Since Mr Phil Burgess arrived at Cranleigh from the England and Great Britain sevens programme, he has lead the rugby club superbly with all pupils benefiting from his experience and expertise.

During last season he successfully navigated an incredibly challenging time. With all matches cancelled, he brought a huge amount of energy and positivity to his training sessions and coached not only the senior teams but also the junior C and D sides. This year he has lead the programme, supporting the 1st XV in winning their first two fixtures, training our coaches and coaching the U14D team. He was instrumental in ensuring that the return to contact was a planned programme, including a three-week pre-season offered at various age groups.

Mr Burgess will leave us at long leave to take up an opportunity away from rugby and goes with our full blessing. As much as I am sad to see Phil go, I want to thank him for all his efforts over the last 14 months. He has brought a wonderful energy and attitude towards coaching. He will be missed but we all know that he is incredibly excited about the next chapter of his life away from the game. I know he will be giving everything for the next four weeks and I am sure the boys will want to put in some wonderful performances as a way of thanking him.

Mr Burgess commented: “It has been a real pleasure to be part of such a wonderful school as Cranleigh. I have been blown away by the enthusiasm of the staff and pupils for the sport and I have loved every minute of the last few months. I am sorry to go but I know the club is in a wonderful position to keep developing and moving forward through the concept of hard work.”

I will take on the administration of rugby with news on a coaching re-shuffle to be announced before long leave.