On November 3rd Cranleigh officially opened their new 1st XV rugby pitch. Named Bluett’s after a much-loved Old Cranleighan, David Bluett, the pitch is already seen as one of the finest school pitches in the country. Bluett’s will be used not only by Cranleigh but also by other local schools to help develop their rugby as part of the ongoing ‘Sport Cranleigh’ project, which is looking to develop strong links between the School and local community. Andrew Houston, Director of Rugby, comments “the pitch is a fantastic place to train and play. The team love it and you can see the pride the whole School and community have for it on a match day”.
The official opening was performed by former England international player and Director of Operations at the RFU, Mr Rob Andrew MBE. The day started with an Old Boys’ side beating an invitational Rosslyn Park XV 19-17. Then followed the official opening by Rob Andrew and a touch-rugby tournament in honour of the former Cranleigh Head of Rugby and ex-England international Neil Bennett, who retired from Cranleigh last year.
The day finished with the Cranleigh School 1st XV playing against the premier Old Boys’ XV (known as the Gower Club) in front of over 600 spectators, with the current team prevailing 47-10. Andrew Houston adds, “it was an exciting weekend for Cranleigh School rugby, as, the day before, we welcomed several professional referees to Cranleigh, along with a number of Harlequins players to officiate a series of games. Wayne Barnes and Chris White (both well-known international referees) commented on what amazing facilities Cranleigh has to develop rugby and inspire the next generation of players, facilities we are proud to make accessible to all local people also”.