Boston Rugby Club’s youngsters are helping the Blue and Whites turn their fortunes around.
Injuries to established senior players has seen head coach Ashley Coates bring in a handful of former Colts players who are now old enough to compete in the Midlands 3 East (North) - after the RFU declared players had to be 18, and no-longer 17, to step up to the First XV.
Following a tough start to life in their new surroundings after their promotion, Boston are gaining a foothold in the division.
“When we hit the new league it was a bit of a challenge,” Coates said.
“We lost our first five games. We’ve had some serious injuries, but we’ve got a great youth system at the club and Colts coming through.
“The last few years there’s been something of a missing generation. But this season we’ve had three or four 18-year-olds who are now eligible to make debuts.
“The results have had an upturn in fortunes and there’s a bit of togetherness there.
“We’ve gone on a run of winning games. We won at Bakewell for the first time ever, and with players coming back from injury that’s galvanised us.”
At times this campaign as many as 12 players from a matchday squad of 18 have been products of the youth system at the Princess Royal Sports Arena.
“That shows the core value of the club,” Coates added.
“That shows a good production line and players wanting to stay and play for us.”
One example is 20-year-old Jack Wright, a second-generation club player who has excelled since being handed the captain’s armband.
“He’s grown into that and its brought the best out of him as a player,” added Coates.
“He’s joined the Navy but he still wants to come home at weekends and play for us, which says something about what we’re doing.”
Boston return to action from their festive break on Saturday as they host fifth-placed Mansfield.
“I think we can show we are a good side and I’m hoping we can get a good win against them,” Coates said.
“We want to pick up results and push for the top six.”