Matthew Burns

Sedbergh School: School Team of the Decade

Article written and published by Next Gen XV 21 October 2020

Major Honours: Daily Mail Trophy 2018 & 2017, Rosslyn Park 7s 2019, 2018, & 2013, Sedbergh 10s 2019, 2018, 2017, & 2015

Sedbergh were outstanding throughout the decade, as the list of titles above demonstrates. In addition to that there were three unbeaten seasons and, since its official inception in 2013, a streak in the Daily Mail Trophy that has only once seen them finish lower than 2nd, and that was still a mightily impressive 5th place. Indeed the only ‘disappointing’ season they had, really, was the 2012/13 season and that was because a mumps outbreak forced mass cancellations of their fifteen-a-side fixtures. They still went on to win the Rosslyn Park 7s and reach the Sedbergh Super 10s final.

The decade started with an unbeaten season in 2009/10 and they came close to that again the following year with only Durham getting the better of them. The shoots of the 7s side that would win Rosslyn Park in 2013 were showing in 2011/12 as they reached the semi finals, then came that 2013 Rosslyn Park 7s winning season so blighted by illness in the fifteen-a-side season.

Onto 2013/14 where they only lost to Wellington and Millfield, but then got the better of Millfield in the second half of the season, before more major silverware arrived in 2015 in the form of their own Sedbergh Super 10s title, along with a 2nd place Daily Mail Trophy finish. 15/16 was their lowest Daily Mail Trophy finish, 5th, but also saw them reach the Sedbergh 10s final, the Rosslyn Park semi finals, and the Champions Trophy semi finals, where they just missed out to Bedford by 3 points in a thriller.

Then came one of the great three year stretches in schools rugby history, starting with the 2016/17 season where they lost only one game, to a Kirkham Grammar side at the peak of their own wave. That gave them a second place Daily Mail Trophy finish and spurred them on to lift the Sedbergh 10s in March of that season. That sparked true greatness as they backed that achievement up with a spectacular two year unbeaten run that included two ‘double-trebles’, winning the Daily Mail Trophy, Rosslyn Park 7s, and Sedbergh Super 10s in back to back years, making them the kings of every format of the game.

Over the course of the decade some truly epic players that will be household names for years to come emerged from their ranks, among them the likes of Cameron Redpath, Tom Curtis, Tomas Francis, James Botham, Josh Hodge, Ali Crossdale, Carwyn Tuipulotu, Sam Moore, Alex Moon, Rob Farrar, Will Haydon-Wood, Harry Hill, Johnny McPhillips, Bevan Rodd, and Rouban Birch.

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