Instead of the unmistakeable outline of rugby posts adorning the First XV field this year, the sight of corner flags can instead be seen fluttering in the wind across the playing fields. Full contact rugby has become somewhat of a mystique this season, with only the professional level able to play. For the boys this has meant that the usual inter-school fixtures have been cancelled.
However, we have instead adopted ‘Ready4Rugby’ a new and exciting non-contact game which enables teams of up to 10 players to engage in training and a match activity. The boys have already enjoyed a fully inclusive intra-school tournament this term and we have just begun a new tournament to take us through until the end of term.
Director of Rugby, James Hinkins said, “It has been commendable to see how the boys have applied themselves on the field. Whilst this is not rugby as we know it, non-contact rugby has revolutionised the way we play. Our aim has been to involve as many boys as possible, and we have had a huge number of boys participate, who might have not chosen to otherwise, and has been a testament to the value that the boys bring to their game. All the coaches have been very proactive and the boys are having lots of fun.”
Meanwhile, we were also delighted to hear that Lower Sixth Former and rugby scholar, Sonny Rodella was invited to the England U18 October Development Camp at Queen Ethelburga’s in York at the end of October.
Sonny, who is a year group younger than this age category, told us after attending the camp, “It was such a professional set up and another level of rugby. I took things from the other players that will influence my own game.”
Sonny has played rugby from the age of 13, when he joined the Saints Academy, and he started Bedford School in the Sixth Form as a scholar to help better his game. Sonny explained that his coaches had encouraged him to take his game seriously and so he needed a school where rugby was an integral part of the school day.
“I was thrilled to be offered a scholarship here. OB Fraser Dingwall (13-17) is one of my role models – not only is he a Saints and England player, but his leadership style and maturity in the game is a style to aspire to”.