A teenage rugby union player from Seahouses is kicking his way to a bright sporting future after being given a chance to represent his country.
Tom Davidson, along with Harry Thompson from Morpeth, Gateshead’s Elliott Beattie and Jiri Lacina from the Czech Republic, have been selected for the British Colleges Sport (BCS) North of England squad after coming through a testing series of regional trials.
The four teenagers, who are enrolled on academic courses at Gateshead College and part of the Academy of Sport’s Rugby Performance Centre, will now compete in a second round of trials this month.
If successful, they will be in the running to represent the full England side, which is scheduled to play its first warm-up game against Devon U20s in late January.
Tom, 17, who excels as a prop for Alnwick RFC, said: “It’s a great boost to be selected for the North of England squad and I’d be thrilled to be called up to the national squad. I’ve always had an interest in rugby and I enjoy the physical side of the game.
“Through my college course I have also acquired general life skills, such as teamwork, organisation and tactical awareness, which I can now apply in a variety of different career roles. Gateshead College has an excellent reputation for sports education and that’s what persuaded me to study there.”
Liam Gumbrill, who is rugby coach at Gateshead College and has been asked to coach the North of England squad at the trials, said: “These four lads have shown great endeavour and skill to be selected for the BCS North of England squad.
“They have taken advantage of our highly-regarded Rugby Performance Centre at the Academy of Sport, which gives our students every chance of fulfilling their potential.”
Liam is looking to develop the Rugby Performance Centre and attract students to its academy. The performance centre is open to any student to join whether or not they are studying for a sport qualification.
He is running a rugby union taster day on Monday, February 17, 2014. For more information, contact 0191 490 2447
Ian McCombes, manager of the England Colleges rugby team and regional coordinator at BCS, added: “The next step for the players will be to represent the North in games against the Midlands and South East/London/East region, from which a final squad will be chosen to play against Devon.”