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Young Eagles aiming for All Golds Cup glory

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#1 West Country Eagle

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 06:06 PM

News about the Eagles trip to the Cheltenham Rugby Festival on Saturday…


South Yorkshire’s Rugby League stars of the future set to shine at Cheltenham Rugby Festival

A new breed of homegrown Rugby League stars will spearhead Sheffield Eagles attempt to win the All Golds Cup at the prestigious Cheltenham Rugby Festival on Saturday.

The Eagles will face a host of Super League and Championship sides at the Prince of Wales Stadium, Cheltenham, with a 12-man squad featuring the cream of South Yorkshire’s emerging Rugby League talent.

The Eagles youthful squad is made up entirely of players from the club’s academy scheme. All were originally signed from local community clubs Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks and Hoyland Vikings. All now play for Sheffield Hillsborough Hawks in the RFL’s Gillette National Youth League, the elite competition for would-be Rugby League stars of the future.

Dean Thomas, Sheffield Eagles’ Head of Youth Performance, said:

“The All Golds Cup in Cheltneham is a great opportunity for our young academy players to test themselves against some of the best in Rugby League. It is a testament to all the hard work we’re doing in South Yorkshire that we can now name a strong squad full of talented Rugby League players from Sheffield and Barnsley.

“All of these lads have bags of potential. Many of these players will go on to be Sheffield Eagles first team stars in the future.”

Of the 12 Eagles youngsters heading to Cheltenham to contest the All Golds Cup on Saturday, nine are soon-to-be graduates of the Advanced Apprenticeship In Sporting Excellence (AASE) scheme, which Sheffield Eagles run in partnership with All Saints School in Sheffield. The Eagles were the first professional Rugby League club to sign up to the groundbreaking AASE scheme.

Sheffield Eagles are renowned for the quality of their community programme, and were named by the Rugby Football League as ‘Community Club of the Year’ in 2009.

To be in with a chance of lifting the All Golds Cup at the Cheltenham Rugby Festival on Saturday, Sheffield Eagles’ youngsters will first have to overcome Exeter University and Warrington Wolves in the group stages. If they progress, they could face Leeds Rhinos, Oldham, Featherstone Rovers or even Jamaica’s international Rugby League team.

The All Golds Cup is a Rugby League 9s competition (for teams of 9 players rather than the regular 13-a-side) and takes place at The Prince Of Wales Stadium, Cheltenham, on Saturday 24 April, kick-off 4.00pm. It is part of the Cheltenham Rugby Festival, which also features a knock-out 9s competition for women and the 1908 Cup, a competition featuring school teams from Gloucestershire.

Sheffield Eagles squad for the All Golds Cup at the Cheltenham Rugby Festival:

Richard Spink, Sam Williamson, James Musonda, Grant Ripley, Dean Scotthorne, Chris Palmer, Liam O’Leary, Ryan Matthews, Dan Horsfield, Kieran Howard, Ben Jackson, Jonathan Burns. Coach: Dean Thomas.

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