School's rugby festival returns for 35th year

Director of rugby Anthony O'Riordan at St Joseph's College, Ipswich

Director of rugby Anthony O'Riordan at St Joseph's College, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Teams from across England have arrived in Ipswich for the return of St Joseph's College rugby festival. 

The school's national festival began this morning after a year's pause due to the pandemic. 

Having begun 35 years ago, the competition will welcome new entries including Cheltenham College and Kings School, Worcester, among the 16 teams taking part. 

Many past and current rugby stars have taken to St Jo's soil including Harlequins' Marcus Evans, former England captain Chris Robshaw, British and Irish Lion Mako Vunipola, England winger Charlie Sharples, Zach Mercer and Mike Tindall. 

Director of rugby Anthony O'Riordan at St Joseph's College, Ipswich

Director of rugby Anthony O'Riordan at St Joseph's College, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Anthony O’Riordan, director of sport at St Joseph’s College, said,: "The National Schools Rugby Festival 2021 is the most open festival yet. We have endured all sorts of challenges in our professional and personal lives. I cannot put in to words how proud and humbled I am by the role our festival plays in the lives of so many young people.

"Colleges from across the UK have sent messages wishing us luck and celebrating the return to normal. It’s a relief to know that we can focus on providing an amazing education and rugby experience for our students and the hundreds of students who will step foot on our legendary pitches once again.

"Sport, and rugby in particular, is so much more than physical exertion. It’s the distillation of hard work, commitment, resilience and camaraderie. It is the stuff that puts the hairs up on the back of your neck."

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The festival concludes on Sunday.


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