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Bradford Grammar School confident of future sevens success
Director of rugby Charlie Linfield admits Bradford Grammar School are unlikely to challenge for honours at this month’s Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens – but he insists that won’t be the case for long.
BGS’s under-13s team beat Christ’s Hospital 32-12 in the final a decade ago for their sole triumph at the world’s largest schools sevens tournament but Linfield is playing down hopes for this year.
That goes for the under-18s and under-16s as well as the under-13s but he believes former pupil and England international Dan Scarbrough’s return as coach and a strong under-15s squad should make next year different.
“We won the tournament with the under-13s in 2003, so it is something we always look forward to and it rounds off the sevens calendar very well,” said Linfield.
“I enjoy talking to the other coaches as well and looking at the potential future stars but at the moment I don’t think any will be coming from our sides, although hopefully that will change next year.
“Our first team haven’t had the best of seasons but we’ve had a lot of injuries and it hasn’t been a particularly strong year and the draw looks quite tough, so we aren’t expecting too much.
“Next year we will have former pupil Dan Scarbrough coming in and coaching. He is doing a teaching degree here and will definitely add something.
“He will help develop rugby at the school – after all, he has played for England – and hopefully that will mean next year we can challenge again at the Rosslyn Park Sevens.”
BGS also boast another England rugby international in Charlie Hodgson among their alumni, as well as triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee.
Linfield wants the under-15s to step up next year and follow in the footsteps of Will Carling, Lawrence Dallaglio and Neil Back, who all started playing at the Rosslyn Park Sevens. “We have the players down below that, in my opinion, will do the job next year,” he said.
“The under-15s are a good side and lost only one of their 15-a-side games this season and they have some guys who are big and strong.
“We are a school that predominantly prefers the 15-a-side game but we have always had really high participation in all forms of the game and sevens is really important for their development.”
* HSBC are 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. For more information visit www.rpns7.co.uk.