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Students make rugby sevens debut

  • Secondary News

It has been a year of sporting firsts for Secondary students at St George's.

The school made its debut at the Rosslyn Park National School Rugby 7s 2024. With 1000 Schools and 14,000 players in attendance, it is the biggest rugby tournament in the world. St George’s is the first team from Luxembourg to enter the competition since its inception in 1939. Countless full internationals have played in the tournament from all over the world and many have gone on to play in Rugby World Cups and British and Irish Lions Tours.

Two teams travelled over from the Grand Duchy to compete on 19th and 20th March in both the Under 14 and Under 16 Cups respectively. The Under 14s played first and faced some great opposition from St Peter's High School, Gloucester, Bryanstan School, Devon and Bournemouth Collegiate School. It was a bonus to get some feedback from former England and Great Britain 7s captain Tom Mitchell, not to mention a photo.

Against Bournemouth Collegiate School, St George's really got into sevens mode and were able to keep the ball for longer periods, much to the delight of the vocal Under 16s.  Unfortunately, we did not progress out of our group to the knockout stages, but we were able to secure another fixture against Cwmbran High School from South Wales. This was a light-hearted affair with plenty of tries from both sides. The team grew massively in confidence during the tournament, especially in attacking play, while defensively we showed great desire to scramble when stretched.

The Under 16s played the following day heading into uncharted territory, playing sevens for the first time but also in terms of our opposition. First were Cathedral School, Llandaff from Cardiff, Wales. After being up 7-5 just before half time, the Welsh outfit raced away in the second half. Next up we had The Oratory School, Reading, well established on the UK school’s sevens circuit. We never got going and were put to the sword in the second half. In game three we found ourselves 19-7 up with just two minutes to go against Uffculme School, Devon. Momentum turns on a dime in sevens and a missed conversion at the death saw us finish with a frustrating draw at 19-19.

While it was not enough to progress out of our group, we had time for another fixture. Shebbear College from Devon were next up and there were more tries from both sides, as well as an outrageous piece of skill from one of our opponents. You can check it out on the Rosslyn Park Instagram page.

Trips like this are always the fruits of some tireless work behind the scenes in advance. The players are grateful to Mrs Patmore, Mr Lemon and Ms Simmonds for making the trip possible.

The teams were supported by MTX Connect, Little Lions SARL and Sports Uganda. An enormous thank you to MTX Connect who allowed our players to stay online during the tournament, share the moments and memories we have made for life.

- Report by Mr Browne