The Rugby Programme

Over the last twenty years, the College Fifteens and Sevens teams have become recognised as among the most consistent in the country and a significant force in the SW. The fixture list includes many of the South West's leading rugby schools. Our seven-a-side teams compete in tournaments in Hereford, Taunton, Brecon and Rosslyn Park. In recent years, the First XV have travelled further afield to play Llandovery College and Christ College Brecon, and in 2010 Plymouth College played Kirkham Grammar and Bryanston for the first time, securing notable victories over both schools. In the 2010-2011season, Plymouth College First XV reached the quarter-finals of the Daily Mail Cup, were Devon Champions and received the Rugby World Team of the Month award for February 2011. The First and Second XVs travelled to Hereford Cathedral School in September 2012 for the first encounter between the two schools in the XV a side form of the game. In 2012, The First XV made it to the Semi Final of the Daily Mail trophy, losing out 8-5 to the eventual competition winners, Yarm School.

Two ex-Plymouth College boys have represented England A, four have gained Blues at Oxford or Cambridge and many have represented their county at senior level and played for some of the major club sides in the country. Will James, OPM, was capped by Wales during the 2007 rugby world cup and numerous old boys play National League rugby both locally and around the country. Phil Beak, who was captain of the First XV in 2008, achieved a Blue in Rugby League while studying medicine at Oxford University.

We have had eight U18 internationals and five at U16. Most recently, Henry Slade played for an England XV against the Barbarians at Twickenham, is a regular starter for Exeter Chiefs, has two caps for the England Saxons and was the starting 10 for England Under 20s when they won the World Cup in 2013. Charles Attis represented the South West at under 16s and Tom Mumford represented England at Under 16 ’A’ level. Zac Cinnamond, a recent member of the school First XV, achieved England Counties honours at Under 20 level and is set to join the Ulster Rugby Academy in July 2014. Numerous players from Plymouth College represent either Devon or Cornwall at county level. Our most distinguished rugby playing old boy, Paul Ackford, represented England in the 1991 World Cup Final and added to the honours he had won for England and the British Lions.

Each team throughout the school, from under 12 to the 1st XV, has experienced coaches. We field eight teams involving a high percentage of boys in the school. At senior level, there is a full programme involving strength and conditioning, skills training, matchplay and nutrition. The aim of the programme is to ensure players can follow the appropriate pathway and achieve the level of representative rugby they are capable of. Our junior teams play in the county cup competitions, a collection of traditional fixtures and, at Under 15 level, the National Cup. Rugby at the college is inclusive and welcomes players of all abilities. A number of ‘social’ fixtures occur during the course of the season and for those who are not inclined towards the game, alternatives such as non contact tag rugby are available during Games lessons.

Tours are undertaken both at home and abroad. Since 2001, Plymouth College Senior teams have toured to Australia, South America, South Africa (4 times) and Canada. The most recent tour will be South Africa in 2014. Plans are in place for the Senior Squad to tour New Zealand in 2017, following the British Lions while they are there on tour.
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