Millfield School go for glory at Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens
Millfield School can already boast England captain Chris Robshaw among their alumni, but director of rugby John Mallett says he cannot wait to see what gems the 2013 Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens unearths this week.
Mallett arrived at Millfield School in 2004, the year after Robshaw had led the school to Rosslyn Park 7s success before going on to lead his country.
Robshaw might have long gone but the school continued to excel in sport in his absence and will be looking to strut their stuff again in south west London at the world’s largest rugby tournament, with some 7,000 boys and girls aged 13-18 competing annually.
Since the competition began in 1939, Millfield School have won a record 17 titles, their last coming in 2010, and 42-year-old Mallett believes they can continue their success this year, with one or two star names to look out for in Millfield colours as he takes an under-18 and under-16 boys side to the capital for the event, which got under way on Monday and concludes tomorrow.
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“The Rosslyn Park Sevens is the highlight of the school year for the rugby boys and we look forward to it every year,” he said.
“The boys are aware of the legacy and history the school has in the competition and I think that adds to the excitement for them.
“Last year Gareth Edwards was down at the tournament and that helps them realise just how special this competition is.
“We have had Chris Robshaw play in the tournament, who isn’t doing too badly now, and since him Jonathan Joseph and Henry Thomas have also won it for the school so that is great to aspire to for them.
“And this year we have some promising guys in the form of Tom Ellis, who is with the England under-18s, and our captain Robbie Tait, who is with the Scotland under-18s.”
The Rosslyn Park Sevens has had a history of starting the careers of rugby legends, with Gareth Edwards, Will Carling, Lawrence Dallaglio, Neil Back, Rob Andrew and Rory Underwood having all competed in the tournament.
And with sevens now included in the Olympic programme from Rio 2016 onwards, Mallett believes that number is only going to increase and is eager for Millfield School to get in on the action.
“The school has always done well at sevens and rugby in general and we are keen to carry that tradition on,” he added.
“And with sevens growing in this country, that is only going to have a knock-on affect in the schools and that is great.”
HSBC is proud to sponsor the world’s largest school 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.