Bradford Grammar seeking Rosslyn Park sevens success a decade on

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford Grammar School, who won the under-13 event at Rosslyn Park in 2003 Bradford Grammar School, who won the under-13 event at Rosslyn Park in 2003

Director of rugby Charlie Linfield is determined to make it a double celebration in London next week as Bradford Grammar School bid for success at the 75th anniversary of the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens.

Over 7,500 boys and girls aged 13 to 18 from more than 600 teams will gather in west London on Monday for the annual tournament.

The main prize on offer at the world’s largest schools' sevens tournament is a chance for the open competition finalists to run out at Twickenham during the ninth and final round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.

That won’t apply to Bradford Grammar School but they will still bid for success on three fronts – entering the under-18s Festival, the under-16 Colts and the under-13s Junior competitions, having last tasted success in the latter in 2003.

And, with an 11-year wait for success at the Rosslyn Park Sevens, director of rugby Linfield cannot think of a better way to mark the tournament's 75th anniversary than by getting back to the top.

“We won the under-13s in 2003 and it would be great to win again this time around - either with the under-13s or our other two sides,” he said.

“The boys are looking good at the minute - we stopped 15-a-side rugby at Christmas to concentrate on the sevens.

“There’s lot of excitement around the team, and hopefully they can do well.

“We have had a couple of tournaments in preparation - the under-16s recently went to Sedbergh, who are a very good side, and just lost in the last minute.

“As for the under-18s, unfortunately a lot of tournaments have been cancelled because of the weather, but they have looked good in what games they have been able to play, and the under-13s have also been getting in practice.”

The Rosslyn Park Sevens has a history of starting the careers of rugby legends, Gareth Edwards, Will Carling, Lawrence Dallaglio, Neil Back, Rob Andrew and Rory Underwood having all competed in the tournament.

And Linfield is hoping his Bradford Grammar School pupils make the most of their opportunity on the big stage.

“It’s great for the boys to get away and see what tournaments like this are all about,” he added.

“You’re playing against the best in the country - it’s got such a great history with players coming through from it that it’s great for all those involved in it.”

* HSBC is proud to sponsor the world's largest schools 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

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