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Cambridge Rugby Shield


Nov 14

10 from the club attain RFU Level 2 Coaching Qualification

Ten members of CRUFC completed their RFU Level 2 coaching qualification last weekend. As part of the current development at the club, focus is heavily on improving the standard of coaching across the mini, youth and senior sections of the club. It can only be good for the future of the club that we now have ten more with recognised coaching qualifications, the successful candidates were :

  • James Hodge
  • Dick Tinley
  • Albert Portsmouth
  • Sam Sandercock
  • John Creighton
  • Charl Farquar
  • Ben Penfold
  • Gareth Baxter
  • David Marlin
  • Pat Chalklin
Aug 14

There have been a few new faces arrive at Volac Park over summer so here is an overview of the combined 1st XV and Development XV squad Ins and Outs for the coming 2014-15 season.

We currently have 10-12 players not listed below who are training with the side during pre-season. If / when they officially join, they will be added to the squad list.



  • Will Allard
  • Tom Jones
  • Curtis Weaver
  • Calum Miller
  • Ean Griffiths
  • James Palmer
  • Gareth Baxter
  • Martin Wolfenden
  • Ollie Marriott
  • Gareth McComb
  • Louis Rawlings
  • Steve Hipwell
  • Simon Johnson
  • Joe Collingham



  • Ross Kevan
  • Jack Green
  • Ben Penfold
  • Huw Morgan
  • Albert Portsmouth
  • James Ayrton
  • Mike Ayrton
  • Mike Gillick
  • Mike Stanway
  • James Stokes

Progressed from U18s to Development Squad


  • Euan Dingwall
  • Patrick Marmion
  • Hugo Chambre



  • Ryan Headington
  • Olly Venni
  • Rob Smith
  • Sam Hirons

New additions


  • Ricky McFarlane (Barking)
  • Charles Woollard (Saracens Academy)
  • Ellis Stanyon (London Irish Wild Geese)
  • Gino Belmonte (Bromsgrove)
  • Pete Kolakowski (Peterborough)
  • Tom Armes (Bedford Blues)
  • James Blackmore (Old Northamptonians)



  • Stef Liebenberg (Old Albanians)
  • Gerard Boshoff (Leicester Lions)
  • Corey Hircock (Bedford Blues)
  • Matt Goode (Chinnor)
  • Kolade Awobowale (Old Cooperians)
  • Kayode Awobowale (Old Cooperians)
  • George Elliott (Bedford Blues)


Name (destination if known)

1st XV: Jamal Ford-Robinson (Cornish Pirates), Ben Brownlie (Nottingham), Jim Wigglesworth (Bedford), Paul Diggin (Northampton BBOB), Dan Hemingway (Retired due to injury), Jack Daly (Old Albanians), Sam Harry (DR - back to Saints), Jethro Rawlings (released), Rob Conquest (Darlington Mowden Park) Development XV: Fraser Hall (Diss), Jordan Brew (Old Northamptonians), Grant Lowe (Sydney based club on travels), Tom Dougherty (Bishop Stortford), Bry White, John Hale, Dan Brotherton, Jordan Husband, Matt Dunn, Seb Clark, Alex Leo (all released)

May 14

Cambridge's Development squad ended the season on a huge high as they beat Ely's 1st XV on their own patch in a bruising Senior County Cup Final. It finished 22-10 to the Blood & Sand youngsters, who had to scrap all the way for their victory.

The average age of the Development squad on the day was 19.75 years of age. Ely are Level 9 and CRUFC Development are Level 7. And eventually, depsite a lesson in dogged determination from the Tigers, Scott Murphy's youngsters soaked up the pressure and the hits and won through with an extraordinarilly mature performance.

'Smurf' was proud of the way his side has come on this term: "The ability of the boys who played was impressive. I counted four 17 year olds on the pitch and it was literally men against boys at times. They're not going to get many tougher games than this even if they make it to National League rugby. That could be the toughest game any of them ever play. Ben Penfold had a very mature game on the day and pulled the strings from 12, despite the fact he's a 10. He's got a bright future in the game."

Winger Mike Brennan opened the scoring five minutes in after storming work from the oustanding Conor Gracey. Penfold missed the conversion from out wide but made amends with a four flawless penalties from around the park, three before the extended half-time interval for a 14-nil lead.

Cambridge prop Tom Jones, after a fine first half performance, lay prone for 40-odd minutes waiting for an ambulance after a nasty leg injury, and the contest literally became a game of two halves with Ely marauding back after the break.

Tigers landed a penalty of their own, and scored a converted try as they took the game to the Blood & Sand with no quarter asked or given for 14-10.

Another Penfold pen left the hosts needing two scores to win, then hooker James Palmer crossed the Ely line to end any doubt as to the result.

The National League experience of Calum Miller, Palmer, Jones, Gracey and Penfold stood them in good stead as they brought composure to their less experienced team-mates.

"The future for the Club is bright. We have some very good players pushing through. Everyone plays the same way, we'll push them and develop them as players. We've come a long way since Bedford in September. It's been a really enjoyable season and hopefully we can have many more like it."



Calum Miller
James Palmer
Tom Jones
Seb Clarke
Hugo Chambre
Euan Dingwall
Liam St John
Conor Gracey
Rob Smith
Olly Venni
Mike Brennan
Ben Penfold (c)
Ryan Headington
Ben Peach
Tom Wells


Charlie Mayou
Patrick Marmion
Chris Winton
Alex Howell

Report: Steve Jackson

Apr 14

Strength and Conditioning Internship for the 2014/15 Season

This will be a great experience for the right person.  Please click here for details.  Closing date for applications is 16th May 14.

