Thorp Academy

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Jamie's hitting the fast lane

THORP Academy has a promising rugby player who certainly knows where the line is and he is hoping some recent tips from the top will make him even stronger.

THORP Academy has a promising rugby player who certainly knows where the line is – and he is hoping some recent tips from the top will make him even stronger.

Year 7 student Jamie Lane has scored points for fun for Blaydon RFC and Thorp and he got to train with a couple of British & Irish Lions when he made the trip to Wales.

Jamie got to practice his kicking with Ospreys and Wales stars James Hook and Sam Davies, among others, after winning a competition ran by the Welsh side’s sponsors, Lovell Rugby.

“I got to go and kick with some of the international players, I loved it,” said Jamie.

“It was really interesting to talk with them, getting to know how they have got up to where they are in the game. It was really good.

“It helped me improve my kicking and my confidence, especially my kicking. I didn’t know how to kick the ball properly, now I know how to kick it higher and further as well. I then had to be interviewed by Lovell Rugby. It was a great experience.”

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James Hook, capped 81 times by Wales and four times by the Lions, even tweeted to his 51,000 followers on Twitter that Jamie was a “natural”.

Jamie (pictured above with James Hook and Sam Davies) has just turned 12 and started Thorp from Rowlands Gill’s Highfield Primary School in September because he was keen to develop his talent as part of the Elite Performer Programme.

He has made a big impact so far alongside his school friend and Blaydon teammate Max Lodge. The dynamic duo has helped secure a place in the Durham County final and have run up around 24 tries combined along the way.

Jamie, whose father Andy is a Blaydon coach, couldn’t stop scoring last season either. He said: “I have been doing well, I got 105 tries last season.

“I just love getting on the ball, sparking other teammates into life and we are undefeated for two years. I have 52 tries already this season.

“We don’t play in a league but my dad arranges quite a lot of games, like one in Scotland and whoever wins claims the Calcutta Cup.”

Jamie lives and breathes rugby, so it is unsurprising that for his recent birthday his presents consisted of rugby balls, kicking tees and British Lions DVDs.

He is a season ticket holder at Newcastle Falcons and would love to make the grade with them one day.

Jamie said: “I want to get in the Durham County team first and then try to get into a professional team like the Falcons. Ultimately it would be amazing to one-day play for my country.

“I liked to watch Marcus Watson (pictured at the top on a Blaydon end of season awards night with Jamie) at the Falcons before he went to Wasps because as a player he likes to use the sidestep like me. That started when I played tag rugby. I was really quick, was really good at sidesteps and that put me on the A-team at Blaydon on the wing.”

* There are sports scholarships available at Thorp Academy. For further information contact [email protected] and follow us on Twitter @thorpacademyepp