ILKLEY are celebrating this week after having three players selected in the initial Yorkshire squad of 40 for the forthcoming Bill Beaumont County Championship.

Representing the North Premier club are full back Ben Magee, flanker Joe Lowes – son of former Bulls player Jimmy – and centre Elliott Morgan, son of Ilkley’s head of rugby Rhys.

Morgan senior calls Magee a mercurial talent, even though his attitude to training can be a a little lax.

Coach Morgan said: “When Ben’s in the team you never quite know what he’s going to do.

“Against certain teams, you can almost guarantee that he’s going to get you two length-of-the-pitch tries because the gaps are there for him to run into.”

Magee made his return from injury in Ilkley’s impressive 42-12 win at Lymm last weekend, and Morgan added: “He’s a great player and we’ve missed him.

“He’s the sort of player that doesn’t always look overly bothered. He enjoys his training and he’s always smiling and got something to say.

“He can be at the back of the pack on a Thursday night, he can be pinching sweets off me and he can be having a chat about something else when the rest of the team have set off jogging, but when that whistle blows on a Saturday, there’s not many more that want to win as much as he does and there’s nobody that will hurt more if we lose, except maybe my son Elliott!”

Also selected by Yorkshire, who start their programme against Cheshire at New Brighton on Saturday, May 5, are six players from Otley – Joe Graham, former Bees skipper Brett Mitchell, Tom O’Donnell, Lawrence Sanderson, Oli Goss and Tom Hodson – and a quartet from Wharfedale in Josh Burridge, George Hedgley, Adam Howard and James Tyson.

Yorkshire’s coach Jon Feeley said: “We are really looking forward to this year’s championship with this talented squad of players.

“The group has developed a strong team culture focused on positive rugby and taking opportunities.”