Simon Bird writes for Schoolhouse on the risks and benefits of school rugby. Click here to view.

Rugby is the main sport for boys in the Michaelmas term, with seventeen School sides competing regularly on Saturday afternoons. Cranleigh has a fine tradition for the quality of its Rugby, with the 1st XV widely recognized as one of the strongest in the country. Over the past five years the 1st XV and 1st VII have a win ratio of over 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 the club 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 16-18 teams on a Saturday and every pupil will be involved in a team on a Saturday.

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 sixteen of the best schools in the country compete over aRosslyn_Park1 two day period.

For every squad there are three weekly practices. The very top players will also be given one-on-one session skills and weight sessions throughout the season to further their development. To complement this, the School also has the support of professional sports injury and physiotherapy teams on hand at the School’s Medical Centre. The coaching staff includes coaches who as players represented national division clubs, student international sides, Oxbridge and England. Further coach development continues with sessions run for the Cranleigh staff by Harlequins coaches.

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.

Representative honours

Since 2000 the School has produced sixteen players who have represented their country at U16, U18 or U20 level, fourteen full time professionals, two full internationals and one winner of the IRB young player of the year award. In 2013 and 2015 the School had two players on the pitch playing 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.

In 2015 the U18 sevens squad won the National plate at Rosslyn Park.

The School currently has four players who represented Harlequins at their EPDG U18 level.

Notable Old Cranleighan rugby players

Andrew Houston (England U16, U18, Students and London Wasps)
Ben Smith (New Zealand U18, U20 and Otago Highlanders)
Tanerau Latimer (New Zealand and Waikato Chiefs)
Greg Bateman (England U18, Harlequins, Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers)
Luke Braid (Junior All Black, Auckland Blues and IRB Young Player of the Year 2008)
Seb Stegmann (England U16, U18, U20 and Harlequins)
Sam Smith (England U18, U20, Harlequins and Worcester Warriors)
Will Collier (England U18, U20, England Saxons and Harlquins)
Henry Taylor (England U18, U20, Harlequins and Saracens)
Fred Stonell (England Students)
Ollie Edwards (Welsh Students)
James Cordy-Redden (Welsh Students and England sevens)
Charlie Piper (England U17, U18 and Harlequins)
Sam Arnold (Ireland U18, U20 and Ulster)
Toby Quarendon (Malta)
Dino Lamb-Cona (England U17 and Harlequins)
Harry Elrington (London Irish) 

coachesIn September 2010 Andy Houston was appointed Director of Rugby and since that time the 1st XV and 1st VII have won over 80% of all matches played. He played for England at U16, U18, Students and British Universities. At Loughborough he was a Rugby Scholar and was a professional player for London Wasps in 2000/01. He has coached at a number of elite and community clubs both in England and overseas.

For any queries, please contact the Director of Rugby, Andrew Houston:

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