During the Easter holidays, Charlie Piper and Sam Arnold became the first two Cranleigh School rugby players to face each other in a competitive international rugby match. Sam and Charlie (despite being U17 age) were selected for Ireland U18 and England U18 respectively, and played just outside Dublin in a match which was won by Sam’s Ireland side 30 – 15. Sam’s and Charlie’s accomplishments caught the eye of the international rugby magazine ‘Rugby World’ because of the uniqueness of such achievement. Cranleigh’s Director of Rugby, Andrew Houston, adds, “Sam and Charlie have been close friends for a number of years, playing with Sussex and Harlequins throughout the age groups. They are both in the same boarding house (East) and spend a lot of time together off the pitch also.”
Charlie comments “it was amazing to have the opportunity to represent our countries. We have both been pushing each other in training and get up early for 6-30am weight sessions. It was incredible to get the reward for our efforts”. Sam, who only started training for Ireland Exiles in March said “it all happened so quickly: from playing in a trial to representing my country all happened with six weeks. It was a great day and made even more special as Charlie was there as well. We can’t wait to play the reverse fixture next year, if selected. I know Charlie will be desperate to win next time round!”
The boys were both key members of the Cranleigh School First XV who had a terrific season winning 10 of their 12 matches. Andrew Houston adds “both these guys really applied themselves and have continued to set a great example to all the players within the School. They train hard and really do go the extra mile. What is lovely about them is they play with a smile on their face and at every stage they are humble and willing to learn”.