Sedbergh School have been named our England Rugby Travel School Team of the Season.
The Cumbrian school have enjoyed a stunning season across all forms of the game, first going unbeaten in the fifteen-a-side season to claim the Daily Mail Trophy, toppling Wellington College after their three titles in a row.
Moving into the 7s season a wonderful run of tournaments culminated in the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s. Sedbergh topped a pool including Truro College, Maidstone Grammar, Beechen Cliff, and AASE champions Hartpury College, before beating St Joseph’s College and Sherborne in their quarter final group.
A hiccup came against Harrow, one of the other five teams shortlisted for the England Rugby Travel School Team of the Season, but the men in brown still made it through to the semi finals, where they beat one of their biggest rivals, Kirkham Grammar School.
That set up a final with another of our shortlisted teams, Cranleigh, the back to back winners of the Rosslyn Park 7s. Sedbergh showed the sort of skill and determination that earned this award to secure a brilliant 26-12 victory.
Just a couple of days later they were at it again, this time at their own tournament, the Sedbergh Super 10s. In the final schools rugby competition of the year, this famous school made it three titles from three, beating another of our shortlisted sides, Brighton College the St Joseph’s Festival winners, 14-12 in the final.
Brighton College, Cheltenham College, Cranleigh, Harrow, and Warwick were the other shortlisted sides. Each enjoyed fantastic seasons, Cheltenham, Cranleigh, and Harrow going unbeaten and enjoying great 7s success, while Warwick made it back to back Schools Cup triumph’s and Brighton College secured the St Joseph’s Festival in style.
All six sides enjoyed significant backing in the public vote, but ultimately the public vote came down to a choice between Cranleigh and Sedbergh, who shared 64% of the vote between them.
That made it fairly clear to us that when selecting our England Rugby Travel School Team of the Season, those two had to be given particular consideration, such was the sizeable sway of opinion towards them.
All six sides deserve immense credit though, particularly Cranleigh with their 31% of the vote. Cranleigh have enjoyed another outstanding season, unbeaten in the fifteen-a-side season before enjoying another brilliant 7s season, winning the Surrey 7s and reaching that third Rosslyn Park final in a row. In any other year, they would surely have taken the award.
Ultimately though we decided that those who had voted had got it right, with 33% of people backing Sedbergh. It has truly been an outstanding season, not just because of those three titles, but because of their style of play and the teams they have had to beat, in particular conquering two of the shortlisted sides in major finals.
They also had success at Colts level, with their U16s picking up the title at Rosslyn Park. Individually they have had great success too, Cameron Redpath has been named in the senior England squad to tour South Africa in June, a stunning achievement.
He also played for the U20s and would have played England U18 but for his success at higher age-grades. Many others have though, Bevan Rodd, Rob Farrar, Tom Curtis, Josh Hodge, and Rouban Birch, while Carwyn Tuipulotu represented Wales U18, Jack Hill Scotland U18, and Michael Cooke Ireland U18. Will Hyadon-Wood and Harry Hill were both part of the England U17 group, while Tom Walsh was selected to trial with England 7s.
It truly has been a season that will go down in schools rugby history as one of the greats.
England Rugby Travel School Team of the Season – Sedbergh School
Public Vote Results:
Sedbergh – 33%
Cranleigh – 31%
Brighton College – 12%
Cheltenham College – 9%
Warwick – 8%
Harrow – 7%
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