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By Laura Taylor, Mar 9 2020 01:42PM

Two stunning fightbacks saw Whitgift and Warwick reach the final of the RFU National Schools U18 Cup.

Reigning champions Whitgift were 20-7 down to Sherborne School in the second half of their semi-final clash.

But after clawing back the deficit to 23-21 with just two minutes to go, full back Ben Fitzgerald kicked a vital penalty to give his Surrey side victory and devastate the large home crowd.

It was a similar situation at Northampton School for Boys who held a 23-20 lead over Warwick School with just minutes to go.

However tries from Elliot Tanner and a last-gasp score from William Banfield saw the Midlands powerhouse win 32-23 and secure their fourth U18 final in four years.

Northampton – the only state school left in the competition and backed by 1,500 fans – were left deflated but proud of a massively successful season.

Another incredible semi-final – this time in the U15 cup – saw Ivybridge Community College secure their place in the final by the narrowest of margins.

After drawing 22-22 with Harrow School, the Devon side but went through having scored the first points of the game.

After going 5-0 and 12-3 up, their public school visitors rallied to lead 17-12 at half-time. But a remarkable comeback saw Ivybridge tie it up at 17-17 and then 22-22 to go through to Twickenham on the new RFU rule.

It’s the first time a Devon school has reached the U15 cup final and proved the first defeat in two years for the current national sevens champions.

Their opponents in the showpiece final will be Stowe School, who proved just too strong for Oakham School, winning 15-5.

Both the U18 and U15 final will take place at Twickenham on Thursday March 19.

Entries for the inaugural School Sport Magazine National Schools U14 Rugby Cup have opened. Enter by emailing [email protected] or visiting

(For full reports on the finals, check out the next edition of School Sport Magazine next month)

By Laura Taylor, Mar 4 2020 05:43PM

Devon state school Ivybridge Community College reached the final of the U15 Rugby Union Cup final today after a remarkable finish.

The side drew 22-22 with Harrow School but went through having scored the first points of the game.

After going 5-0 and 12-3 up, the public school visitors rallied to lead 17-12 at half-time.

But a remarkable comeback saw Ivybridge tie it up at 17-17 and then 22-22 to go through to Twickenham on the new RFU rule.

By Laura Taylor, Mar 3 2020 04:45PM

It’s semi final time in the country’s two biggest schools’ rugby cups this week.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) sees Northampton School for Boys, the country’s sole-remaining state school, take on last season’s runners-up Warwick School at Saracens’ Allianz Park in the U18 competition..

Meanwhile reigning champions Whitgift will tackle one of the most improved units this season in the shape of Sherborne School.

In the quarter finals, Northampton edged RGS Newcastle 22-15, Warwick pipped QEGS Wakefield 14-8, Sherborne defeated King’s College School Wimbledon 26-8 and Whitgift enjoyed a high-scoring 45-31 victory over Abingdon.

In the U15 cup, Stowe School will be looking for revenge when they host Oakham School in the semi-finals.

Oakham, who have already seen off powerhouses Bromsgrove and Warwick in earlier rounds, got the better of their Buckinghamshire rivals when the two met before Christmas but Stowe’s impressive home form should ensure a tough contest.

Harrow School impressed in their narrow quarter final defeat of Trinity School Croydon but will find it difficult on the road against Devon’s Ivybridge Community College, who edged Wellington College 12-8.

(To read a full report on the competition, check out the next edition of School Sport Magazine next month)

By Laura Taylor, Mar 3 2020 11:06AM

Kingston Grammar School held their nerve to lift the 2020 Investec Girls' U14 Schools Championships at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

But the Surrey side needed a penalty shoot-out before defeating county neighbours Epsom College in the closest of finishes.

In the U16 girls’ final, a dominant display from Repton saw them see off Cumbria’s Sedbergh School 6-1.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) sees the quarter finals of the boys’ U18 championships with Dean Close School taking on Repton, Oakham School up against Reeds, Winchester’s Peter Symonds College playing RGS Guildford and Whitgift tackling QEGS Wakefield or Norwich School.

The semi-finals will take place on March 11 while the final is being held on March 19 alongside the girls’ U18 final.

(To read a full report, check out the next edition of School Sport Magazine next month)

By Laura Taylor, Mar 2 2020 02:00PM

Wycombe Abbey School survived saturated pitches and stormy weather to turn in a stellar performance at the National Schools Lacrosse Championships.

The Buckinghamshire side swept all before them to claim the U19 crown with a 4-0 victory against Benenden School in the final at Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre.

Earlier the talented team had beaten St Helen & St Katharine School in the last 16, Guildford High School 4-0 in the quarter finals and St Catherine’s School 3-2 in the last four.

Heavy rain had turned many of the pitches into a quagmire causing a cancellation of the Saturday event and a postponement of the U13 and U15B competitions.

But superb work by groundstaff and officials paid off as the championships were able to go ahead – and hundreds of competitors rewarded spectators with some excellent lacrosse.

(To read a full report, check out the next edition of School Sport Magazine next month)

By Laura Taylor, Feb 28 2020 08:49AM

Tennis bosses want to encourage more teachers to deliver training to more pupils in schools across the country.

And to serve up greater take-up, teachers can now access free training to support the delivery of these lessons.

The LTA Youth Schools programme is an inclusive programme that welcomes primary school pupils of all ages and ability.

With the core aim of helping children develop personal and character skills and get them to view tennis as an enjoyable activity, active lesson plans have been designed to include a range of fun tennis and racket-based activities.

