Bede Lions roar into Scotland
Students from Bede Academy, Blyth, have united with fellow Emmanuel Schools Foundation pupils from Emmanuel College, Gateshead, The King’s Academy, Middlesbrough, and Trinity Academy, Thorne, to form an elite 24-man squad for a week-long rugby tour of Scotland.
Jordan Knight, 15, Kai Burn, 15, Jordan Thompson, 15, Callum Uddgren, 15 and Nathaniel Lynn, 16, have all been selected to be part of the ESF Lions squad and will compete in three games against Longridge Towers, Berwick, The High School of Glasgow and North Berwick High School.
Bede PE teacher Andy Sutherland, who has been appointed as an assistant coach for the tour, said:
“This is the highest number of students that we have ever had selected for the ESF Lions team which shows that rugby at Bede continues to improve.
“A lot of our boys only started to play two or three years ago but already two of our students, Kai Burn and Jordan Thompson, have secured a place in the Northumberland county team.
“We were also supposed to have another Bede team member Connall Martin, who is at the Newcastle Falcons Academy, accompanying us but unfortunately he broke his ankle playing rugby and has had to pull out of the tour.
“Being part of the ESF Lions squad is a great honour for all of our students, who were selected from the best under-16s players from each of the four sister schools, to bond as a team and learn some important personal values, as well as improving their game.”
The team, who met up at Emmanuel College, Gateshead, before heading off to Scotland, were each presented with a full ESF rugby kit by Emmanuel College assistant head boy Sam Hedley, who took part in the tour last year.
As well as playing rugby, students will be given a tour of Murrayfield Stadium before watching Edinburgh Rugby take on Benetton Treviso and will also get the opportunity to enjoy an evening bowling and scaling the heights at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena.
Northumberland flanker Kai Burn, 15, added:
“It’s a real privilege to be selected for the Lions squad.
“There was a lot of competition to be in the team from a lot of good players across all four schools so I was a bit surprised to get a place.
“We’re looking for three wins from three games so we’ll have to be at our best but we have a strong squad and I know we’ll all try our best.”