Top talent set for St Joseph's College Rugby Festival 2018
Some of the top rugby schools in the country will descend on Suffolk this weekend for the famous St Joseph's College Rugby Festival.
The event, now in its 32nd year, will be held this weekend at the college in Belstead Road, Ipswich, with action strating at 8.30am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday.
16 schools from across the UK will be taking part, including Hurstpierpoint College, a new participant last year, and return visitors including last year’s cup winner, Brighton College, and the likes of Millfield, Dulwich and Merchiston Castle School.
Other leading rugby-playing schools, John Fisher School and Cardiff’s Whitchurch High, will also be in action.
The festival has a track record as a proving ground of future stars – it’s previously hosted former England captain Chris Robshaw, British and Irish Lion Mako Vunipola, England winger Charlie Sharples and Mike Tindall.
Home side St Jo’s last won the festival back in 2013, and five players from that side are currently in professional rugby, including Cameron Ives (London Scottish), Ethan Waddleton (London Scottish and England 7s squad) and Tom Emery (Northampton Saints). Joint players of the tournament that year were Dan Lewis (Bedford) and Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints).
Anthony O’Riordan, Director of Sport at the college, said: “The National Schools Rugby Festival 2018 is set to be the biggest yet, with fantastic attractions both on and off the field.
“We have worked tirelessly to bring new additions to what is already regarded as a premier schoolboy rugby event.
“For St Joseph’s College, this year marks the beginning of a three-year programme that will see us nurture players from last year’s U15 Natwest Cup quarter-finals squad.
“Win, lose or draw, representing St Joseph’s College at the Festival is one of – if not the – highlights of our students’ playing careers.”
On Friday night the festival kicks off with an Old Boy’s match – under 23 v over 23s – which starts at 8pm. The Old Girls’ Hockey match precedes it, starting at 7pm.
For more information, visit www.festival.stjos.co.uk