The ISRFC Lambs selection process for the 2016/17 season is well and truly underway.
Following hundreds of nominations, the four regional trials were held on Sunday 4th December, the start of a process that will eventually see 38 players selected to wear the Lambs’ famous pink National XV shirt.
The trals were held at Woodhouse Grove School, The Perse School, Reed’s Weybridge RFC, and Clayesmore School with four squads, North, Midlands, South East, and South West, to be selected.
The Lambs aim for a ‘fast and free’ style of play, so a dry, if cold, day saw the players able to display those traits to the best of their abilities.
The four squads now face warm up fixtures, with the North, Midlands, and South West playing fixtures on Sunday 11th December and the South East playing on Sunday 18th, before meeting up as Wisbech Grammar School on Sunday 8th January for the ‘Regional Festival’, after which the prestigious National Squad will be selected.
The North squad has yet to be named, but the Midlands squad will face The Perse this Sunday. The 31-man squad includes two players from the host school, William Tyrell and Louis McManus. Unsurprisingly Felsted, having reached the NatWest Cup semi finals, are well represented. Hugo Brown, Jack Rye, and William Barker have all been selected. Denstone College also picked up a couple of representatives, Tommy Collingwood and Joshua Hart.
Berkhamsted, fresh from completing three unbeaten seasons at home, have an impressive four players in the suqad, George Carter, Matt Harris, Finlay Cripps, and Cameron Pope. So too Royal Hospital School with Ed Fletcher, Cedric Hoskyns-Abrahall, Tobias Allday, and Charlie Ewen. St Edward’s Oxford meanwhile have three players in the squad, Angus Atkinson, Luke Valentine, and Dekoye Coker, while Wellingborough have two representatives, Sam Howell and Matthew Chalcraft.
The South West, meanwhile, face Somerset U17 on Sunday. They have selected a slightly smaller squad with 27 players selected for the warm up fixture. Queen’s College Taunton have Jack Guy and Adam Harrison representing them, while Clayesmore, who hosted the trial, have three in George Vasey, Max Tipping, and Oliver Dunstan.
Sherborne’s strong season sees them represented by Rafe Yewdall and Kit Delamain, so too Cheltenham College with Jamie Thorley and Ed Johnston. King Edward’s also have two representatives in Christopher Seaby and David March, while Canford, so impressive this season, have three, Toby Hett, Patrick Regan, and George Leggett.
King’s College Taunton have Tom Puttman and Charlie Agbo selected, with Millfield also having two representatives in Ben Mallett and Tom Wood. Wellington School also have two, Ben Hohnson and Ben Howe.
The South East have to wait a little longer for their game, they do not face London Scottish at Richmond RFC until Sunday 18th December. They have selected a much smaller 22 man squad, however they will have another five players also travelling with the squad.
Three props are selected Trinity’s Thomas Petter, Pangbourne College’s Alexander Zenda, and Ryan Aujla of Reed’s. Caterham’s Conor McNeil is the sole hooker, with Harrow’s William Heywood, Reed’s Tom Prigmore, and Kingham Hill’s Adam Smith are the locks.
Harrow’s success this season sees two of the back row options being provided by them, Fabian Dovree and Alex Du Sautoy, with Mill Hill’s Jake Sugg, Pangoburne College’s Ollie Jones, and Leo Lewis of St Joseph’s College complete the back row options.
Norwich’s Alex Leeder and Highgate’s Matthew Houppermans are the scrum half options, with St Joseph’s Anton Limlei the sole fly half in the squad. His schoolmate Max Taylor-Calver is one of the centres, along with Kent College’s Lewis Hewitt, Pangbourne’s Louis Ellis, and Alex O’Connor of Reed’s. The outside backs are Che Ochugboju of Caterham, Kent College’s Daniel Marsik, and Matthew Atkins, Pangoburne’s fourth players in the squad.
Thomas Sanders of UCS, Colfe’s Chris Harris, St Joseph’s Ewan Kingdon, and the Dulwich College pair of Odi Oladuji and Dwight Hubbard will also travel.
