We are very proud of our rugby tradition at The Perse. The structure allows our players access to high quality coaching and allows those who are developing their skills plenty of opportunity to progress through the teams. Our staff undergo regular INSET training to ensure safe and enjoyable sessions for all pupils. Our Head of Rugby is a UKCC Level 3 coach and RFU coach educator and throughout the staff there are many coaches with high level playing experience.
Rugby is our main sport for boys in the Michaelmas term, with the exception of the Year 9 boys who play in the Lent term. In the Lower School, our emphasis is on fostering a love of the game. We do this by developing a sense of confidence and competence in contact, allowing players to feel secure in their skills and express the rest of their skill set fully. In the Middle and Senior School, we encourage boys to play an expansive and enjoyable brand of rugby and endeavour to develop this through a games based approach in training sessions, whilst focusing on developing specific skill sets for the more able and dedicated players.
We look to give every pupil the opportunity to represent the school and will happily field as many teams as we can fill. Having a large number of squads allows each pupil to find a level of competition where they feel stretched yet secure in their abilities. In Year 7 we field five teams, In Year 8 and 9 we field four teams, Year 10 and 11 three teams and then 1st, 2nd, and 3rd XV teams in the Sixth Form.
Fixtures are played against sides from across the East region, matched to the appropriate standard to ensure safe and yet challenging fixtures. We play a mix of midweek and Saturday fixtures, with a reduced number of Saturday fixtures in the Lower School to allow new pupils to transition to life at the Upper School.
View our rugby fixtures and results.
In 2016/17, our 1st XV reached the semi-finals of the Natwest Vase, playing at Allianz Park, home of premiership club Saracens. The U15 side reached the fifth round of the Natwest Cup, beating a number of strong rugby schools along the way. The U13 side retained the Northampton Saints Elite Insurance 7s title for the third successive year.
In addition to the success of our teams, we support a number of high performing individuals throughout the school. From U13 our best players are regularly invited to join the Northampton Saints Elite Player Development Group, whilst in Sixth Form players have represented England U18 as well as the Independent Schools Lambs National side.
A real highlight of our rugby programme is the opportunity to tour, cementing lifelong friendships and experiencing different environments and cultures. Our U12 and U13 mini-tours are open to all and highly popular. They take place over a weekend each year in the Michaelmas term and regularly attract over half the year group.
Every three years we take a group of senior rugby players on a long haul tour. Having toured in the summer of 2017 to South Africa, 62 boys undertook an 18 day tour through the Northwest of the country and finished in Durban. The tour took in 12 fixtures across three teams, as well as a wide variety of cultural and educational experiences. You can read more about the tour here.