Two teenagers have taken their first step on the professional rugby ladder after being scouted for the prestigious Newcastle Falcons Academy.
Richmond 16-year-olds Osea Navuso and Alex Nimmo, Year 11 students at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, play for Darlington RFC’S Under 16 team at Blackwell Meadows
Osea has played at Darlington for four years, having converted from rugby league.
A backrow forward, Alex is in his second season with the club and is very athletic, an excellent all-round sportsman who excels at most facets of the game with an incredibly strong tackle but equally quick with ball in hand.
Grant Hopkins, under 16s coach at Darlington RFC said: ”Osea and Alex were initially chosen for Durham Developing Player Pathway which select approximately ten per cent of the best players in the area.
“Due to their outstanding performances they were selected for the Falcons who only take the top players in the North East and Cumbria.
“The boys are great to work with and I am so pleased their hard work is paying off.
“Congratulations to the school for producing two great lads whose attitude and effort to succeed in their chosen sport is admirable.
“We are very proud that, as a club, together with Will Hopkins and Johnny Burgess, we have four players represented in the Academy.
“I really appreciate the dedication that these boys put into their rugby and it is incredibly satisfying to watch them train and know where they have come from.”
In addition to their training and match commitments at Darlington, Osea and Alex train twice each week at the Falcons Academy at Kingston Park.
They train like professionals and as well as being mentored by some of the best coaches in the country, they are surrounded by many of the top players of their age range in the region.
Jack Moore, Richmond School PE teacher, said: “This is fantastic news for Osea and Alex who wholly deserve this opportunity. It comes as no surprise to me that their potential has been noticed, they are both really promising sportsmen who are fabulous team players with the right ethic and commitment required to succeed in the professional rugby field.
“We are very proud of all the students at Richmond School who are dedicated to the game.
“As well as students across the year groups playing for Darlington RFC, we also have many students who play for our local clubs such as Wensleydale and Richmondshire.
“It is fantastic and exciting to see that rugby is very much alive in our area.”