England Rugby take up residence
The England Senior Men’s Rugby squad have been training at St Edward’s this week, whilst they prepare for the Calcutta Cup match against Scotland in the Six Nations competition on Saturday 11th March.
England Rugby joined the school on Wednesday 1st March for a three day training camp. Pupils were invited to observe their training sessions during break and there was plenty of excitement and interest as the England stars were put through their paces on Upper 1. This was not limited to the onlooking pupils and staff either, with the national media also descending on the School on Wednesday morning, keen to see the players back at work in their temporary home.
Pupils of all ages will have learnt much from watching their sporting heroes train. Indeed, as 1st XI captain Angus Atkinson pointed out, you can see that what the players do is nothing unusual, it is the same drills, the same routines as our pupils do; they work hard and endlessly seek to improve until they instinctively get it right every time. Whilst Lizzie Dorey, who plays for England’s Touch Rugby and South West England rugby teams, felt that having the opportunity to watch the players training up close was an excellent chance to pick up tips on finessing techniques.
England Forwards Coach, Steve Borthwick, acknowledged the wonderful facilities at, and great reception from the School during their stay. Based at the Randolph Hotel on Beaumont Street, the team have been using the facilities at the Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre and the sports pitches at Teddies.
England, whose Head Coach Eddie Jones has brought them to Oxford on a mid-competition training camp, are currently top of the table in the Six Nations competition, after wins against, France, Wales, and Italy. They have now gone 17 games unbeaten, dating back to their final pool match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup against Uruguay, and are undefeated in 16 test matches under Eddie Jones, winning every match in 2016.
Victory against Scotland, and then Ireland a week later on 18th March, will see them win the Grand Slam for a historic second time in a row: the first time they have done so since 1992 in the then Five Nations tournament. In so doing, they would also break the New Zealand All Blacks record of 18 test match wins in a row. Let’s hope their use of Teddies’ exceptional facilities has put them well on their way!
If you would like to view the press coverage of England’s training camp at St Edward’s School you can do so using the links below:
There was also a feature on BBC South Today.