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Alec Clarey to Join Leicester Tigers

17 year old Alec Clarey of Bishop Auckland Rugby Club has been awarded a place at the rugby Academy of the Aviva Premiership's top club Leicester Tigers. Clarey gained this achievement after successfully attending a two day trial at Leicester which included training sessions with the Tigers' Under 20s squad, also fitness, strength and conditioning tests, which he came through with flying colours.

Clarey, who has played a number of 1st XV games for Bishop Auckland Rugby Club this season, also won a rugby scholarship to Barnard Castle School in September last year. Alec, who lives in Witton Park has also represented Durham County at various age groups over the past three seasons and played for Newcastle Falcons Under 16s Academy last year.

Alec will start training at the Tigers Academy next month and will be required to travel down to Leicester during his school holidays and any free time with a view to making a permanent move when he leaves 6th form at Barnard Castle School. Alec will be hoping that this is another step to him achieving his ambitions of becoming a professional rugby player and the first from his home club at Bishop Auckland.

His father Wayne, who is the Under 17s team manager at Bishop Auckland Rugby Club, has followed Alec to all his games said, The whole family are so proud of what Alec has achieved so far, this is a massive opportunity for him.

Alec will be representing his home club for the last time this coming Saturday, when Bishop Auckland play in the Durham County Intermediate Cup Final at West Hartlepool. Bishop are still awaiting the outcome of the other semi final tie between Barnard Castle and Houghton.

Steven Colwell , the Senior Coach at Bishop Auckland Rugby Club added "It is a tremendous achievement for Alec, who has only been playing Rugby for a short time. His commitment to training and learning about the sport has been evident throughout his career to date. Junior and senior players alike have an enormous amount of respect for Alec and wish him the very best when he makes the move to Tigers".

Mark Macnair 4 May 11

Sunday 1st May Under 9's compete in the Darlington Festival


Sunday the Bishop Auckland RFU mini section took part in the 39th Darlington Mini Rugby Festival. Bishop U9"s were drawn in group B. Their first opponents were the hosts Darlington. The team lined up with the glorious sunshine beating down on them. The game started the same as when they played at West Hartlepool with speed and pace. The game under way Will passed the ball to Daniel who headed straight for the tryline, Bishop were on the score sheet before Darlington new what was happening. A re start by Darlington and Bishop were onto them again with big tackles from Jack, a break from a speedy Luke paid off, another trie. Bishop seemed to dominate the first game and had Darlington defending constantly more tries followed the final score 20 v 0 to Bishop. The first game securely under their belt.

Next Bishop were up against a very organised Durham Gold it was Bishop to start but Durham soon showed they were no easy team their attackers were onto James straight away closing him down. An out of touch ball and a free pass to Durham soon had them dominating the game. The play was feet away from the Bishop tryline the big defenders were trying their hardest but Durham found a gap and took advantage. Bishop to re start a speedy pass from Jack to James and a powerful run through a couple of defenders and James found the line. The game was played end to end, Liam grabbed a loose ball made ground and offloaded to Luke who passed to James who changed direction then passed back to Luke, Bishop were overjoyed to be in front. Not for long a sloppy defence line and Durham equalised on the half time whistle. The second half and Durham started stronger but their attack was soon stopped by a massive tackle from Will, a free pass taken by Nathan to James who opened his legs up and sprinted up the sideline to the tryline. Bishop defended well with the team giving their all then a break on from Durham gave them an equaliser. Bishop to start but they were soon stopped short of the line Durham pushed them back then seconds before the final whistle a loose ball was scooped up and Bishop conceded the try. There was not enough time left for Bishop to make a comeback a very lucky win for Durham 20 v 15.

The final group game was against Yarm Raptors, Bishop new this would be another tough game for them but they started strong with an organised defensive line with some big powerful tackles by Will and Daniel. The six tackle rule meant a free pass to Bishop which was taken at pace from Jack to Luke who sprinted straight through Yarm s defence to the tryline. Yarm with the re start and Bishop were onto them, a great tackle from George who stopped an attempt by Yarm allowed James to gain ground and catch up he then put in tackles one after another. Bishop were keen to win the free pass again and Nathan was quick to re start, the ball taken at pace by James and another try for Bishop. At half time Bishop were infront. The second half Yarm seemed to up their game and soon found a gap in Bishops defence. Bishop did not give in they were attacking hard but were held back even harder then a mistake from Yarm and a knock on was soon taken advantage of by new player Callum who picked the ball up and headed straight for the tryline The dedication and teamwork paid off. 15 v 5 victory for Bishop.

Following a very long break Bishop were through to the cup semi final against Harrogate. The hard ground had taken its toll and Bishop were carrying a couple of injuries. The game started strong with Harrogate setting the pace and winning possession they dominated play in the first half but Bishop did not give up. Will tried to smash through but was stopped by Harrogates defence. A break on from Daniel who was pushed further back took a knock to the mouth. Bishop still not letting go came out attacked hard but their defence was a little lacking for a strong Harrogate. The second half and Bishop seemed motivated by a team talk from coach Peter Bishop put on a more positive display of team rugby. A cheeky collection of a dropped ball from Luke and it was straight to the tryline but with no time left the final score 20 v 5 to Harrogate. Although a little disappointed Bishop cheered the winning team and were congratulated for their standard of play.

At the end of the U9"s festival the team was awarded what the Darlington official called the "most important trophy in the festival" The Fair Play Trophy. This was awarded to the team, their officials and supporters who showed the best attitude and sportsmanship during their games.


A huge thank you to all the parents and family that traveled and saw a great display of junior rugby

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