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20th March 2023

U18 Oakham XV Rugby Team Schools Cup Champions! 


Oakham School have been crowned the U18 Schools Cup Champions after a thrilling battle against Trinity School at Twickenham Stadium, the home of England Rugby.

Director of Rugby at Oakham School, Andy Rice, said: “We’re delighted with the win. Every credit to the boys and to Trinity for making it such a spectacle.”

Enjoying this spectacle in person was a crowd of over a thousand supporters consisting of members from the whole Oakham School community – current and former pupils and staff, as well as parents, past and present.

Despite a rocky start, the Oakham team dominated territory in the last 15 minutes of the first half and managed to turn momentum to their side. They scored the first try of the second half with a wonderful driving maul from the line out, and Trinity found it hard to get through their defence. The boys played some clever rugby throughout the match, their drives and lineouts being key to their success. They kept the pressure on Trinity, and their organisation and power won the day.

Old Oakhamians of all ages, from their 20s to their 80s, were in fine voice to support their former School, including members of the squad who played in the Final of the U15 Vase of the NatWest Schools Cup in 2015.

Headmaster Henry Price said: “It was an enjoyable and memorable day for Oakham School. I would like to congratulate the team, who demonstrated great discipline, strength of character and skill to secure the win. I would also like to thank everyone who has coached, guided and supported them to this point. I know that there are proud parents and proud staff, who also deserve great credit for this success.”

“It was a day on which all our school values of Care, Courage, Contribution and Connection could be seen and felt. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the day at Twickenham, and I commend Trinity and Oakham for a fantastic spectacle and good sportsmanship.”

Co-Captains Felix Starkey and Ben Taylor said of the win: “It feels unreal. We started slow, but the second half showcased our fitness, and the tries came from there.”

Ben continued: “We knew this was going to be the last 70 minutes that we would play together at Oakham, so wanted to go out knowing we’d done all we could. It was clear that our fitness and constant training week in week out paid off in the end. It was a surreal experience and one that the whole team will never forget.”

To those final year students who will be leaving Oakham at the end of the academic year, the U18 Schools Cup victory was a crowning moment in their schoolboy rugby careers.

Andy said: “It can take many years for a squad to develop to deliver their full potential and to do this they need to be supported by the right team of people. We are incredibly lucky to have received the coaching wisdom of Ian ‘Dosser’ Smith in nurturing the team and helping them to appreciate the tactics of the game. Many generations of Oakhamians have benefitted from Ian’s expertise and I would like to thank him for his passion and unstinting dedication to coaching our pupils.”

The rugby action continued in the final week of term, when six teams travelled to London to compete in the Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens. Twenty-four girls made Oakham School history by playing in the U14 and U18 competitions for the first time.

Other recent sporting success has seen Oakham’s U19 netball squad compete in the National Finals, finishing 11th in the country.

To watch the Final Oakham v Trinity Match click below:-


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