Verulam School reached the national semi-finals of the Rugby League Champion Schools tournament after beating Egglescliffe School 44-20.

The Year Nine team became the champions of the London and South East area after their victory and will now represent the region in the national competition.

In the first half, it looked like the North East-based school would run away with the tie as they scored several tries. But the hosts replied before the break and in the second half Verulam were too strong for their opponents.

St Albans Centurions chairman Brian Parker, whose club hosted the match, said: "It was great to see two young teams from different parts of the country come together at our ground to play a national quarter-final. 

"The team from Verulam did very well, their heads did not go down as they were being beaten, and they fought back to win what was a very enjoyable game.

"We'd like to think that their victory had something to do with the fact that an ex Cents player and a current Cents coach both teach at Verulam school and coach the team."

The Champion Schools tournament is open to every secondary school in England, Wales and Scotland. This year’s competition has seen a total of 1,678 teams take part with 27,537 students competing.