An all-star squad of rugby players has come together to face challenging opposition in the north west.


Josh Green on the run

Elliot Cook battles to keep the ball

Bede Academy players put in determined performances during the Emmanuel Schools Foundation ‘Lions’ tour

Sam Little ready to pass and facing a tackle from Keswick RUFC

The Emmanuel Schools Foundation ‘Lions’ are selected each year from the best players from each of ESF’s four sister schools in Gateshead, Blyth, Middlesbrough and Thorne, near Doncaster.

The Year 11 players selected from Bede Academy, in Blyth, were Sam Little, Josh Green, Daniel Doyle, Elliot Cook and Adam Scott, Bede’s player of the tour.

After a match at independent Durham School, instead of their usual tour of Scotland this year the team crossed the Pennines to play against Keswick School and Keswick RUFC, in Cumbria.

Learning lessons from the game against Durham, they were able to put their skills to the test in a closer match against Keswick School, although they were defeated 14-10.

After a short break from playing and training in which the boys got a chance to go gill scrambling and dragon boat racing, they faced Keswick RUFC in typical North Lakes driving rain.

Tour manager Dave Greenshields said: “The games were definitely a test of character but the boys showed great sportsmanship and determination throughout.

“They were excellent ambassadors for their schools and considering they had very little game time together they played well and showed great team spirit from the start.”

Daniel, from Bede Academy, said: “The games were good and we improved with each one. The whole team came together really well.”

Captain David Moores, from Trinity Academy, said: “It’s been really good. We had a great set of players and although we’re all from different schools we gelled really well. They were tough games but I was pleased with the performances.”