Thorp Academy

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County calls for Thorp rugby players

A STRONG crop of rugby talents from Thorp Academy has made teachers proud after receiving call-ups for Durham county.

A STRONG crop of rugby talents from Thorp Academy has made teachers proud after receiving call-ups for Durham county.

Seven students from the Ryton-based secondary school and sixth form college have had brilliant news over the last few weeks.

The boys and girls range from ages 14-18 and all represent nearby Ryton Rugby Football Club, which has strong links to Thorp.

Daniel Chambers, Jessica Clabby, Sarah Thear, Kate McHatton, Georgia Burnyeat, Maddy Graham and Katie Johnson are all playing for Durham.

Mr Chris Kirkland, Thorp’s faculty lead of PE, said: “It is nice and exciting to see a lot of hard work behind the scenes coming to fruition by getting these students on to the county stage.

“I would say we are an emerging rugby school and our intention is to go toe-to-toe with a lot of traditional rugby schools around the area, so to see the county players and the depth and quality we have coming through beneath them is really positive for the Thorp Academy.”

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Year 11 student Chambers, 18, plays at prop and he has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Thorp, where he was one of the first batch of students to be enrolled on the Elite Performer Programme.

Chambers, due to face Cumbria on December 3 and pictured above, said: “The fact the facilities are so good and the coaches at Thorp are good to work with too means it has been a great opportunity for me to go on and impress to make it onto the Durham County squad.”

Flanker Johnson, 14, and fly-half Graham, 14, are playing for Durham Under-15s after helping Ryton to make an unbeaten start to the season.

Then Burnyeat, 15 and a back, prop Thear, 15, fly-half Clabby, 15, and second row McHatton, 15, are playing for Durham Under-18s.

The call-ups cap an impressive start to the year for Thorp’s rugby players.

The Year 7s have got through to county final stages to be played in January at Consett, with Max Lodge, Jamie Lane, Cameron Bell, James Dart and James Mitchinson part of that group to have impressed so far.

The Year 11s have reached the county final in Blaydon, while the Under-14s are also through to a final.