While local rugby clubs finish the season at the end of April, most will look forward to a summer break before the new season in September.
But in May, the regional counties competition kicks off in the form of the Bill Beaumont Cup , with the showpiece final taking place at the home of rugby – Twickenham.
For Huddersfield’s head coach Gareth Lewis it will be the latter as he joins Darlington Mowden Park’s coach Mark Luffman in assisting Yorkshire head coach, Wharfedale’s Jon Feely.
Lewis, much-respected in the game after a distinguished playing career and his successes at Lockwood Park – Huddersfield are currently fourth in National 2 North – is preparing his team for a home clash with third-placed Fylde on Saturday.
Huddersfield and Fylde are currently level on 88 points with three matches left to play. It’s Huddersfield’s final home game of the season and they would welcome big support.
Lewis has signed a new two-year deal as head coach of Huddersfield, ahead of his upcoming county commitments.
The County Championship is an annual rugby union competition in England between teams representing English counties.
The competition has become a great platform for players at National League level to represent their counties on a national stage.
After restructuring in 2007, the trophy awarded to the winners was named in honour of Sir Bill Beaumont, former England and British and Irish Lions captain.
The English County Championship has a long history, being first officially recognised by the Rugby Football Union in 1889. The 2019 Championship will be the 119th edition.
Lancashire has won the competition 25 times making them the most successful county, followed by Gloucestershire (17) and Yorkshire (15).
Yorkshire have made the final on an additional eight occasions.
Their last win was in 2008 when the White Roses emerged victorious over Devon at Twickenham.
In more recent times, neighbours Lancashire have been prolific, winning seven out of the last 10 championships and are current holders after last year’s win over Hertfordshire. Huddersfield’s prolific number 10 Chris Johnson was a part of the Lancashire success, scoring 22 of Lancashire’s 32 points with the boot in the final.
In 2017 the competition was given a new structure, with the top tier comprising 12 teams, separated into two northern and southern groups. The second and third tiers have eight teams each.
The Bill Beaumont Cup is contested by the winners of the northern and southern first division winners after a round robin-style contest.
Each tier has a final each year, but promotion and relegation between tiers is decided on a two-year basis.
Yorkshire are actually unbeaten in the past two years winning six group matches in six, but Lancashire have made it to the final in top-spot both times.
There will be a first clash of the Roses since 2016 at Fylde’s Woodlands Memorial Ground in what could be a decider between Yorkshire and Lancashire for who makes the trip to Twickenham in early June.
Head coach Feely said: “Yorkshire are unbeaten in the last two County Championships.
“Our approach is simple – we make it player-centred. Give them the best opportunity to perform by creating the right environment.”