Sedbergh School at it again with Rosslyn Park Sevens victory
Sedbergh School have a history of producing English rugby talent, with Northampton Saints back rower Phil Dowson and England heroes Will Carling and Will Greenwood among their alumni.
And all eyes will be on the Cumbrian school and its production line once again after they claimed their first Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens title for five years on Friday.
Sedbergh last finished top of the pile in 2008 when they won the Open title, but in the five years since had exited at the latter stages of the competition.
But that all changed last week as the school were once again able to celebrate silverware, defeating defending champions Coleg Sir Gar 28-5 in the semi-final, restoring some English pride following a painful Six Nations defeat to Wales in the process, before squeezing past Woodhouse Grove School 7-0 in the final.
And after seeing the school’s XV season ruined by illness, captain Edward Smith was delighted to turn their fortunes around in the shorter version of the game.
“We have had a pretty shocking XV season but we have made up for all of that at the Rosslyn Park Sevens,” the 17-year-old said.
“It is such an amazing feeling. We came down here thinking we could win it but you never know so it is nice to achieve your ambitions.
“The weather was really tough and you are running at about half the pace you would be and the ball was really slippy.
“We had a mumps outbreak at school for the XV season and had lots of cancellations but this sevens team has come together and really worked hard for each other.
“This is the best feeling I have had as a schoolboy and this is my last year at the school and a great way to end – the best thing ever.”
Sedbergh weren’t the only winners in south west London last weekend, with Wellington College beating Tonbridge School 33-7 to lift the Festival title, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Wakefield winning the Junior crown and Aysgarth School taking home the Preparatory crown.
The Girls competition was won by Hartpury College after they beat Queen Elizabeth High School 55-0 in their semi-final before being equally devastating in the final, beating Amman Valley School 40-0 to claim their third trophy in the last four years.
Captain Zoe Barber said: “It is amazing and everyone is so happy to have won.
“We got knocked out by Moulton in last year’s semi-finals so to come all the way this year shows that everyone worked hard for it and wanted it so much.
“Everyone gave everything they had and everyone played so well despite the bad weather.”
HSBC is proud to sponsor the world's largest school rugby tournament. All HSBC’s rugby sponsorships aim to help develop and grow the sport and ensure even more youngsters get involved with rugby. For more information visit www.rpns7.co.uk