The ISRFC Lambs U18 season is underway after the nomination process opened on Monday.
School coaches and Directors of Rugby are encouraged to email the Lambs with their nominations for players that they think could be a part of the Lambs programme.
The criteria are that they must fit the Lambs’ ‘Fast and Free’ approach to the game, and they must not be playing in Academy or representative rugby.
The Lambs’ season is always an exciting one, for those players outside of the Premiership Academy system it is perhaps the highest honour available. The Lambs have built a huge reputation not just as a top quality side, but a side playing in that Barbarians style that we will likely see at Twickenham on Saturday.
On the field it is about that fast and free philosophy, off it the Lambs are very much in that old fashioned mould of rugby values, enjoying their annual tours, that have taken in countries such as the USA, Zimbabwe, and Canada, both on and off the field, and encouraging the players themselves to take responsibility.
This year the Lambs tour Croatia and Italy during the Easter break, with seven fixtures leading up to that tour and a final game against Crawshays Welsh a few days after their return as part of their end of season celebrations.
Before all of that though, players must make it through a tough selection process in order to be a part of the U18 ISRFC Lambs National Squad, beginning with those nominations.
Once the nominations are in, the playing begins, starting on Sunday 3rd December with the regional selection days. These are followed a week later by Regional warm up games, with each region taking on different opposition, with the potential for another such game on Sunday 17th December.
As we move in to the New Year the ISRFC Lambs National Squad is selected following a round robin of games between the four regions at Wisbech Grammar School on Sunday 7th January.
Just a week later the National Squad’s season kicks off when they play the Irish Exiles, followed by the Exeter Chiefs a week later.
After a two week break they then take on Nottingham University Freshers, with their next game on Sunday 18th February against Boys Club of Wales. The 27th February sees the annual Tuesday night game against Northampton Saints, before a great looking fixture against Club Atletico San Isidro on Saturday 3rd March.
Their final warm up before the tour looks like being a special occasion, it is a game against a Lambs Old Boys’ XV on Saturday 24th March, six days before the squad departs for their twelve day tour on the 30th March.
Speaking about the upcoming Lambs season, National Director Alex Layboure said:
“I am very excited about the season ahead. We have a great programme in place and I am sure the trials will produce some more wonderful players that fit our ethos and ‘Fast and Free’ approach.”
Brace yourselves for another exciting few months of fast and free rugby!
ISRFC Lambs U18 2017/18 Schedule:
Monday 30th October – Nominations Open
Sunday 3rd December – Regional Selection Day
Sunday 10th December – Regional Warm Up Games
Sunday 17th December – Reserve Sunday/2nd Warm Up Games
Sunday 7th January – Regional Round Robins (11.00, Wisbech Grammar School), Followed by ISRFC Lambs U18 National Squad selection
Sunday 14th January– Irish Exiles (13.00, Venue TBC)
Sunday 21st January – Exeter Chiefs (12.00, Exeter College)
Sunday 4th February – Nottingham University U19s (14.00, Nottingham University)
Sun 18th February – Boys Club of Wales (14.00, Cae’r Wern, Merthyr Tydfil)
Tuesday 27th February – Northampton Saints (19.00, Venue TBC)
Saturday 3rd March – Club Atletico San Isidro U19 (12.30, Nottingham University)
Saturday 24th March – Lambs Old Boys (11.00, Aylesbury RFC)
Friday 30th March – Wednesday 11th April 2018 – Tour of Croatia & Italy
Sunday 15th April 2018 – Crawshays Welsh (KO & Venue TBC)