Rugby is the main sport for boys in the Michaelmas term, with 17 School sides competing regularly on Saturday afternoons. Cranleigh has a fine tradition for the quality of its rugby, with the 1st XV widely recognised as one of the strongest in the country.
Over the past six years the 1st XV and 1st VII have a win ratio of more than 80% with a number of county, elite academy and international school boy players within the squad. The picture is similar throughout the club, with players from all age groups involved in the development programmes of Premiership clubs.
The ethos of Cranleigh rugby is that every pupil, no matter his standard, will have the opportunity to reach his full potential. Each player will get the highest standard of coaching available and no matter what team he represents on a Saturday, he will be given an equal opportunity to achieve his individual goals. It is a testament to the enthusiasm of the boys that we regularly put out 16 to18 teams on a Saturday and every pupil will be involved in a team.
The fixture list is one of the most challenging in the country with the 1st XV also heading off to the St Joseph’s tournament in Ipswich where 16 of the best schools in the country compete over a two day period.
In the Lent term Rugby’s focus changes to sevens, with the U18 team entering four tournaments, including the Rosslyn Park and Surrey County competitions.
For every squad there are three weekly practices as well as matches every Saturday afternoon. The elite players will also be given one-on-one session skills and weight sessions throughout the year to further their development. To complement this, the School also has the support of professional sports injury and physiotherapy teams at the School’s Medical Centre.
The School has 13 rugby pitches as well as a new 1st XV pitch named Bluetts after a former OC who was passionate about the sport. There are also two gyms and designated skill-training areas designed to help each pupil to reach their full potential.
In 2016, the School won the U18 National title at the Rosslyn Park sevens, crowning Cranleigh as the best U18 School boy sevens side in England, Wales and Scotland. It is the first time the School has won the tournament but in 2015 the squad did win the National Vase trophy. By winning the national title the School also qualified to represent UK schoolboy rugby in front of a full capacity crowd at Twickenham. In 2016 the 1st XV won the prestigious National competition at St Joseph’s. In the same year the Old Cranleighan RFC also won the National vase at Twickenham.
OC Rugby players
Since 2000 the School has produced 16 players who have represented their country at U16, U18 or U20 level, 14 full time professionals, two full internationals, one U20 scrum half of the year and one winner of the IRB young player of the year award. The School has a number of pupils who are in the Harlequins academy at various age groups.
Between 2013 and 2015 Cranleigh has had three players competing in the varsity rugby match at Twickenham between Oxford and Cambridge. Will Yeeles (Cambridge), Tom Stileman (Oxford and Man of the Match) and Henry Lamont (three times Blue and Captain of Oxford). All three were undergraduates when they achieved this.
- HSBC National Seven’s Rosslyn Park Cup Champions 2016
- HSBC National Seven’s Rosslyn Park Cup Champions 2017
- HSBC National Seven’s Rosslyn Park Cup Runners Up 2018
- HSBC National Seven’s Rosslyn Park Plate Champions 2015
- Surrey U18 Rugby Sevens Champions 2018
- St Joseph’s International Rugby Festival Champions 2016
- 1st XV National Rugby Team of the Season 2016/17
- RFU Shortlisted Rugby School of the Year 2016, 2017 & 2018
Notable International and Professional rugby players
- Andy Houston
- England U16, U18, Students and Wasps
- Ben Smith
- New Zealand U18, U20, Otago Highlanders
- Tanerau Latimer
- New Zealand & Waikato Cheifs
- Greg Bateman
- England U18, Harlequins, Exeter and Leicester
- Luke Braid
- Junior All Black and IRB Young Player of the Year 2008
- Seb Stegmann
- England U16, U18, U20 and Harlequins
- Sam Smith
- England U16, U18, U20, Harlequins and Worcester
- Will Collier
- England U16, U18, U20 and Harlequins
- Henry Taylor
- England U18, U20, Harlequins and Saracens
- Fred Stonell
- England Students
- Ollie Edwards
- Welsh Students
- James Cordy-Redden
- Welsh Students and GB Sevens
- Charlie Piper
- England U17, U18 and Harlequins
- Sam Arnold
- Ireland U18, U20, Ulster and Munster
- Toby Quarendon
- Dino Lamb-Cona
- England U17, U18, Harlequins
- Harry EJ Barlow
- England U16
- Harry J Elrington
- London Irish
Director of Rugby
E-mail: Mr A R HoustonBSc, GTP
Mr Andrew Houston is Director of Sport, having joined Cranleigh in 2009 as Director of Rugby. He teaches both Physical Education and Psychology at A Level.
Mr Houston studied sport science and social sciences at Loughborough University and, along with a successful rugby playing career has also been coaching high-performing rugby teams since the age of 20.