19th June 2018, 15:10 | champion_schools
Coach: Ryan Lloyd
Squad: Noah Booth, Ricky Brown, Tyler Czmeiduch, Leyton Davies, Harry Evans, Jake Griffiths, Charlie Handford, Tom Marris, Jimmy-Lee McEvoy, Callum Norton, Calvin Sandhu, Taylor Spence-Horton, Ryan Joseph, Harley Robinson, Tom Stevens, Kyle Baines, Louie Tomlinson, Freddie Brennan-Jones, Riley Lumb, Bailey Fisher
"They're probably the best team we've had at the school," says coach Ryan Lloyd of this Year 8 side, which considering the success Castleford Academy have had in the Champion Schools Finals over the years, is saying an awful lot.
They won the Year 7 title at Wembley last year with a 16-4 victory over St Peter's of Wigan and are looking to add the Year 8 crown this year.
They breezed through the National rounds notching up 150 points while conceding only 10.
"We have real strength in depth," says Ryan.
"We've got players everywhere who can come in, but defensively they are a very, very good team, they don't concede many points."
But scoring points doesn't seem to be a problem either. "Our winger Calvin Sandhu has scored about 30 tries this year already, he's a real talent.
"He didn't actually play last year, he couldn't get into the team but has developed massively. He's been a star man for us.
"Loose forward Tyler Czmeiduch is one of our really strong players and Ricky Brown has been really good at prop."
Ryan is quick to acknowledge the support the team receive from the school, the staff and the parents.
"We have to go all over the country for fixtures and the school are really good at allowing us to do it. Within our own PE department we cover each other to be able to get that time off.
"We do have tremendous support from the parents, even at the away games we usually take 10 to 15 with us and of course we have a lot more when we play at home.
"These 12/13 year olds have played at Wembley, played in Yorkshire Cup finals, played in Wakefield Cup finals and have played all over the country so they get a bit of a sense of what it's like to be a professional with the standard of rugby they play and the venues they play at."