Two St Albans school teams through to regional finals of national rugby league competition
St Albans has two school teams through to the regional finals of the National Rugby League Champions Schools competition, and two more could be joining them.
The competition kicked off in earnest with growing involvement from St Albans secondary schools.
Last year marked the region’s first involvement in this prestigious competition with Verulam School entering a Y9 side, who went on to the national semi finals, losing out to Great Sankey School from Warrington. For the 2014/15 competition, Verulam entered at all year groups, and Sir John Lawes and Samuel Ryder Academy entered teams at Y7 and Y8.
The first round of the competition is played on a local basis, and then moving on to the County Festivals, before moving to a regional and then national format.
Verulam’s Y10 and Y11 progressed and are now waiting for their opponents in the regional stage to be determined. The Y9 team went out to Hemel Hempstead School in the county final.
At Y7, Samuel Ryder Academy and Sir John Lawes progressed to the county finals and went out in the semi-final and final respectively.
Sir John Lawes and Verulam School’s Y8 teams have qualified for the county finals on December 4.
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Speaking after the Y7 event, St Albans Centurions junior coach Gary Tetlow said: “It is great to see local schools doing so well in what is a new sport to many. The fact that Verulam School are committed to playing all age groups demonstrated how much they brought into the competition last year and how highly they regard it.
“And, the fact that we included two new schools this year is testament to their forward thinking and ability to see the benefit of playing league to supplement their union efforts and helping the player to build up confidence and skills.”
He added: “Andy Battersby and Ben Pike should be congratulated. With two, possibly three, local schools moving through to the regionals, there is a good chance we will be represented in the national rounds. We are looking to build on this foundation and run a merit type league for local schools so more of them can give league a go.”
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