Hayes School have been named our England Rugby Travel Emerging Team of the Season.
The Bromley school beat off some fierce competition in the likes of Kingswood, Newcastle-Under-Lyme, Reed’s, New Hall, and in particular a fantastic Wisbech Grammar School side that have produced some stunning rugby with sparse resources this year.
Hayes get the award after a stunning season that has seen them go unbeaten in their regular set of fixtures, and enjoying a brilliant run in the U18 Schools Vase, ending only when they came up against an outstanding Langley side, who would go on to win the title.
Hayes’ rise has been remarkable, just a couple of seasons ago they had never entered any major tournaments, since then they have added a second XV, something they never had before, have linked up first with London Scottish, and over the course of this season, with Saracens.
Representation has followed, captain Bobby Bratton is part of the Scotland U19 squad, while second row Matas Jurevicius played for England Counties U18 in their series with Ireland U18 Clubs and Schools.
Such has been their rise, that by next season they can surely not longer be considered simply to be ‘emerging’. It is for that reason then that that we agreed with the public vote, making them our England Rugby Travel Emerging Team of the Season, for over the course of this year they have put themselves on the map, emerging in the truest sense.
Each of the other shortlisted schools deserve great credit too though, in particular Wisbech Grammar School, who were engaged in a battle royale with Hayes in the public vote as the two schools secured 73% of the vote between them.
With just 366 pupils in their school, their performances have been truly remarkable, particularly given that just 36 play rugby in 6th form. Twelve wins from ten was a remarkable return, as shown by the fact that the likes of Scotland international Ali Price and a number of England’s Red Roses voted for them in the poll.
In selecting our England Rugby Travel Emerging Team of the Season, we felt we faced the same choice as the public vote had suggested: Hayes or Wisbech Grammar.
As in the vote, it was a close call both have had remarkable years. Hayes enjoy a significant advantage in terms of sheer numbers of Wisbech, yet in terms of rugby numbers both are relatively even.
Ultimately, Hayes’ true ‘emergence’ this season just swung things their way for us. Their rise has been fast and impressive, and some of their results this season have been beyond all expectations.
A truly fantastic season from the men in blue.
England Rugby Travel Emerging Team of the Season – Hayes School
Public Vote Results: 5571
Hayes – 40%
Wisbech Grammar School – 33%
Kingswood – 11%
Newcastle-Under-Lyme – 9%
Reed’s – 4%
New Hall – 3%
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