Duo Captain England Colleges RFU Team

Wed, 30/05/2001 - 01:00

Two talented young rugby players from East Durham College are celebrating following their success while captaining the England Colleges u18s RFU team on a recent tour to Portugal.

Joe Arrowsmith, aged 18, from Ryhope and Sean Brown, aged 17, from Prudhoe were both selected for the England squad back in December. The lads then jetted out with a the 24-man squad last week to spend 5 days in Lisbon, Portugal, taking part in training and two international matches against Portugal’s u18s.

Joe Arrowsmith was selected as squad captain and led the team out for the first game at the the 37,000 seater Estádio Nacional, national anthems and all. England won in a very competitive match 35 points to 25.

Phil Llewellyn, the England Colleges Rugby Manager, then rotated the squad with Joe on the bench and selected Sean as team captain for the second game. Once again, England tasted victory over the Portuguese team 24 points to 5.

Phil said: “The tour was an outstanding success. To win both games and perform the way the players did was exceptional, even more so considering they have not played together until then.

“Both Joe and Sean brought a huge amount of professionalism to the tour and their individual skills and leadership during both games were of top class international standard.

“Joe was selected to captain the side as the management team believes he leads from the front in everything he does and he brings a huge amount of positivity to the group.

“Sean was the standout player on the tour picking up the Player of the Tour Award for consistently strong performances in both games.

“Both players are a credit to their college, families and the people who have invested time in them and their rugby.

“I’m personally very excited about the squad we have this year and we are all looking forward to our next game against the Irish Exiles on Sunday 11th March at the Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham.”

Head Rugby Coach at East Durham College Liam Gumbrill added: “I’m extremely proud of the lads. They are both very talented and certainly have a chance of going on to play professionally.”

Sean, who plays winger also plays for Ryton RFC, and Joe, who plays flanker represents Sunderland RFC, are both part of the College’s highly successful elite sports scholarship programme.

The College started the special sports scholarships for talented young rugby players and footballers back in September. To qualify for this September’s scholarship you will need to be aged 16 or 17 on or before 1st September 2012. You will need to be county standard or above; selection is via a trial. You will also need to get five GCSEs at grade C or above.