Chris Heal and the TRU take a look at some of the star men from National One.
It was all about one team in the third tier of English Rugby this season. After finishing runners up to Richmond last year, Hartpury College responded and went one better and did so in style. John Barnes’ side won all 30 of their matches in this campaign and dropped just two points on their way to promotion to the Championship.
It would be easy to just flood our team of the year with College players so instead we have included just five of their standout performers. Matt Protheroe was superb and his qualities have now seen him move to Bristol while the likes of Jonas Mikalcius and Steve Leonard showed great movement and creativity throughout the campaign.
Ampthill’s Sam Baker had an excellent year which is why he makes the cut, but he was up against fierce competition including Darlington Mowden Park’s Adam Radwan. Radwan’s teammate, Chris Auld, comes in at centre while it’s an all Coventry half-back pairing with Pete White and Will Maisey named in our squad.
Maisey has had a wonderful season for Rowland Winter’s side - highlighted by the fact he won both the Supporters' Player and the Players' Player of the year awards at Cov - and he made our team just ahead of Birmingham Moseley’s James Williams who, like Maisey, was simply superb off the tee this season. Also from Moseley, Ed Sheldon is unfortunate to miss out after a prolific season.
The forwards include two players from second placed side Plymouth Albion. Kieran Hallet has done a superb job at Brickfields so far after taking over the Head Coach role in December and Nile Dacres (who has just signed for Coventry) and Herbie Stupple really shone during that period.
Joining Stupple in the back row are the highly rated Simon Uzowke and Harry Bate while Dacres is in the second row alongside Hartpury’s Joe Dancer. Fylde's Jack Turley also deserves a mention for his solid peformances this term. Dancer has two fellow College’s peers in front of him in Mike Flook and Will Tanner while the impressive Paul Boulton is at tighthead prop.
15 Matt Protheroe (Hartpury College)
14 Sam Baker (Ampthill and District)
13 Chris Auld (Darlington Mowden Park)
12 Steve Leonard (Hartpury College)
11 Jonas Mikalcius (Hartpury College)
10 Will Maisey (Coventry)
9 Pete White (Coventry)
8 Herbie Stupple (Plymouth Albion)
7 Harry Bate (Old Albanian)
6 Simon Uzokwe (Darlington Mowden Park)
5 Joe Dancer(Hartpury College)
4 Nile Dacres (Plymouth Albion)
3 Paul Boulton (Coventry)
2 Will Tanner (Hartpury College)
1 Mike Flook (Hartpury College)
National League 1 2016/17 - Points Table
National League 1 2016/17 - Leading Points-Scorers
National League 1 2016/17 - Leading Try-Scorers