A County Durham school’s sporting prowess has been recognised with 13 of its senior players selected to represent the county’s U18 rugby squad.

The Barnard Castle School (Barney) students will join up with players from across the region for fixtures in December and January, following a successful U18 County Rugby Assessment Day held at the school in October.

Barney’s First XV side has enjoyed a strong season so far, scoring 373 points and running in more than 60 tries in nine games, while conceding only 56 points, with 29 different players representing the team this season.

Added to the county call-ups, the team currently boasts nine players who are part of the Newcastle Falcons Academy.

Rugby at Barney has been further bolstered this term with the appointment of former England international Lee Dickson, who also attended Barney, as the school’s Master in Charge of Rugby, with Second Master Martin Pepper involved in the development and coaching of the school’s program.

The school counts former professional and international rugby stars Rob Andrew, Rory and Tony Underwood, Mathew and Alex Tait, Tim Visser, Alex Gray, Rory Clegg and Tom Catterick among its alumni.

Martin Pepper said: “We are incredibly proud of all the boys who have shown great determination and team spirit over the course of the year. These most recent county selections are testament to the success that this team has enjoyed and highlights the great strength in depth we have at Barney.

“The team has been brave week in, week out and played an exciting brand of rugby, with plenty of flair. A lot of the success can be attributed to the positive attitudes within the squad, as well as the togetherness and bond the boys have. The experienced appointment of Lee Dickson has also paid dividends, who has had a massive impact on rugby at Barney, despite only joining the coaching staff officially in September.

Mr Pepper added: “It has been a work in progress developing this strong side, starting with last summer’s pre-season tour of South Africa, and we are incredibly proud of their progress.”