New England Rugby XRUGBY7S format hailed an exciting success at Durham All Schools Festival
Over one hundred boys and girls took part in the Rugby Football Union All Schools XRugby Seven’s Competition in front of England Rugby guests.
The girls and boys team were invited along to Billingham RUFC for an All Schools Festival with England Rugby guests, Steve Brown, Chief Executive Officer and Steve Grainger, Rugby Development Director watching from the side lines.
The day welcomed eight boys teams and four girls teams to the RFU artificial grass pitch to enjoy sunshine and an afternoon of trying a new format of the game, XRugby 7s.
Organiser Phil Wallis, South Durham RFU Community Rugby Coach explained that the purpose of the day was to celebrate the end of three years as part of the All Schools Programme for the Hartlepool based schools and trial the new format of the game.
He added: “It shows the progress those schools have made and gives the teachers, players and parents an opportunity to celebrate their hard work with a festival and an end result.
“We also invited along schools that will enter their first and second year of the programme in September to show the potential it holds for the schools that are a part of it.”
Manor Academy, Dyke House, St Hild’s and High Tunstall were those among the seven teams celebrating the end of three years, with Ian Ramsey concluding their first year and St Michaels experiencing a taste of what is to come as they look ahead to their entry year in September.
On the day we caught up with Mr Howe, Ian Ramsey’s Rugby Teacher, on what he thought about the new format of the game.
He said: “The XRugby7s version of the game is exciting, it is quite a fluent game and there is obviously a lot of opportunities to move the ball. There is not a lot of set piece and it gets the ball in play a lot which the kids enjoy.
“We are seeing lots of open running and decent tries here today.
“The whole idea of the scoring zones gives the kids more excitement and they are all encouraging each other into the zones.”
You can check out the full interview on our Facebook page.
Across the afternoon parents, teachers, Steve Brown and Steve Grainger enjoyed watching lots of talent, off loads and tries throughout all the games.
Brown and Grainger commented on the female games saying that “they were very impressed with the standard of rugby being played”.
Between the 34 girls and 77 boys, there were over one thousand points scored and 336 minutes played.
Wallis added: “Events like this show the players their success and achievements and it exposes them to a new format of the game that they might not have seen before.
“XRugby7s invites them to try something new, be creative and develop different skills from the traditional XV aside game.
“It was great to see so many boys and girls at the same event enjoying the day and being able to interact with others schools.”
By Clarissa Murphy