IN HIS monthly column for the Hereford Times, director of operations at Luctonians, Alex Smith says how the Luctonians 'production line' of talent is working:

I THINK it is fair to say we have enjoyed a really positive winter at Luctonians across the board, with our senior sides, colts, minis and juniors all enjoying success over the last few months.

At 1st XV level our squad have been one of the form sides in National League 2 North.

After a slow start to the season, they have won nine of their past 15 fixtures, lifting the side to 7th in the league.

Given we have used this season, coming off the back of the Covid hiatus, to blood a number of young players, the performance levels of the group have been very exciting to see.

Eighteen players have made their 1st XV rugby debut for the club this season, with almost all of them under the age of 22.

Our 2nd and 3rd XVs have returned equally strong seasons to date, with both in the running to win the Midlands Reserve League Division 1 and 2 titles respectively.

Training together as one big unit, getting the same quality coaching each week is certainly reaping its rewards.

Our Colts side are again proving to be very strong both locally and on a national level.

This group reached the last eight of the National Under-18 Cup, before losing narrowly to Guildford last month, have just reached the Semi Final of the North Midlands Cup after beating Worcester at the weekend, and are in contention for the North Midlands Colts League title yet again.

A further sign of the conveyor belt of talent coming through North Herefordshire is the fact both our U15s and U16s have reached the Semi Finals of their respective North Midlands Cups.

Whilst our wider mini section continues to grow and are looking forward with great anticipation to the Anglo-Welsh Mini Festival, at Mortimer Park in early April.

All these young players are aiming to emulate the achievements of two former Lucs youth players, Jonny Hill and Tom Pearson, who have both been included in this year’s England squad for the 6 Nations.

Here’s to many more local kids following in their footsteps.