THREE King’s Ely students have been selected to join the Northampton Saints Rugby Player Development Programme.

George Nearney, Bertie Whymark and Daniel Kember, who are all pupils in Year 8 at King’s Ely Junior, qualified for the scheme following a series of trials. The talented trio were also standout players for the Junior School’s 1st XV team during the Michaelmas Term.

The Saints Academy aims to produce players capable of making the grade in professional Rugby, and has now cultivated a group of household names such as World Cup winners Steve Thompson and Ben Cohen, England captain Dylan Hartley, and British and Irish Lion Courtney Lawes.

There are several tiers to the Saints Academy system. Over 100 young players aged between 13 and 20 receive coaching from the club – ranging from the bi-weekly Player Development Groups, based in Northampton and Colchester, to the Senior Academy who train full-time at Franklin’s Gardens.

Director of Sport at King’s Ely, Jim Thompson, is thrilled for the boys. He said: “It is fantastic to see Bertie, Daniel and George being selected for the Northampton Saints DPP programme. They all have worked hard to gain these representative honours and I am very proud of their selection. They are all part of the performance squad rugby programme at King’s Ely, which allows them to develop their Rugby during all three terms. I look forward to hearing about their progress over the coming months.”

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