Last week Oakham School welcomed Martin Johnson, who captained England to victory in the 2003 Rugby World Cup and is regarded as one of England’s greatest ever rugby players, to help coach the rugby teams.
Martin helped with a line out session and passed on some of his knowledge and skills. With Old Oakhamian Hamish Watson (10) currently playing in the British and Irish Lions squad in South Africa (SA), Martin talked to the boys about the 1997 tour he captained to SA with the Lions. He recalled how the Lions had initially been written off by the world’s press as they took on the World Champions at the time only to prove the critics wrong. The 1997 series stands as not only one of the closest but also one of the greatest Lions tours in history with the Lions winning the initial two Tests.
Director of Rugby Andy Rice said, “It was fantastic to welcome Martin to the School to inspire the rugby teams. The boys enjoyed being coached by such a legendary rugby player, and it is great that they can benefit from his expertise.”
This is one of many high-profile coaching sessions that have been arranged for Oakham’s rugby players over the seasons. Over the years, pupils have benefited from the wise words of Austin Healey, George Chuter, Graham Rowntree, Geordan Murphy, and Mark Mapletoft with Old Oakhamians Hamish Watson, Alex Goode (06), Tom Croft (04), Lewis Moody (03) and Matt Smith (04) also visiting to pass on their tips.