FROM MINIS TO ENGLAND

A snap-shot of last week’s pathway progress

By David Wilkinson

Last Sunday morning saw over 300 young rugby players descend onto Priory Park for the annual U8s Cheshire Tournament. Clubs from all over Cheshire were represented: Winnington Park, Northwich, Chester, Macclesfield, Crewe and Nantwich, Leek, Glossop, Sandbach, Stockport, Knutsford, Eccleshall and Trafford.

This is one of the first stepping-stones, on their journey of the joy of rugby, the first bonds of playing with team-mates against other teams: run, pass, catch – have fun.

The pathway in a picture, young blues to Sharks

Sale Sharks sent 2 players along, for encouragement, photo opportunities and to keep an eye out on future talent. All of the children were presented with medals, trophies and certificates were awarded – a great day was had by all.

These events couldn’t be run without Coaches and volunteers, so a big thank you goes out to the parents of Macclesfield Under 8s, and the Coaches: Alistair, Louis, Simon, Layla, Kieran and Lawrence.

The young players in action

U8s players and Coaches

England beckons

At 1.00 pm, last Sunday afternoon, Swansea, Wales v England, Ollie Davies wins his 2nd cap for England U18s, scoring 10 points in their record 7 – 62 win. Just last season Ollie was part of Macclesfield’s very successful U16s squad. Ollie has taken every step, so far, on what could be viewed as the perfect pathway through the rugby journey. Ollie is playing a year above his age grade so England must see something special in his potential. The U18’s Six Nations Festival starts on the 8th April, with each nation having 3 matches over 3 days, look out for Ollie on TV.

Ollie Davies sucks-in the Wales defence

Now playing his schoolboy rugby for unbeaten Kirkham GS and Sale Academy, Ollie is practically demonstrating the pathway that is possible.

A proud moment for Ollie Davies

Macclesfield Inter-Schools Session

Tristan Wood reported on Thursday’s school session: “More than fifty schoolboys hailing from various schools in Macclesfield gathered for a delightfully muddy rugby session. The students, representing Tytherington, Fallibroome, Macclesfield Academy, and All Hallows High Schools, participated in an inter-school rugby festival held at Priory Park on Thursday. Although a few players from the Club’s U12 to U14 age groups represented their respective schools, more than half of the boys had their first taste of our sport. It was a magnificent spectacle on a sunny afternoon, with rugby serving as a unifying force for all the schools in town”.

This was an excellent initiative to showcase rugby to young boys at Macclesfield Rugby Club. Hopefully it will have lit a small flame with some of the boys, to make rugby part of their sporting lives and that they may begin their journey.

Local schoolboys having fun with the egg-shaped ball

Transition into Senior Rugby

Russ Tomlinson, as the Club’s Second Team and Colts Coach, is working closely with the RFU, sharing the transition story at MRUFC where Colts are eased into Senior Rugby. Coach developer, Julian Gilding, has been working with clubs in Cheshire and Lancashire and says that Macclesfield RUFC is a great example of what can be achieved: “They have been proactive in consolidating their junior and senior Colts into one squad and Russ Tomlinson, their Colts Coach and Player Transition Officer, who is also a senior player, has been fundamental in retaining players and increasing player numbers and safely transitioning them into the senior teams. Earlier in the season Russ was able to turn out with three of the Colts that he has transitioned in a 2nd team fixture against Tarleton.

Russ Tomlinson with four of his Colts having made the transition

There is another rugby pathway story that I am gathering, and that is of Haydn Keogh, Macclesfield Mini/Junior pathway, Macclesfield Colts, King’s School Captain, North of England U18s and Macclesfield First Team; watch this space.

#maccrugby

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