Rugby player Elijah selected to play for England

Former Richmond School student Elijah Delaidriti has recently been selected for the England Community Lions U17 squad.

The players will travel to France in July to play two high-profile test matches against FFR XIII – Fédération Française de Rugby à XIII U17s.

Elijah recently went through a series of trials, narrowing the number of prospective players down from 280 to a final 60.

The final stage of the trials, held at Pilkington Recs RLFC, St. Helens, involved the 60 players being split into three teams, all playing each other.

These games were carefully observed by the England coaching team.

The 20 successful candidates were later emailed to say that they had made the squad

Elijah said he was over the moon at the news and the opportunity he now has to represent his country.

Elijah will attend a number of training sessions with his new teammates and fellow U17 England players before he travels to Barcelona to represent his college – Park View Sixth Form and Academy of Sport in June.

Soon after he returns he will head out to France to represent England in the two test matches mentioned previously.

Elijah first joined Catterick Crusaders at the age of ten and played there up to U16 level.

Elijah won a two-year scholarship at professional Rugby League Club, Newcastle Thunder as well as gaining the coveted title of North East Player of the Year twice, in 2019 and 2022.

He also represented Richmond School on a number of occasions when he was a student. He currently plays for the community team Gateshead Storm as well as regularly representing his college.

After the England games in the summer, Elijah aims to trial for the England Lions U19 squad next year, as well as gaining more experience, with the eventual goal of signing a professional contract with one of the big Rugby League teams in the UK.

As well as his coaches at Catterick Crusaders, Elijah would also like to thank his Gateshead Storm and Park View College coach Rob Jones, and all the other coaches at Park View and Gateshead Storm.

Elijah is also grateful to Danielle Rose of It’s all Rosey Cleaning Services, who is sponsoring some of his travel costs as an England player.

Elijah said he would also like to say a big thank you to Joanne, his mum, who has supported him all the way through his rugby career and is continuing to support with Elijah’s two rugby playing brothers, both current students at Richmond School, Isaiah and Taniela.