Rugby students from Gateshead College will be scrumming down with some of England’s top players later this month after winning a national competition.
The youngsters from the college’s Rugby Academy based at Gateshead International Stadium won the NatWest Future Stars competition because they felt playing for the college mirrored the values of the England rugby team: teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship.
They’re now looking forward to a training session at Twickenham with England international rugby players such as Tom Wood, Manu Tuilagi and Marland Yarde during the QBE internationals training camp on October 30.
This is the latest success for the college’s ambitious Rugby Academy, which has been selected as a Rugby World Cup 2015 base for South Africa and Samoa.
The news comes as one of Gateshead College’s former pupils Robbie Forbes has been selected to attend the England RFU U17 training camp during next week’s half term - the first time one of its students has achieved this level.
The NatWest Future Stars competition was launched for the first time this year offering the chance for schools and colleges to train with three of England’s leading rugby players.
Gateshead College’s winning entry was written by rugby fan Kristian Ross, who’s been doing some work experience as a social media ambassador for the academy, tweeting results and writing-up match reports.
Kristian, who will be blogging and filming the forthcoming training session with England, said: “The chance to learn from the best is a unique opportunity for the students and is just reward for players that give nothing less than 110% every week.”
Gateshead College’s rugby union coach Liam Gumbrill: “This will be a once-in-lifetime opportunity for our youngsters to be in the presence of some of the best players in the world.
“I’m sure they’ll get a huge amount from it, which they can take back to the academy to use in their own training and skills development work.
“We are proud to be a team base for the next rugby world cup. The chance to share the same facilities and equipment will, I am sure, be a truly unique experience that these young people will cherish long into the future.”