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Could Henry Ackroyd prove a trendsetter for Ilkley rugby?
Ilkley Rugby Club’s Henry Ackroyd has gained a place on Leeds Carnegie's England Rugby Developing Player Programme (ERDPP) – Central group.
He has been playing at Ilkley since he was seven, and now plays for both Ilkley Rugby Club’s under-13s and Ilkley Grammar School’s Year Eight teams.
Henry, who is looking forward to starting the programme next month and developing his skills, has thanked both his club and school coaches for their dedication and support.
Ilkley’s rugby chairman Tom Gillon said: “This is a great achievement for both Henry and Ilkley Rugby Football Club.
“His success emphasises that the club have adopted the correct pathway in terms of junior development, and we wish him every success.
“The door is wide open for every junior player at Ilkley to emulate Henry, and, while we have had similar success in older age groups in the past, it is great to see talent identification in one so young.”
The RFU, in conjunction with the 14 England Rugby Academies and 28 Constituent Bodies (CBs), have launched the ERDPP, which will be introduced this season to provide a clear and structured package of quality coaching for new and existing players between the ages of 13 and 16.
The programme is an evolution of the existing CB Schools of Rugby, and will provide high-quality tuition.