The final weekend of the Six Nations was certainly a busy one for Oakhamians - with both current and former students making their mark in this well-loved tournament.
Hamish Watson, who left Oakham in 2010, was part of the Scottish team who fought to an astonishing draw against England. “It was great to be involved in such a historic match,” says Hamish. “It really was some spectacle for the fans.”
He describes the tumult of emotions from the game: “the feeling of being 31-0 down, then to go and score 38 unanswered points at Twickenham to then draw. It’s hard to put it into words – you feel so happy but also so gutted to not have won the game.” He goes on to outline how much better he felt, “when the dust has settled, and you realise we retained the Calcutta Cup for the first time since 1983.”
Hamish, who joined Oakham aged 13, praises the School for not only nurturing and developing his talent on the pitch, but also supporting him along his journey to playing professionally. “I can’t thank the sports coaches at Oakham enough – they played a huge part in my success,” says Hamish. He fondly remembers his Director of Rugby and the Leicester Tigers ‘legend’ Ian Smith, driving him to various rugby trials at different stages of his career.
Now Director of Coaching at Oakham, Ian Smith remembers Hamish as always being “keen to listen, learn and develop” whilst he was at School. “His strength of character shone through from an early age on the pitch, and the rest of the 1st XV really depended on him in all their matches. We are all incredibly proud of his success on the national stage; he’s done exceptionally well.”
Whilst Hamish was part of the ‘main stage’ of events, two current Seventh Form students were also taking part in the U20 and U18 competitions. Sam took a break from his A-level studies to represent Wales in the U20 match against Ireland, whilst Jack scored in his debut playing for England Rugby U18s in their match against Scotland.
“It was a delight for the whole School community to see so many of Oakham’s rugby players, past and present representing the different nations,” says Director of Sport, Iain Simpson. “Oakham is a well known training ground for successful rugby players, and it’s great to see the next generation already standing out at a national level.”