Rugby youths take chance to impress

THE region's under-12 rugby players were given their chance to shine on Sunday with a packed junior festival at Finborough School near Stowmarket

Stuart Watson

THE region's under-12 rugby players were given their chance to shine on Sunday with a packed junior festival at Finborough School near Stowmarket

Sixteen schools from across the eastern region entered teams into the inaugural Finborough School U12 tournament, sides originally fighting it out in four groups of four before progressing to the knock-out stages of either the Trophy or a consolationary Plate competition.

Bedford School, who are rated as one of the top 10 rugby schools in the country, went into the event as Trophy favourites, however, they were beaten in the final by Colchester-based school Holmwood House courtesy of a golden goal try in extra-time.

Norwich School beat Moreton Hall in the Plate final.

The festival was organised by Finborough School's Director of Sport Simon Sinclair. He said: “The idea came about for the festival because I felt there was really anything for the Under-12s in this area, there is plenty for the Under-11s and Under-13s, but not the Under-12s.

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“I was really impressed with the quality of player on show. The standard was incredible.”

Winners trophies were presented at the end of the day by 19-year-old Northampton Saints Senior Academy player Owen Giles.

Sinclair, who is an academy coach at Northampton, said: “Owen comes from Bury St Edmunds and has already played in the first team for Northampton so it was great that he made to time to come along and watch the boys.

“He appreciates that is was not that long ago that he was in their shoes and playing in junior rugby tournaments.

“Now he is on a professional contract so it was great for the young lads to see what someone from this area has gone to achieve in such a short time.”

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