Bristol will have its first representatives in the Carnegie National Champion Schools Rugby League competition, as Bristol Brunel Academy (pictured) and St Mary Ratcliffe Temple (below in action against BBA) progressed into the Regional Finals this week. Over 80 children took part in the WESPORT area competition, held at Aretians RFC, the home ground of the Bristol Sonics Rugby League Club.
Club officials and Rugby League Community Coaches were on hand to put the young players through their paces. These are exciting times for Rugby League in the South West, with Bristol City Council considering a bid to host a match in the 2013 World Cup, and the Sonics preparing to announce an exciting junior initiative for the summer. Meanwhile, Leeds Rhinos will travel to Bristol to take on South West Students, coached by Karl Fearnley and Dom Swann, at Filton College on 27th February.
BBA and SMRT will go to the regional festival at North Petherton on 15th February, where they will face schools from Devon and Gloucestershire. The Carnegie National Champion Schools Rugby League competition is the largest rugby league knockout competition in the world, with its Year 7 boys final taking place at Wembley Stadium as the curtain-raiser to the Challenge Cup Final. The regional winners will be just four games away from taking centre stage at the National Stadium in August.



Schools Rugby League teams from Bristol will take their first steps on the “road to Wembley” this Monday (January 24) at the city finals of the nation-wide Carnegie Champion Schools competition.
Year 7, Year 9 and Year 10 teams from St Mary Redcliffe Temple School, Brunel Adacemy in Speedwell and the City Academy, Easton, will battle it out at Aretians RFC, Little Stoke, with places in the South West regional finals of Rugby League’s largest national competition up for grabs. It will be the first time schools teams from Bristol have competed in the Carnegie Champion Schools competition, which culminates in a “finals day” at Wembley before the prestigious Carnegie Challenge Cup Final in August.
Carnegie Champion Schools is the world’s largest knockout Rugby League tournament. Every year, nearly 2000 secondary schools teams


Bristol Schools take to Rugby League

Bristol’s first schools rugby league competition was a great success, with seven teams taking part in a nine a side competition at Filton College.

The event itself was organised by students at the College, as a part of the Rugby League Leaders Award, in conjunction with the Bristol Sonics Community Club.
In the Year 8 competition, St Bernadettes RC school were the stand-out team, maintaining a 100% record through the group stages before defeating St Mary Ratcliffe Temple in the final by 32 points to 6.

The Year 9 tournament was a much closer affair. City Academy were unlucky to lose to a try on the last play against St Bernadettes, before making a sensational comeback from 18-0 down to draw 18 all with St Mary Ratcliffe Temple. It wasn’t enough to make the final, though, where the Grange School from Brislington were too strong for St Bernadettes, winning 18-6.

The event itself was a showcase for junior rugby league, and comes on the back of visits by both Leeds Rhinos and the Jamaica National Team to schools in Bristol.

The engagement with Rugby League has been particularly encouraging amongst the BME communities in the heart of the city, thanks to the support of Sporting Equals and the local Black Development Agency.

South West Regional Regional Manager for the RFL,


Rugby League to be taught in Bristol Schools

Bristol schoolchildren will get a chance to play Rugby League this week, when Bristol Sonics launch the city’s first ever schools coaching programme. Sonics coaches will teach teenagers the basic skills of the 13-a-side code at three schools starting on Tuesday 16 March, with a five further schools due to take part in the pilot scheme later in the spring.

Bristol Sonics Head Coach Karl Fearnley will head to City Academy in Easton on Tuesday for the first of three coaching sessions at the specialist sports college, before moving on to Brinsham Green School in Yate on Wednesday and The Grange School & Sports Academy, Warmley, on Thursday. It will be the first time that Rugby League will be taught in schools in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, some eight years after the launch of the Sonics, the city’s RL club. Pupils from these three schools, alongside others from the five further schools who will receive specialist coaching in coming weeks, will get a chance to compete against each other at Bristol’s first schools Rugby League Nines competition, which is set to take place at Filton College at the end of April.

Should any of the teenagers involved wish to play more Rugby League over the summer, the Sonics will be running under 13 and under 15s teams from the Aretians RFC base, starting in May. In addition, a ‘