County Call-Up for U17 Pair
Thursday, 12 March 2015
Two Bolton School Sixth Formers have been selected for the Lancashire Rugby U17 Squad. Over the two trial days, around one hundred players tried out for places on the squad, and Harry Stocks and Matthew Woodward were both invited to play for their county.
Harry has only recently returned to rugby after eighteen months spent recovering from an injury to his ankle. He joined pre-season training at his local club, Bolton R.U.F.C., and has also been training with the Boys’ Division First XV team to get back into the game.
Talking about his selection for the Lancashire squad, he said, “I see it as a stepping stone. Last summer I wasn’t that keen on playing rugby, but then I got back to school and started on the First team. I spoke to Mr Joseph, the Head of Sixth Form, and asked if I could go to Lancashire trials, and he said yes. Now I’m aiming for the North of England squad by Christmas. I want to see how far I can get now. If it all goes well, I could be playing for England by next Easter.
“School has helped – playing on the First team has helped build my confidence. There’s a massive difference between Under-16 and Under-18 or 19 with both the physicality and the mentality. It got a lot harder! Playing for the First team helped prepare me for playing with the best youth players in Lancashire.”
Matthew has been playing rugby from the age of seven, when he started playing for Tyldesley R.U.F.C. Under-8s. He started playing for the School in Year 7 and joined the First team in Year 11. He is dedicated to his chosen sport and determined to continue to advance his skills, training on the pitch three times a week, in the gym twice a week, and playing two games every weekend.
He too was delighted with his selection for the Lancashire squad and said, “Hopefully I can use this as a basis to move forward. When we go on to play games, North of England scouts will be watching, and I’m hoping to get onto that squad. I’m also hoping to get into the Sale Sharks academy, and after that my next goal would be to get onto an England counties team.”
It is a great achievement for both boys to have been selected for the Lancashire squad, and will open up great opportunities for their future sporting careers.