During the Advent Term rugby football continues to be the major game at the School. The School regularly fields 16 sides which cater for all abilities at all age groups. The standard of rugby at the School is very high with a number of pupils representing the County and playing for Premiership Academies. The School has a long tradition of pupils who have played International or Premiership rugby at Gloucester, Leicester, Northampton and Worcester such as Harry Mallinder, Ollie Grove, Will Rowlands, Robbie Povey and Ben Pointon.
The fantastic team of coaches within the School produce high quality regular training sessions with all of our players.
Director of Rugby, Mike Bayly, is a former professional rugby player for both Western Province Rugby and Boland Rugby, playing 33 matches for each, Mike also coached the Boland Currie Cup team for two seasons.
His rugby career included two seasons as Head Coach at Rovigo, Italy, before spending seven years with Heyneke Meyer building the Bulls from a struggling franchise to become Super Rugby Champions. During his time they won the Vodacom Cup in 2001, reached five Currie Cup Finals in a row, celebrated three wins in a row, made it through to two Super Rugby semi-finals in 2005 and 2006, finally winning the Super Rugby Championship in 2007.
Mike began his teaching career at the school he once attended, Bishops Dicocesan College in Cape Town, before taking up Rugby professionally.
He coached at both Reddam and at Paarl Boys High, when he was a specialist skills and backs coach, before returning to Bishops as rugby consultant four years ago.
The fixture list is a traditional one and some of our oldest fixtures are more than 100-years -old including Harrow, Cheltenham and Uppingham to name but a few. The School regularly invites teams to play away from our traditional circuit as a Guest XV. In recent years we have also entertained sides from Northern Ireland, Scotland and France.
Touring is a very much part of the rugby programme and the School has recently toured Argentina, Chile, Singapore, Australia, France and Northern Ireland. The School receives regular requests to visit and train on The Close from touring international sides from as far afield as Venezuela, Argentina and New Zealand. Premiership rugby sides including Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers and Saracens have been recent visitors.
The Rugby 7’s programme takes place during the Lent term. The age groups involved are the U18s, U16s and U14s. The 7’s programme runs as a club and takes place twice a week alongside the major games programme. Teams are involved with tournaments at Windsor, Oakham, Stowe, Queen Elizabeth’s Barrel and Sherbourne. The highlight for the U18’s and U16’s season is the National School Boys 7’s at Rosslyn Park, which takes place at the end of term.
In March 2017, in celebration of its 450th anniversary, Rugby School organised one of biggest ever international U18s schools sevens tournament to be held in the UK. Teams from Scotland, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Canada, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Wales and England have played on the hallowed Close, watched via a live stream by more than 200,000 across the globe.It was the first time many of the visiting players had set foot on the ground where the game started in 1823 - click here to find out more...