25 Nov 2021

University Hopefuls Target Regional Success

University Hopefuls Target Regional Success

Saturday 27 November will mark the return to representative Rugby League for players in the student game, with the University RL Regional Games taking place at the University of Birmingham’s Bournbrook Pitches. 

With the global pandemic having wiped out the entire England Universities programme for 2020 and 2021, the games are the first stage of the pathway for university players to stake a claim for an England shirt in 2022 when student international competition returns. 

The format sees each of the six regions pitched against another region for an 80 minute game, with squads of up to 20 players taking part of each side and giving their all to earn selection for the University RL Origin Game which takes place in February 2022. Midlands, South East and South West players will be contesting a place for in the south side, whilst places in the north team are available to players from Yorkshire, North West and North East and the final England squad will be selected from the Origin Game. 

Adam Hughes, National Education Manager for the RFL said: “It’s great to have representative games returning in the university game."

“2020 and 2021 were the first years without England playing a student international since the 1990s which was hugely disappointing, so everyone is raring to go for next year. Because of the turnover in the student game, we’re expecting a lot of new faces when it comes around to selection and the Regionals event gives the coaches the first opportunity to identify who may be part of that squad."

There will be some familiar faces to Head Coach Richard Tate and his assistant Kevin Deighton on Saturday, with Sean Croston (North East) and Ben Gray (Yorkshire) both having featured previously for England during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, whilst Alex Eckley (2019) and Nathan Taylor (2018) will line up for the North West having also earned international honours previously. In addition, Jake Lightowler (North East), Ben Bradshaw and Jordan Bull (Yorkshire) were selected for the 2020 squad, which unfortunately was unable to play. 

“There is a wealth of talent in the universities game.

We’re guaranteed three outstanding games on Saturday and I’m sure that the players will giving their all to impress the coaches," continued Hughes.

Entry to the event is free, with spectators welcome to attend from 12.30pm. 

Venue: Bournbrook Rugby Pitch, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT 


1pm – Midlands Vs South East

3pm – North East Vs Yorkshire

5pm – North West Vs South West


North East: 

Aaron Harlow-Stephenson (Northumbria)

A-J Towse (York St. John)

Ben Morris (Northumbria)

Charlie Frost (York St. John)

Elliot Shaw (Northumbria)

Harry Kirk (York St John)

Isaac Coleman (York)

Jack Quinn (Northumbria)

Jack Earl (York)

Jake Lightowler (Northumbria)

Kieran Wilyman (Northumbria)

Matthew Kehoe (Northumbria)

Max Flanagan (Newcastle)

Nathan  Rushworth (Northumbria)

Nathan Newbound (Northumbria)

Sean Baker (Newcastle)

Sean Croston (Northumbria)

Todd Wilkinson  (Northumbria)

Tyler Hepple (Northumbria)

William Dobson (York St John)


North West:

Adam Lavin (Lancaster)

Alex Eckley (Liverpool John Moores)

Alex Fitzhenry (Edge Hill)

Alex Pendlebury (Edge Hill)

Ben Legge (Edge Hill)

Brad Calland (Edge Hill)

Callan Drewery (Manchester)

Cameron Brown (Liverpool John Moores)

Clifford Howard (Edge Hill)

Jacob Brown (Edge Hill) 

Jacob Turner (Edge Hill)

Joseph Heaton (Edge Hill)

Josh Rankin (Liverpool John Moores)

Kellen Wood (Liverpool John Moores) 

Matty Lynn (Edge Hill)

Matty Rudd (Manchester Metropolitan)

Nathan Taylor (Liverpool John Moores) 

Paul Chitakunye (Manchester Metropolitan)

Sam Eyres (UCLAN)

Sean Findlow (Liverpool John Moores)



Alfie Crawford (Leeds Beckett)

Alfie Green (Bradford)

Ben Bradshaw (Hull)

Ben Gray (Sheffield Hallam)

Billy Parker (Leeds Beckett)

Charlie Rowe (Hull)

Elliott Jones (Hull)

Harry Leek (Hull)

Harry Medlicott (Leeds Beckett)

Harry Trulson (Hull FC Sport College, Activate Learning)

Joe Riley (Leeds)

Jordan Bull (Leeds Beckett)

Joseph Hewitt (Hull)

Leon Stewart (Hull)

Nathan Simpson (Leeds Beckett)

Ronan Newton (Hull)

Tom Wigglesworth (Leeds Beckett)

Tomas Jackson (Hull)

Will Cohen (Leeds Beckett)

Will Wallis (Hull)



Ben Edwards (Loughborough)

Ben Littlewood (Nottingham Trent)

Ben Thewlis (Loughborough)

Bradley Murphy (Loughborough)

Brandon Whitaker (Nottingham Trent)

Charlie McCurrie (Leicester)

Delaine Bedward Gittens (Coventry) 

Harrison Ashby (University of Nottingham) 

Jack Cherry (Nottingham)

James Amachree (Nottingham)

Joe Hunter (Nottingham Trent)

Luke Wadding (Nottingham) 

Noah Lancelott (Keele)

Oliver Hopkins (Nottingham Trent) 

Ollie Rees (Loughborough)

Ronan Treble (Nottingham Trent)

Ryan Alexander (Leicester)

Tom Hackett (Loughborough) 

Tom Mitchell (Loughborough) 

Zak Darbandi (Loughborough)


South East: 

Alexander Allen (Cambridge)

Christian Gale (South Bank)

Christopher Anderson (St Mary’s)

Corie Shorrock (Brunel)

David Bofenda (Open University)

Ed Brown (Bedford)

Jaidan Reeder (Oxford)

Joe Element (Oxford Brookes)

Joel Aggus (St Mary’s)

Joel Gibson (Reading)

Joseph Nelson (St Mary’s)

Josh Stuttle (St Mary’s)

Louis Chapman (St Mary’s)

Luciano Bejanidze (St Mary’s)

Oliver Baptiste-Wilson (St Mary’s)

Sam Hughes (Oxford Brookes)

Stephen Webber (Oxford Brookes)

Thomas Quill (St Mary’s)

Tom Scott (St Mary’s)

Will Budd (St Mary’s)


South West: 


Alex Boag (Exeter)

Ben Moore (Exeter)

Fin Nuttall (Hartpury)

George Orris (Gloucestershire) 

George Pickens (Bath)

Henry Symons (Gloucestershire)

Jack O'Sulivan (Gloucestershire)

Jacob Cole (Bath)

James Abbots (Exeter)

James Hallam (Gloucestershire)

Julius Banks (Gloucestershire)

Louis Watson (Gloucestershire)

Luke De Normanville (Gloucestershire)

Mac Cumming (Gloucestershire)

Marc Bredenkamp (Gloucestershire)

Owen Preist (Gloucestershire)

Phil Hardy-Dearness (Gloucestershire)

Sam Leeves (Exeter)

Tom Ducker (Exeter)

Tom Wills (Gloucestershire)