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Two of Andover Rugby Club's Under 15 players - Jacob Williams and Stanley North - have recently been selected to play for the London Irish 'Silver' Group. 

 

Both have played rugby at Andover for many years and have progressed through the ranks of the club's highly successful Youth Academy, where they started playing Mini (non-contact) rugby before moving up into the youth section when they were 12 years old.

Both Jacob and Stanley have continued to put in good performances week after week as part of the Andover Under 15's squad.

Jacob's success started when he gained a place in the ‘Hampshire School of Rugby’ as an Under 13 player.

 

‘Hampshire School of Rugby’ is a developmental squad, run in conjunction with Hampshire RFU and premiership side London Irish, and is a structured route for promising youth players to further develop their skills and understanding of the game.

 

Jacob has been attending sessions at Farnborough for the past two seasons under the eagle eye of the Hampshire coaches.

Jacob then attending the Hampshire trials as an Under 14 player, but was unsuccessful in gaining a County place. However, despite this setback, Jacob worked hard throughout the season and shortly after resuming at the ‘School of Rugby’ as an Under 15 player, Jacob he was reassessed and was elevated from the Bronze to the Silver Group.

He also re-trialled for the County team as an Under 15 player this season and was successful in gaining a place enjoying one successful performance in helping Hampshire to victory against Surrey this season the other week.

 

 

Above: Jacob (left) and Stanley.

Stanley has had a similar success story, but his pathway to the London Irish Silver Group has been somewhat more rapid. He too trialled for the Hampshire School of Rugby as an Under 13, but was unsuccessful in securing a place. He also went to county trials as an Under 14, but again was unsuccessful.

Despite this, Stanley has put in very strong performances for Andover throughout this period and his coaches agreed to nominate him to attend the county trials earlier this season as an Under 15.

 

This time Stanley was successful in being selected by the Hampshire Coaching team, and he enjoyed his first game in Hampshire colours against Surrey – joining his Andover compatriot Jacob in the same fixture.

Due to an extremely strong performance during that game, Stanley was elevated straight into the London Irish Silver Group and played for the London Irish Academy team in a fixture on 6th March.

 

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