Speaking following the selection of the squad, Lambs National Director, Alex Laybourne, said:
“The quality of trials has once again been fantastic, the boys worked exceptionally hard to showcase their skill sets and each of them did both their school and their schoolmasters who nominated them very proud.”
“Each of the regional coaching teams have had a very difficult job reducing their squads down; and that process will be even harder when it comes to the final national selection. I am very excited to see the Regions come up against each other at Wisbech and to see the National season unfold.”
ISRFC Lambs Regional Squads:
North XV: TBC
Midlands squad v The Perse, Sunday 11th December:
Hugo Brown – Felsted
Tommy Collingwood – Denstone Cllege
Didi Vidal-Adegun – Bishop’s Stortford College
George Carter – Berkhamsted
Jack Rye – Felsted
Ed Fletcher – Royal Hospital School
Cedric Hoskyns-Abrahall – Royal Hospital School
Matt Harris – Berkhamsted
Tobias Allday – Royal Hospital School
Charlie Adams – King Henry VIII, Coventry
Dekoye Coker – St Edward’s, Oxford
James Peachey – Stamford
Joshua Hart – Denstone College
Milo Linney – Uppingham
Sam Knight – Wrekin College
William Garrad – King’s Ely
Luke Pritchard-Barrett – Framlingham College
Charlie Ewen – Royal Hospital School
Sam Howell – Wellingborough
William Barker – Felsted
Luke Valentine – St Edward’s, Oxford
Finlay Cripps – Berkhamsted
Tom Lomas – Woodbridge
Matthew Chalcraft – Wellingborough
Lewis Webb – Wrekin College
Cameron Pope – Berkhamsted
Angus Atkinson – St Edward’s, Oxford
Charlie Harrington – Haileybury
Rory Pond – Rugby
William Tyrell – The Perse
Louis McManus – The Perse
South East squad v London Scottish, Sunday 18th December, 12.30pm, Richmond RFC:
Thomas Petty – Trinity
Alexander Zenda – Pangbourne College
Ryan Aujla – Reed’s
Conor McNeil – Caterham
William Heywood – Harrow
Tom Prigmore – Reed’s
Adam Smith – Kingham Hill
Jake Sugg – Mill Hill
Ollie Jones – Pangbourne College
Fabian Dobree – Harrow
Alex Du Sautoy – Harrow
Leo Lewis – St Joseph’s College
Alex Leeder – Norwich
Matthew Houppermans – Highgate
Anton Limlei – St Joseph’s College
Max Taylor-Calver – St Joseph’s College
Lewis Hewitt – Kent College, Canterbury
Louis Ellis – Pangbourne College
Alex O’Connor – Reed’s
Che Ochugboju – Caterham
Matthew Atkins – Pangbourne College
Daniel Marsik – Kent College, Canterbury
Thomas Sanders – UCS
Ewan Kingdon – St Joseph’s College
Odi Oladuji – Dulwich College
Chris Harris – Colfe’s
Dwight Hubbard – Dulwich College
South West squad v Somerset U17, Sunday 11th December:
Oscar Carter-Burns – West Buckland
William Laver – Milton Abbey
Ben Johnson – Wellington School
Charlie Agbo – King’s College Taunton
Will Bird – Taunton School
George Leggett – Canford
George Vasey – Clayesmore
Ed Johnston – Cheltenham College
Kit Delamain – Sherborne
Ben Mallett – Millfield
Ben Howe – Wellington School
David Marsh – King Edward VI School
Patrick Regan – Canford
Tom Wood – Millfield
George Hartson – Wycliffe College
Adam Harrison – Queen’s College, Taunton
Max Tipping – Clayesmore
Tom Puttman – King’s College, Taunton
Toby Hett – Canford
Christopher Seaby – King Edward VI School
Jamie Thorley – Cheltenham College
Eddie Jenkinson – Portsmouth Grammar
Rafe Yewdall – Sherborne
Oliver Dunstan – Clayesmore
Tristan May – Exeter School
Jack Guy – Queen’s College, Taunton
Thom Leman – Plymouth College