Twickers thrill for the boys

The North Hertfordshire College rugby academy team, The Lions, triumphed twice in November. They came runners-up in the London North Further Education (FE) Colleges 10s tournament and were invited to receive their trophy from RFU president Bob Rogers at T

The North Hertfordshire College rugby academy team, The Lions, triumphed twice in November.

They came runners-up in the London North Further Education (FE) Colleges 10s tournament and were invited to receive their trophy from RFU president Bob Rogers at Twickenham.

The 23 year one and two learners competed against colleges from across the region at Hertford before qualifying for the London and South East finals at Old Albanians along with the 10 best FE college teams in the region.

Beating five teams, they made it to the final where they were narrowly beaten by South East Essex College.

Coached by Mick Carey and assisted by Mark Tidey and Dave Marshall from Hitchin Rugby Club, the squad received their trophy from the RFU president at Twickenham prior to England's game against Argentina.

The learners and their proud parents visited rugby headquarters and gave a demonstration of tag rugby on the hallowed turf before receiving their award.

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The team then formed a guard of honour to the England team before their disappointing defeat.

John Drew, chairman of Hitchin Academy Community Rugby, said: "I am delighted with the success of the partnership between the rugby club and North Hertfordshire College.

"In less than two years, we are able to recognise the value of the scheme with the successes of the first and second year learners in getting to Twickenham and thoroughly enjoying the whole experience."

The learners came from a variety of local rugby clubs including Hitchin, Letchworth, Stevenage, Fullerians, Barnet, Old Ashmoleans, Dunstablians and Luton.

They were Jamie Reed, Rob French, Ben Solez, Mat Chapman, Tom Mellor, Sam Fussel, Gareth Chapman, Richard Bunting, James Coughlan, Ashley Quinn, Ben Cooper, Glen Brinkley, Robert King, Ryan Sucherill, Barry Crowe and Michael Strachan.