Will, 20, is Cleve’s youngest ever captain

CLEVE RFC have appointed the youngest captain in the club’s history.

Will Warman has stepped into the breach at the age of 20 this season, having started as a five-year-old in the minis and junior section.

He has worked his way through the year groups, gaining experience and development from his early Cleve coaches.

On his way towards 18 he also played college rugby at SGS and Bristol Academy.

When the young scrum-half joined the senior setup, he immediately impressed the coaches and was promoted into Cleve’s first team. 

He has shown over the past year he has great passing ability, speed and physicality.

The opening game of the season reflected the development Cleve are going through by putting young players in tough roles.

Cleve blooded five new players. Opponents Longlevens, on the other hand, fielded a team full of experience and size, with most Cleve players outgunned by one or two stone and a number of years, so it was no surprise Cleve started the match under pressure.

For the first 10 minutes they were pinned in their own half and it felt inevitable when the Longlevens centre punched a hole through the Cleve defence and scored.

The visitors used their experience and skills to move the ball well and score on the wing.

Cleve started to put things together, however, and an attack into the Longlevens half saw a penalty awarded, which Will stepped up and scored.

But Longlevens again started to turn the screw, building a 24-3 lead before Cleve’s forwards started to win ball and drove towards the line, going over and ending the first half down 31-8.

At the start of the second Longlevens continued to put Cleve under pressure, but the home side started to play with commitment and desire. Will passed the ball well and, during a really good phase of play, Arni Jarvis outpaced the Longlevens defence to score.

The match finished 15-57 to the visitors.

Cleve are trying to develop young talent and are running a colts team this season for the 16 to 18 age group.

They are regularly trained by senior coaches and often involved with first XV training sessions.

The Colts are entered in a league this year, however we are recruiting for more players. Rugby teams are using 23 strong so there are great opportunities for youngsters at Cleve.

About 100 sponsors, wives, volunteers and guests attended a three course meal as Cleve celebrated the opening of the Rugby World Cup in the Bromley Suite.

A meal of French onion soup and steak and frites was had before the hosts’ opening match against the All Blacks was shown on the big screen. 

Steve Bateman