Grammar team trains with World Cup star

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Young rugby players at Wisbech Grammar School pitted their skills against the best teams in their age group at the National Schools Sevens at Rosslyn Park on Monday.

Young rugby players at Wisbech Grammar School pitted their skills against the best teams in their age group at the National Schools Sevens at Rosslyn Park on Monday.

Members of the school’s under 13 side were among 128 teams from across England, Scotland and Wales in the national tournament after winning the plate competition at Packwood Haugh and Malsis as well as making the cup semi-finals and plate quarter finals respectively at Manchester and Berkhamsted.

In a tough group the Grammar School beat Plymouth 22-0, crossing the line for four tries which included a well worked opening try from Henry Lankfer and a length of the field score from Thomas Lishman.

Despite a deteremined defensive effort against a very strong Christ’s Hospital team, the Grammar School went down 39-0 in the second game.

Against Barnard Castle, the Grammar School side trailed 19-0 after just seven minutes, but after a half-time team talk and a number of changes a rejuvenated side fought back to make the score 19-12.

After the group stages the team was booked into a training session with 2003 rugby world cup winner Jason Robinson, who was assisted by Saracens Women’s and England Women’s Sevens player Louise Meadows.

Master in charge of rugby Mr Alex Laybourne said: “The boys have had an enjoyable couple of days, which have given them some ‘big game’ experience in the national competition and the chance to be coached by a British and Irish Lion and World Cup winner in Jason Robinson.

“The weather was appalling and it is a credit to the players that they gave their all in tough conditions in a very strong group.”

Two more Grammar School sides were due to compete at Rosslyn Park during the week, with the under 18s in the open competition on Thursday (March 21) and the girls’ under 18 side appearing on Friday (March 22). The under 16s tournament, which was due to be played on Wednesday was cancelled because of the conditions.

The school’s 1st XV rugby captain, Matthew Retchless, is set to collect his third cap after being selected for the independent schools’ national XV match against Leicestershire under 18s at Loughborough University today (Sunday) ahead of the squad’s Ireland tour at Easter.