The nominations process for the ISRFC Lambs is now open, a superb opportunity for U6th players across the country to express their skills in the Lambs’ ‘fast and free’ style.
School coaches can nominate players who are in U6th and are not a full member of an academy side or playing county or divisional level this season. All Heads of Rugby should have the required nomination information, but those without can email firstname.lastname@example.org too.
Following the nominations, nominated players will be invited to one of four development days across the country on Sunday 16th December. In the new year there will be another development day on Sunday 6th January, this time in two locations.
The following Sunday, 13th, sees the first ISRFC Lambs fixture of the season against Irish Exiles, before another game on Sunday 20th January against an as yet to be decided opponent. There is then a brief break for half term ahead of fixtures against Crawshay’s Welsh XV on Sunday 9th February and Boys Club of Wales on Sunday 17th February.
The pinnacle of the Lambs’ season, as ever is their Easter tour. This year the Lambs head to South Africa from the 4th to the 15th April. It is a first for the Lambs, who have also previously toured countries such as Zimbabwe, Ireland, Croatia, Italy, USA, and Canada, including victories over USA U19, Malaysia U19, Singapore U19, Coratia U19, Leinster U18, Zimbabwe U18 and U19, and British Columbia U19, to name but a few.
Commenting ahead of the new Lambs season, Lambs National Director Alex Laybourne said: “We are really excited for the new Lambs season. The standard of schoolboy rugby continues to get better and better and the programme will allow us to showcase this quality in a unique environment that will bring together some of the outstanding talent on the circuit to play some exciting rugby!”
More than ever, the Lambs need the support of the independent schools whose players they offer such a superb experience to. Having seen outside influence rob them of their younger sides in previous years, particularly the U14 yeargroup about which parents still contact us about what a joy those tours were, they have now had changed forced upon them again, the U16 side now gone, Trials have become development days, the Lambs National Squad now a series of ‘invitational’ sides, with the number of fixtures chopped too.
As the Lambs themselves say, they exist to “create openings for boys to showcase their rugby skills at a representative invitational level when they have been unable to do so due to other commitments or lack of selection opportunities.”
“The Lambs RFC was set up to promote traditional rugby values and a ‘Corinthian’ spirit as our style: this is to play unreserved ‘heads up’ running rugby in a fast and expansive style, which is player rather than coach-led. The freedom to express talent, unfettered by league results and structured ‘coaching’, leads to a style of play that excites players, their parents and supporters of the game. The Lambs is all about rugby for the joy of rugby.”
Without doubt, anyone who has seen the Lambs play would say that it is a joy to watch, and those that play say that it is a joy to be a part of too – and that really is the point. Fortunately in a bid to keep that spirit going the Lambs have founded an old boys side too, to be known as ‘The Rams’, and being an old boys side they should be much freer of some outside influences.
Those nominated for the U18 ISRFC Lambs this year will know immediately what a unique and special experience it is, playing fast and free rugby and enjoying some of the most exciting and enjoyable experiences that rugby has to offer, both on and off the field.
ISRFC Lambs Season Structure:
Sunday 16 December – Development Day (x 4 areas)
Sunday 6 January – Development Day (x 2 areas)
Sunday 13 January – Invitational XV v Irish Exiles
Sunday 20 January – Invitational XV v TBC
Saturday 9 February – Invitational XV v Crawshay’s Welsh XV
Sunday 17 February – Invitational XV v Boys Club of Wales
4 April to 15 April 2019 – South Africa Tour