Rockets hope to kick on with donation

Linden Homes' Kate Brooks with England hopeful Jake Woods.
Linden Homes' Kate Brooks with England hopeful Jake Woods.
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A rugby league side are soaring after being given a donation boost.

Cramlington Rockets’ push for rugby league honours has been given a boost by the donation of professional standard equipment from house builder Linden Homes.

The club hope a set of new, specially branded match quality rugby balls, will help to convert a promising season into a highly successful one.

Teams across five of the Rockets’ age groups are challenging for titles whilst under 16 winger, Jake Woods, has been called up to represent England at youth level.

Jeffrey Ball, club chairman, said: “The donation of these new balls by Linden Homes has helped us to add yet another element of professionalism to our community club.

“With competitive teams vying for honours and players like Jake recently called up to represent England, being able to offer our players the best equipment and facilities possible is vital. Then, when they make the step up to the professional game, they are familiar with the set up and what is expected of them.”

Kate Brooks, sales manager at Linden Homes, said: “We are delighted to have been able to provide the Rockets with these high quality rugby balls and support a club that does excellent work with young people in Northumberland. We wish them every success for the key fixtures coming up and for their continued development as a club in the future.”

Jake, 16, will travel to Wales with the England Youth squad and is one of five Rockets in the North East Academy hoping to be awarded professional contracts.

He said: “I’ve been at the Rockets for about four years – having switched codes from rugby union.

“I was first attracted to rugby league by the speed of the game and coming here has made me a far better player.

“If it wasn’t for the Rockets’ coaches I don’t think I would be in England contention and I’m really looking forward to joining the squad for the upcoming tour to Wales, where I hope to pick up my first cap.”

The club was established in 2000 as Killingworth Rockets, but relocation and a name change came in 2009 in response to a huge demand for rugby league in the area.

Since then it has grown from strength to strength and now has over 160 players across seven junior teams as well as an open age men’s team.

A new Rugby Academy will open in September once the current season finishes, delivered through a link up with Cramlington Learning Village. It will provide places for young players hoping to improve their educational prospects alongside their game on the rugby field.