When you’re 14 years old and you’re training alongside a World Rugby Player of the Year nominee you know it’s going to be a pretty good week.
That was the situation this week for the youngsters of Lymm RFC U15s, who were put through their paces by that 2018 nominee – Sale Sharks scrum-half Faf de Klerk, alongside Denny Solomona and captain Jono Ross.
The Cheshire-based community club recently saw their U15s win the prize of a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session after entering the nationwide competition.
The Gallagher Premiership Rugby stars took part in the intense training session and passed on plenty of tips about how to be a professional, as well as specific skills training to help develop the youngsters’ game.
“The Gallagher Train with your Heroes scheme is great because I think it gives the kids an opportunity to meet us guys,” commented Springbok De Klerk.
“We don’t really see ourselves as heroes but I think a lot of kids look up to players playing in the Gallagher Premiership, it’s where they want to play.
“It’s good for them to be alongside us and get advice but it’s also good for us to get some energy off them after a long day of training!
“It motivates them to work harder and we can give them some good tips on whatever questions they ask – hopefully we can have an impact on these guys.
“It’s great that Gallagher are supporting grassroots rugby, that’s where it all started for me as a young kid and sessions like this make a massive difference in the community.”
The fast-paced session saw De Klerk, Solomona and Ross coach the youngsters on a range of aspects of their game, with a competitive session of attack versus defence and an emphasis on finding space on the pitch.
Nathan Lang, 15, plays as a hooker for Lymm’s U15s and enjoyed one of his team’s most competitive training sessions of the season and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I was aware that we were entered the competition a few weeks ago and then as soon as I found out last week that this session was happening I’ve been really excited about it,” said Nathan.
“It’s great that Gallagher are supporting me and my team as a whole because it gives us a chance to learn from players that have made it, so we know what we have to do to achieve what they have.
“It’s been a great session, it’s quite tough but really good to get chatting to the guys and get involved.
“We’ve been playing together as a team for years now so we gel and we’re quite close. We’re constantly pushing each other – if someone does something wrong we help them improve.”
De Klerk was speaking at a Gallagher ‘Train with your Heroes’ session at Lymm RFC after their U15s side won a nationwide competition launched by Gallagher, a passionate community insurance broker and proud title partner of Premiership Rugby. Lymm won by describing how their team embodies the spirit of rugby, both on and off the pitch, and helps grow the game locally.