7th March 2018, 10:24 | north_east
One of Cramlington Rockets' junior teams will spend the 2018 season competing in the Yorkshire Junior & Youth Premier Division.
The U16s Black squad of the current RFL Club of the Year will take part in the ten-team league against some of the biggest names in community Rugby League.
It is a historic move for a North East side, all the more so given they have been accepted into the Premier Division, arguably the highest level for u16s Rugby League in the UK.
The development of the Northumberland-based Rockets team in recent years has been impressive, dominating the North East competition and competing with a number of the country's leading sides in friendlies and more recently in 2018, as part of an ongoing BARLA National Cup campaign.
With 13 of the squad a part of the Newcastle Thunder Academy and three players having gained international honours in the last year, it is a team that promises to be a challenge for all it faces.
"It's about getting the players to the right level of competition," observed coach, Jordan Robinson.
"They have shown themselves capable of competing at the highest level on an occasional basis, now we will see if they can do it all season."
"This is a big move for the club," says Chairman, Jeff Ball.
"A lot of credit must go to the team's coaches who have really pushed the development of the players, but also to the players' families, who have been very supportive.
"This is the last year of junior rugby for the majority of the squad and it's going to be a fascinating season that really pushes them to their limits."
The move means that the Rockets will still have one side competing in the North East league, the U16s Orange squad.
Ball added: "We're incredibly blessed by how many quality players we have at the club at this age and the Orange squad will I'm sure be challenging for top spot come the end of the season.
"Add to that the development of the u14s, the work happening at u12s and below, and an Open Age side looking to improve on its Grand Final appearance in 2017, it's set to be another entertaining year."
Fixtures for all teams can be found on rugby-league.com under the relevant league pages or on cramlingtonrockets.co.uk.
• For additional information about Cramlington Rockets please contact Jeff Ball, Chairman on 07809114905 or email firstname.lastname@example.org