All Golds head Down Under
Two local aspiring 18 year old rugby players of both rugby league and union codes, George Knowles, and Joel James, are heading to Brisbane, Australia to take up challenging roles with Noosa Pirates RLFC for the forthcoming rugby league season.
Both players have been opponents for years in numerous County Cup Finals between Cheltenham and Matson but in 2011 both were introduced to rugby league and have for the past two seasons played for the University of Gloucestershire All Golds in their developing academy teams, demonstrating how playing both rugby codes throughout the whole year is possible.
Both players have gone on to represent the South West Schools and Colleges rugby league squad and were then both selected to represent England.
George, a former pupil of St Edwards School started his rugby union career at Cheltenham RFC playing there for nine seasons before recently signing for Old Pats and playing as loosehead prop for the first XV for the first half of this season. Joel, who attended St Peters School at sixth form, played his junior rugby at Matson RFC, Gloucester, until recently moving to play fly half for Old Centralians Firsts.
George and Joel have found that league and union rugby can comfortably sit alongside each other, complementing each other with just slightly different skill requirements, as well as being played at different times of the year, therefore allowing a transition from one to another during the season.
George Knowles said “We are both really excited to be given the chance to improve our rugby in Australia, being one of the toughest sporting environments in the world.”
Lionel Hurst, All Golds Club President, added: “Both George and Joel are tremendous and talented young men. I am sure they will represent the club and sport with distinction. We wish them well.”