Rugby: The National Schools Sevens
Wednesday 26 March 2008
Grassroots rugby at Rosslyn Park is the place where legends are made.
The National Schools Sevens, which took place at Rosslyn Park FC from March 10-14, has gone from strength to strength since its humble beginnings in 1939. It now features more than 7,000 boys and girls aged 13 to 19 from around the world.
Some of the biggest names in the sport, including England stars past and present Lawrence Dallaglio, Phil de Glanville, Rory Underwood, Rob Andrew, Neil Back, Matt Dawson and Paul Sackey have graced the playing fields of south-west London in a bid to win the prestigious junior tournament, gaining valuable experience in competitive rugby at a young age.
Sackey, who was one of England’s stars at the 2007 World Cup, had his passion for rugby ignited by winning the National Schools Sevens with John Fisher School of Purley, Surrey, in 1998.
“I was obsessed with football,” Sackey admits. “Nothing else mattered. The moment I became converted was when Lawrence Dallaglio presented me with a trophy when I was about 18. Now, I’m playing alongside him - it’s surreal.
“Even though I’d been reluctant to play rugby, I was picked and we didn’t concede a point until the final and we won the tournament. It was amazing. There were loads of people watching and Lawrence was there to hand me the cup. I didn’t know much about rugby but I knew about Dallaglio. I just thought, ‘Wow, rugby’s not too bad after all.’”
Talented players involved in the tournament – which took on a distinctly royal feel in 1996 when the Queen’s grandson, Peter Phillips, played for Gordonstoun – have not been restricted to England over the years.
Welsh legend Gareth Edwards was a member of the winning Millfield team of 1966 and one year later, an unknown schoolboy by the name of Keith Jarrett competed for Monmouth School.
One month after competing at Rosslyn Park, the precociously-talented teenager enjoyed one of the most remarkable debuts in rugby union history, scoring 19 points to lead Wales to victory over England.
And in recent years, the competition has taken on a distinctly global feel with teams from Switzerland, India, West Indies, Romania and the Ukraine bidding for silverware.
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Donald Trump decides that Baltimore riots are Barack Obama's fault
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + + uncapped commission + benefits: SThree: Did you ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits + uncapped commission: SThree: Did you kn...