Rugby at Bedford
“Whatever their achievements in other pursuits, the chief pride and glory of Bedfordians lies in their football.” Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News (1934) Bedford School Rugby has a long and impressive history. Records suggest that the first team to represent the school, took the field in 1870 and the familiar red jerseys of the 1st XV are mentioned as far back as 1881. Altogether, 18 Internationals, 4 British Lions, 30 Barbarians, 24 Oxbridge Blues and countless Schoolboy Internationals, have been produced by the school.
The XV have recorded 32 unbeaten seasons on a circuit which includes schools such as Dulwich, Harrow, Oundle, Tonbridge, Uppingham, Wellington, Warwick and Rugby. Most recently the 2009 XV became only the fourth team in the history of the school to win every game and the XV were undefeated at home between 2007 and 2011. The Under Fifteen team have been Daily Mail National champions in 1995 and 2006. The National Sevens title has also been won on two occasions and in recent seasons the Under 16's were finalists in 2008 and the Senior VII semi-finalists in 2011 and reached the last 16 in 2012.
Many recent Old Bedfordians can be found plying their trade in professional Rugby, notably David Callam (Scotland) - Captain of the unbeaten 2000 XV and Will Skinner (England XV, England Sevens, and former Captain of England Saxons and Harlequins) - Captain of the 2001 team. Joe Burton (Wasps) a member of the 2005 and 2006 teams and James Ingle (Northampton Saints) Captain of the 2008 XV have recently played in the Premiership. Jamie Elliott (1st XV 2009 and 2010) is currently occupying a regular place on the wing in the Saints team.
Rugby is the major game for the Christmas term, with practise on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons and fixtures on a Saturday. The School runs: five senior teams, four Colts teams, five Under 15 teams and five Under 14 teams, and there is an opportunity for all boys to play at a suitable level. Professional coaches are employed to assist the School staff, with the over-riding emphasis placed on individual skill development and enjoyment. The 1st XV players also take a 'Position Specific Session' with all the other age groups every week of the Christmas term.
Sevens is played as an extra-curricular sport in the Easter Term at Under 14, Colts and Senior level. And in the last few seasons several regional tournaments have been won by all age groups.
Malcolm Taylor - A 'Mental Skills' coach is on hand to assist individuals and teams. Mr. Matt Gracie (Geography and Games) along with conditioning experts Steve and Mark Gray from Double Vision Conditioning, design and monitor the conditioning programmes and testing of all the boys. Medical back-up is provided by Sports Therapist Julie Dass and her team.
Representative rugby is encouraged and supported, and during recent seasons alone, there have been numerous East Midlands and Midlands players, as well as 15 Schoolboy Internationals, the most recent being Charlie Esam and Clark Davidson in April 2011. Tours occur on a regular basis, with the 1st XV and Under 16 squads due to visit Australia and Hong Kong during July 2013.
In Partnership with Northampton Saints
The link with Northampton Saints continues to go from strength to strength with close involvement taking place between the Club and the School in a number of areas. Several boys have signed full time for the club during recent years and Jamie Elliott is now in the 1st team squad at the club. Several current 1st XV players are currently part of the Junior Saints (Under 18) Academy squad. There are also players in each age group who attend the England Player and ‘Schools of Rugby’ sessions at the Saints.
Read the full history of Bedford Rugby
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