Apr 14

CRUFC announce player retention and one key new signing for 2014/15

Rowland says, “Building on the foundations we have worked hard to set this year is key. We have a great young squad, including 14 players under 20 years old. Many of these are playing their first full season of adult rugby - regulars like Ben Brownlie, Calum Miller, Jamal Ford-Robinson, and Ben Penfold are all in key positions.

We are now familiar with most of the teams in National Two South, the away trips, the referees, and, most importantly, we now know each other. So, retaining the core of the squad was an important target.

Calum Miller, Ben Brownlie, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Will Allard, Martin Wolfenden, Gareth Baxter, Rob Conquest, Gareth McComb, Ollie Marriott, Steve Hipwell, and Simon Johnson have all re-signed in the pack. They will be joined by backs Ross Kevan, Jack Green, James Ayrton, Mike Ayrton, Albert Portsmouth and Mike Gillick. We will be re-signing more players over the next fortnight.

When recruiting we have looked to add players who bring experience and quality to the key positions. “

Returning to the club at scrum half will be Stefan Liebenberg, who has joined from Old Albanians:

“Stefan brings quality and leadership to the side, his experience will be vital for the young players of the squad and will help us step up next season. Since he left the club over 4 years ago he has developed his game with OAs in Nat 1, and in the Championship with Bedford Blues, and he joins as the current England Counties scrum-half.

Stefan's signing has attracted other experienced players to join and has helped to retain the key players at the club. We will be announcing more signings over the next few weeks.”

Read more from Cambridge News.

Mar 14

Alan Gregory selected for Scotland U16s

AlanJumping sm

Alan Gregory from the U16s has been selected to play for Scotland U16s.They play English and Welsh sides at the Wellington Festival 13-19 April.

King's Ely Student Alan joined Cambridge 3 seasons ago and has been a rock in the second row of the successful Cambridge U16 squad. He played for Cambs County U14 and U15 and was selected for Scotland through the Scottish Exiles. Alan is also in the Northampton Junior Saints Academy.

The Club congratulates Alan and wishes him the very best of luck in the matches. Alan is currently at the top of the list of Cambridge players to be selected for representative teams from Cambs County upwards. An up-to-date list of players can be found here.

Other National honours go to Ryan Heddington, selected for English Colleges U18, and Sam Hurd, for the English Lambs (U14s Independent School)

Feb 14

Home grown talent bolsters 1st XV & Development squad

Euan Dingwall (flanker), Ryan Headington (centre) Rob Smith (scrum half), Olly Venni (halfback), Patrick Marmion (back row), have all made the step up from the U18's to train and play with our Development side.

Over the last month they have been joined by new 1st XV recruits Grant Lowe (hooker - Upminster), Seb Clark (back row - Loughborough Uni), Simon Johnson (back row - South Leicester), Alex Leo (number 8 - Barking), John Semple (Centre - Hawkes Bay, NZ), Charlie Mayou (Wing - Unattached), and Mike Stanway (Wing - Old Albanians).

Rowland Winter, DOR, states, "It is important to keep growing & developing the 1st XV squad and all the senior sides of the club, we are rapidly growing as a club and we have now seen over 60 new players join our adult playing sides this season."

"To be able to add to the 1st XV & Development squad with talent that has come through the mini & youth age groups is a great credit to the coaches that have put in the hard work to develop these players on Sunday mornings."

Mike Stanway and Grant Lowe have already made their 1st XV debut, and new centre John Semple is in line to make his this weekend.

See the complete squad here

Dec 13

Team to Face Shelford Nomads

1 Curtis Weaver
2 James Palmer (capt.)
3 Calum Miller
4 Gareth Baxter
5 Will Fell
6 Louis Rawlings
7 Euan Dingwall
8 Conor Gracey
9 Tom Dougherty
10 James Stokes
11 Seb Howarth
12 Jordan Husband
13 Chris Talanoa
14 Dan Brotherton
15 Del Veenendaal
16 Malik Mustapha
17 Grant Lowe
18 Seb Clarke
19 Liam St John
20 Rob Smith
21 Mike Brennan
22 Tom Wells


Nov 13

Diggin added to Blood & Sand for visit of Exmouth

Paul Diggin, who is the longest serving member of the 1st team squad at Saints, following 10 years of Premiership and European rugby, will add invaluable experience to the Cambridge back line for this Saturday.

Rowland adds - "Digger will add experience, he has played with and against the best players in the Premiership & Europe in 100+ games for Saints. We see him playing a leading role in our midfield but he is also comfortable right across the backline at our level. To have a player of his quality in the team, still only 28, is exciting for us and we hope the Volac Park crowd will help to welcome Digger to Cambridge this Saturday, and support him in his testimonial year for Saints."

With injuries to Albert Portsmouth & James Ayrton keeping the centre pair out for this weekend, a back line reshuffle sees Mike Gillick move in to midfield, and Diggin coming straight in at 15 for the visit of 16th placed Exmouth.

Fresh from playing in a winning Saints side in the A-League semi final on Monday night, Diggin is looking forward to his first start at Volac Park. "I've followed the results through Rowland, and it looks like an exciting season. He mentioned he was looking to add some experience to his back line, and it was an opportunity for me to get some regular game time whilst continuing my player / coach role with Saints."

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