HEAD coach Richard Stonebridge admits his Cirencester College players will be taking things one step at a time when they appear at the 75th anniversary of the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens, writes Pippa Field.
Over 7,500 boys and girls aged 13 to 18 from more than 600 teams will gather in West London on Monday for the annual Rosslyn Park Sevens.
The main prize on offer at the world’s largest schools sevens tournament is a chance for the open competition finalists to run out at Twickenham during the ninth and final round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Cirencester College will send an U18s team to compete as they seek a first Rosslyn Park Sevens title and Stonebridge cannot think of a better way to mark its 75th anniversary than by reaching the latter stages.
“I have been at the school for seven years and we’ve only missed probably two years, it’s a great tournament,” said Stonebridge.
“We have competed quite well in the games we have played but we have not really quite managed to break through into the second day so that’s the aim.
“The XVs season has been going fantastically. We got to the last 16 of the National Vase competition.
“It was a bit of a struggle transferring those skills into the sevens but we have been working at it since coming back from half term and we are hopeful of putting in a good show.”
The Rosslyn Park Sevens has a history of starting the careers of rugby legends like Gareth Edwards, Will Carling, Lawrence Dallaglio, Neil Back, Rob Andrew and Rory Underwood.
And, while this year will prove to be the first taste of the Rosslyn Park Sevens competition for many, Stonebridge believes his side are ready to leave their mark.
“We are taking a lot of first years to give them that experience with the aim of them coming back next year even stronger,” he added.
“All the lads are really excited and can’t wait to get going. There has been quite a buzz around the place and they’ve all really embraced it.”
HSBC is proud to sponsor the world's largest schools rugby tournament. All HSBC’s rugby sponsorships aim to help develop and grow the sport and ensure even more youngsters get involved with rugby. For more information visit www.rpns7.co.uk.