The cross-curricular resources that accompany the programme, designed by teachers for teachers, help them deliver outstanding PE lessons with confidence, alongside additional content that can be used in PSHE and other areas.

The course can be delivered to a whole class of children in a small space like a school hall. No expensive equipment is required and many items will already be available from the school sports cupboard.

Every teacher who signs up will receive a free pack of resources to help keep their pupils engaged and motivated. These include activity flipbooks, invitations and stickers.

Participating schools will also be provided with a £250 voucher on completion of the free training. This can be spent on ten hours free school club link support with an LTA accredited coach or equipment for the school.

Additionally, for a time limited period, schools are eligible to win a fantastic schools experience day at the National Tennis Centre.

Tom Gibbins, head of education at the LTA said: “The new LTA Youth schools programmes goes far beyond just delivering tennis – the focus is on developing pupils’ movement skills and physical literacy, as well as their personal development and character education.

“We’ve developed some outstanding content and then worked with teachers to design the programme so that it can be delivered in a way that works for schools and teachers, as well as for pupils.

“I’d encourage any primary school PE teacher to sign up now to the free training so that you can deliver the programme in your school this summer and take advantage of our fantastic voucher offer for additional free tennis coaching or equipment too.”

Natalie Musker, a year 2 class teacher, added: “I feel excited about teaching these lessons and using the resources with pupils. A great deal of planning and thought has been put into these lesson plans and they will be an effective and useful resource for schools. They will support and enhance PE and PSHE lessons.”

Teachers can sign up to the free training here via

By Laura Taylor, Feb 26 2020 05:28PM

Harrow School have become the first side to reach the semi finals of the RFU National Schools U15 Rugby Union with a narrow victory over Trinity School, Croydon.

Trailing 12-5 at half time, and with both sides defending undefeated seasons, it was Harrow who finished the stronger to snatch a 19-15 win.

They now face a long trip to Devon to face Ivybridge Community College, who put out defending champions Wellington College in their last eight tie.

The semi final of the U18 cup will take place at Saracens’ Allianz Park on Wednesday March 4) where Northampton School for Boys will play Warwick School and Sherborne will tackle Whitgift.

By Laura Taylor, Feb 7 2020 05:24PM

Youngsters from tennis star Joe Salisbury’s former primary school got a surprise visit from the newly crowned Australian Open winner today.

Salisbury, who claimed his first Grand Slam title by winning the men’s doubles with Rajeev Ram in Melbourne, was back in Putney for a visit to All Saints’ CoE Primary School organised by the LTA and took part in a tennis session for a group of 60 lucky children.

The 27-year-old was pupil at the school between 1996 and 2001 where he showed initial promise in the sport before going on to University of Memphis in the United States and now one of the players on the LTA’s elite men’s programme at the National Tennis Centre, in Roehampton.

He has risen rapidly up the ATP World Doubles rankings over the last two years, moving from outside the top 100 to a career-high of number four following his Australian Open victory where he joined Jamie Murray as only the second Brit since 1934 to win the title..

The Grand Slam champion was cheered into the school’s Friday morning assembly by pupils where he took to the stage to talk about his success down under and answer questions from children eager to find about his life as a tennis player.

Britain’s latest Grand Slam winner was then put through his paces on his old playground by a group of year 3 and 5 pupils who took part in a special tennis session led by LTA coaches from the National Tennis Centre before signing autographs and posing for photos with them.

Joe said: “It was amazing to be back at my first school after such an incredible few weeks in Australia.

“To see all the kids, get a chance to chat and play a bit of tennis with them was really special and it is just great to give something back. Hopefully it will inspire them start playing, keep playing or just find their passion in whatever they love doing.”

Steve Russell, head of PE at All Saints CoE School, added: “To get the opportunity to have a hit with someone who is not only a Grand Slam winner but someone who played on the same playground as them was incredible for our children. What Joe has done is a great example to them of what you achieve if you work hard.”

Cecily Berry, one of the pupils who took part in the session, said: “I love playing tennis so it was really fun to play with Joe. I had to concentrate hard to make sure I kept on hitting it back to him but I really enjoyed it.”

Inspired to pick up a racket and get involved in tennis? Visit to discover more.

By Laura Taylor, Feb 4 2020 06:08PM

Taunton School U14 netball team have earned a place at the national finals next month.

The only school in the south west region to be represented in each age group at the regional finals in Bournemouth, the U14s topped their age group and now progress as one of only 18 teams in the country.

Lisa Manley, head of netball at Taunton said: “I’m proud of all of our students for giving it their all in this tough competition. The U19 team were unlucky this time, but they are a young side and will get another chance next year. The U14 squad played phenomenally well and are looking very strong for the nationals.”

The England Netball Schools finals take place at Welwyn Garden City on March 14.

*Entries for the 2020/21 School Sport Magazine National Schools U12, U13 and U15 Netball Cups are now open. Email [email protected] for further details

By Laura Taylor, Feb 3 2020 11:19AM

Stockport Grammar has had a fantastic start to 2020 after qualifying for the England Netball National U14 Schools finals in March.

The girls won their group in the regional finals - which contained The Grange School, Sedbergh School, Scarisbrick Hall School and St Wilfrid's Church of England Academy – before defeating Wirral Grammar School for Girls 10-8.

SGS’s head of girls’ games Laura Goddard said: “We are delighted and very proud of this amazing achievement by the girls.”

*Entries for the 2020/21 School Sport Magazine National Schools U12, U13 and U15 Netball Cups are now open. Email [email protected] for further details