Hard work pays off as rising young stars land regional caps

Greg Mellor and Ben Austin. Photo contributed.
Greg Mellor and Ben Austin. Photo contributed.

THREE of Buxton Rugby Club’s rising young stars have been selected at Notts Lincs & Derbys (NLD) Three Counties Level.

The trio of Ben Austin, Greg Mellor and Simeon Meek impressed selectors at a series of trial sessions enough to be chosen for their region.

The Notts Lincs & Derbys (NLD) under-20s team. Photo contributed.

The Notts Lincs & Derbys (NLD) under-20s team. Photo contributed.

NLD Under-20s Squad Manager John Widdowson commented: “On a personal note I think it was tremendous to have representatives from Buxton as part of the squad.”

Selection to the NLD setup is testament to both their hard work and commitment to improving their rugby skills, but also to the time invested by a number of local coaches who have supported the lads throughout their progression upwards through the Buxton ranks.

From mini, junior, colts and finally to the senior first XV, the lads have received fantastic coaching support, most notably from Alistair Packer, Nick Bennison, and the present coaching staff.

On January 30, Austin and Mellor were part of a 21-man Notts, Lincs & Derbys (NLD) U20’s squad which made the lengthy trip to the home of championship club Moseley, to play North Midlands.

This lively opening match in Midlands Group B of the National Under-20 Championship was played in frosty conditions, and a hardy group of around 100 supporters cheered the sides on.

Meek is currently recovering from an injury and unfortunately was unable to play, but is still very much a part of the selectors’ plans.

North Midlands were unbeaten in their three warm-up matches of the current campaign, whereas NLD took along a squad containing seven players who had never worn the NLD jersey at any previous age group level.

However, despite NLD not having the opportunity to gel as a team and playing away from home, they managed to pull off an impressive 24-16 victory.

The next game for the NLD U20s in the National U20s Championship is on February 29 against Staffordshire U20s at Mansfield RFC (kick-off 7.30pm).