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31st May 2019, 16:03 | england_lions

England Community Lions announce Under-16s and Under-23s Programmes for the 2020 season.

England Community Lions announce Under-16s and Under-23s Programmes for the 2020 season.

The England Community Lions have confirmed that, following the success of the Youth and Men’s Programmes, additional Under-16s and Under-23s programmes will be added for the 2020 season.

Following on from the success of the Youth and Men’s programmes, we will now be adding additional programmes at Under-16 and Under-23 to offer opportunities for representative rugby, and higher level of competitive games to encourage greater retention of players.

The Under-16s programme will launch in Summer 2019, with competitive fixtures towards the end of November, against an incoming Southern Hemisphere side.

Like our other Youth programme, selection for the Under-16s will come from development days, followed by an East v West game and then a training squad.

Under-23s will be launching in early 2020, like the Men’s programme players from across the country will be invited by coaches to participate in Reds v Blues, followed by an East v West game, before the wider training squad is announced.

Marc Lovering, Director of Participation and Development said “The England Community Lions offer unique experiences for our community players, from touring and cultural opportunities to the opportunity to represent both county and country across the year.

"It is great to see us able to extend the programmes to produce a direct pathway for representational rugby right through from Under-16s across to Open Age, and we hope that with the introduction of these two programmes, we will be able to encourage a greater retention of players across the community game.

"There are some very exciting opportunities coming up over the next 18 months for all the Lions programmes, and I cannot wait to see the impact the programme can have across the community game."

Currently both programmes are looking to recruit Head and Assistant Coaches, whilst the wider Lions programme is also looking for additional physiotherapists. More information on each of the opportunities is available on the RFL website, with closing date for applications being Thursday 6th June 2019.