Budding Guy Mercers representing King Edward's at Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens
King Edward’s School can already boast former Bath Rugby, England and Scotland head coach Andy Robinson among their alumni.
But John Tidball, master in charge of rugby, cannot wait to see what potential stars of the future will shine when the North Road school competes at the 2013 Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens today.
The event in London is the world’s largest rugby tournament with some 7,000 boys and girls aged between 13 and 18 competing annually.
King Edward’s have failed to reach a finals ince the competition began in 1939, with the closest they came being in 2003 when they lost to eventual champions Cheltenham College.
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A young Guy Mercer was in the KES ranks at the time and he has gone on to become a flanker at Bath Rugby.
“The Rosslyn Park Sevens is a competition that I know the kids look forward to – going down to London, staying overnight and testing themselves against some of the best around,” said Tidball, who is in his 15th year at King Edward’s.
“When you are playing local schools all the time you can get caught up in bragging rights, so it is a good experience to play some other schools from up and down the country.
“Preparation in terms of getting the boys outside and training hasn’t been helped by the weather but thankfully we have got some game time in and we have gone OK.
“We are quite a young group who are learning all the time. We got to a semi-final when Guy Mercer was with us a few years back and to get to that level again would be great.
“We have a scrum-half called James Arbury who could help us do that as sevens is his game, and we have a couple of forwards in Hugh Sloan and Luke Reo who are also ones to keep an eye on.
“To have had guys like Andy Robinson and Guy Mercer come through the school and go on to do big things in the game is great, it gives the boys something to aspire to.
“We also had Chris Goodman come through before Guy did and he went on to play for Bath as well, so who knows what the future will hold for some of our guys.”
King Edward’s are in Group D of the Festival, along with Ampleforth College, Hereford Cathedral School, Trinity School, Croydon and Wycliffe College.
Their first match is at 10.40am against Wycliffe, with the knockout stages taking place tomorrow.
* 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.