New Brighton), Max Crawford (Knutsford), Steve Crone (Caldy), Sam Davis (Manchester), Alan Hughes (Anselmians), Oliver Longmore (Wilmslow), Ben Marsh (Wirral), Ian Merrill (Crewe & Nantwich), Elliott Millar-Mills (Manchester), Ben Monsey (Stockport), Pat Sherratt (Sandbach), Shaun Strudwick (Caldy), Laurence Thomas (Birkenhead Park), Tom Bills (Wirral), Liam Cambridge (Anselmians), Ryan Catahan (unatt), James Conville (Altrincham Kersal), Jordan Free (Caldy), Joe Gammage (Crewe & Nantwich), Joshua Kapp (Manchester), Chris Nuttall (Marple), Luke Thompson (New Brighton), Phil Williams (Northwich), Jake Winstanley (Stockport).

Yorkshire Under 20s (v Cheshire at New Brighton, Sunday, Jan 24, 2.15): William Du'Randt (Sheffield Tigers); Thomas Hodson (Sandal), Jack Mackie (Wharfedale), Tom Davidson (Bradford & Bingley) capt, Rob Almond (Bradford & Bingley); Sam Watkinson (Durham University), Mark Gemmell (Bradford & Bingley); John Aikman (Sheffield), Ben Morrell (Old Brodleians), Lewis Thiede (Doncaster Knights), Joe Makin (Doncaster Knights), Adam Malthouse (Yarnbury), Alex Rieder (Leeds Carnegie), Joe Larder (Leeds Metropolitan University), William Marshall (Dinnington).

Replacements: Joel Gill (Otley), Gavin Stead (Huddersfield YMCA), Ben Johnson (York), Lee Theakston (Middlesbrough), Laurence Pearce (Hull), William Dutton (York), Joe Maud (York).

Cheshire U20s: from - Mike Auden (Ashton -o-M), Jack Ashcroft (B'head Pk), Joe Cardus (New Brighton), Max Crawford (Knutsford), Steve Crone (Caldy), Sam Davis (Manchester), Alan Hughes (Anselmians), Oliver Longmore (Wilmslow), Ben Marsh (Wirral), Ian Merrill (Crewe & Nantwich), Elliott Millar-Mills (Manchester), Ben Monsey (Stockport), Pat Sherratt (Sandbach), Shaun Strudwick (Caldy), Laurence Thomas (Birkenhead Park), Tom Bills (Wirral), Liam Cambridge (Anselmians), Ryan Catahan (unatt), James Conville (Altrincham Kersal), Jordan Free (Caldy), Joe Gammage (Crewe & Nantwich), Joshua Kapp (Manchester), Chris Nuttall (Marple), Luke Thompson (New Brighton), Phil Williams (Northwich), Jake Winstanley (Stockport).

Northumberland U20s (v Lancashire at Northern, 2.15): from - Karl Campbell, Robert Much (Percy Park); Gabriel Box, Sam Lesley Miller, Rob Reid, Dave Swetman (Newcastle University); Fraser Balmain, Richard Stephenson, Matthew Dawson, Daniel Halliday, Simon March, Jonny Stephenson (Morpeth); Ben Bell (Gosforth); Kristian Sorensen, Andy Evans, Jonathan Cousin, Andrew Hall, Olly Peters, Ash Smith (Tynedale); Steven Scott (Rockliff); Matthew Hackett, Ben Frost (Berwick); Daniel Persson, Emmett McNally (North Shields); Ian Brierley, Daniel Dixon, Rory Gibson, Shaun Horsefall (Northern).

Lancashire U20s: James Conville (Wilmslow); Jamie Harrison (unattached), Tom Hart (Fylde), Sam Russell (Fylde), Jack Matthews (Waterloo); Jack Gallagher (Trafford Metrovic), James Smith (Preston Grasshoppers); Stuart Hesketh (Vale of Lune), Will Stover (Fylde), Kyle Manson-Kullin (Ormskirk), Mike Smith (Sedgley Park), Samuel Wallbank (Vale of Lune), Harrison Collins (Preston Grasshoppers), James Mawdsley (Preston Grasshoppers), Luke Wooley (Sedgley Park).

Replacements: Andrew Bushell (Liverpool St Helens), Craig Price (West Park St Helens), Liam Oldham (Blackburn), Mark Wilcox (Widnes), Callum McShane (Myerscough College), Max Fullalove (Fylde), Luke Parker (Ormskirk), Oliver Cowey (Vale of Lune), Jacob Nelson (Aldwinians), Charles Pugh (Waterloo), Tom Banks (Fylde).

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