St Joseph's get set for youth tournament
PUBLISHED: 12:08 25 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:42 03 March 2010
RUGBY UNION: A total of 15 of the top rugby-playing schools in the country will journey to Ipswich's St Joseph's College next month for the United Kingdom's premier schools 15-a-side tournament.
A TOTAL of 15 of the top rugby-playing schools in the country will journey to Ipswich's St Joseph's College next month for the United Kingdom's premier schools 15-a-side tournament.
Taking place on October 19 and 20, this year's festival promises yet more exciting rugby with both the winners and runners-up of last year's festival keen to battle it out again.
Sponsored by local firm BTexact Technologies, the tournament has for many years produced a large number of players who have gone on from the event to achieve school, full international and British Lions caps.
Last year's runners-up Blackrock College went to Auckland, New Zealand in 2000 where they defeated the reigning World Schools' Champions, Kelston Boys.
And the Campion School squad were runners-up in the Daily Mail Under-18 Cup with Oakham – new visitors to St Joseph's – winning the title.
The success and strength of the Festival lies not just in the superb squads participating but also in the many people who support and play a part in the organisation.
The Festival continues to combine safe facilities – a team of doctors, backed by a bank of first aiders, are provided by the hosts – with the commitment to excellence that is a key element in education today.
Scouts from many of the top sides in the country will attend the festival to witness the outstanding athleticism, skill, commitment, teamwork and self-discipline that will be displayed.
The teams attending this year include 2001 winners Colstons of Bristol and runners up Blackrock (Dublin) along with 14 other competitors.
New or recently absent visitors include Merchiston Castle, from Scotland who previously attended, the tournament in 1997, Monmouth from Wales, Wellington College and two northern- based schools, Arnold School and Oakham.
This year's invitations have been split into regions to get a wider balance of teams rather than a South West dominance.
There is expected to be a big presence from Northampton Saints over the weekend depending on the day of their Heineken Cup tie.
This follows the creation of a Northampton academy, which is now based at the College site.
One of the Saints' players or coaches will make the presentations following the final on Sunday, October 20.
The festival begins at 9am on both the Saturday and Sunday and spectators are welcome.
Competing schools – International & Hosts: Blackrock College (Ireland), Merchiston Castle (Scotland), Monmouth (Wales), St Joseph's.
South West – Colston's, Millfield, Ivybridge College, St Peter's, Gloucester.
South East – Campion, Wellington College, RGS High Wycombe, Brighton College.
North – Oakham School, Bradford Grammar, Arnold School, QEGS Wakefield.