Tonbridge claimed the prestigious QE Sevens Tournament on Sunday (11 March) with a series of fine performances.
The under-16s overcame plenty of strong opposition, in a competition that involved 32 rugby-playing schools, to walk away with the trophy. The team beat Wellington College 26-12 in the semi-final, and Whitgift School 19-14 in a closely-contested final.
Queen Elizabeth’s School, in Barnet, has been hosting a seven-a-side rugby tournament every March since 1976. Teams come from all over England and Wales to compete in an under-14 and an under-16 tournament.
Rhys Crane, the school’s Rugby Academy Director, said: “The boys were outstanding throughout the tournament and built in confidence and stature as we progressed, producing clinical and assured performances in both the semi-final and final. This was a magnificent team effort.”
The squad were Chris Arnold (HS3), Sam Gilliland (FH3), Sam Craig (PH3), Ed Surguy (WW3), Marc Purves (FH3), Tom Tribe (PH3), Oliver Walker (HS3), Hugo Cordeschi (PS3), Daniel Howlett (JH3), Finn Bradley (OH2), Josh Pope-Saffer (SH2) and Luke Schaeffer (PS2).
Simon Dungate, team coach, said that the tournament was “a key stage in our preparation” ahead of the Rosslyn Park National School Sevens taking place later in March. “We’ll take nothing for granted but winning the QE Sevens is a huge boost for the squad going forward,” he added.
Three second-year boys took their places in the squad alongside nine from the third year, and Mr Dungate also paid tribute to these younger members. “They all rose to the challenge and put in stellar performances,” he said.