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Your News Westoe draw students

WESTOE will confront the elite of young rugby talent in their bid to progress in the EDF Energy National Trophy.

They have been drawn against the students of Loughborough University which boasts “unrivalled sporting achievement” for almost a century during which 80 future internationals have been nurtured.

By coincidence, it will be the second time that they will have made the trip to Wood Terrace in the same second round stage of the prestigious competition, being almost exactly two years since Gareth Nesbit’s men beat them 21-10 in a hard-fought game.

On that day they were taught a few tricks by an in-form Westoe side in belligerent mood. You can bet it was a lesson well learned and that the students, who train with the England squad, will be primed and prepared this time around.

Then they played in Midlands Two (East), but after successive promotions are now in National Three - elevation into which the Dunes Adventure Island-sponsored Shieldsmen have set their sights.

Although Loughborough have got off to a modest start at that level - winning two and drawing one of the six games so far - they gave fellow league members Harrogate a 73-12 drubbing in the first round of the cup on Saturday.

A confident Westoe will certainly fancy their chances while being well aware that this will be an altogether tougher proposition than their first round tie at Bedford Athletic which they won 47-17.

There was widespread relief among the Wood Terrace hierarchy that the side had been drawn at home against attractive opponents, so sparing the expense of another away trip and also likely to attract a good home crowd.

Chairman Duncan Murray said: “It was an enthralling game the last time the teams met and is likely to be again.

“These young men are the cream of the nation‘s burgeoning rugby talent and we could well be watching an international player or two of the near future.”

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