Certain schools are known on the circuit as always having a strong team and there is no doubt thatÂ Wellington CollegeÂ is one of those with the very strongest of reputations.
Wellington’s quality is shown in both the fifteen and seven man forms of the game, with a quite astonishing honours reel in recent years. They have won the Rosslyn Park Sevens Festival 11 times, more than any other school, and after winning in 2009, 2011 and in 2012 they have undoubtedly got the best sevens pedigree in the country. In the longer format of the game, they boast a Daily Mail cup win in 2008 in both the U18 and U15 competitions, the only side in history to do so.
What is really encouraging for Wellington in the build up to the 2012/13 season though is the 2010 U15 Daily Mail Cup finalists. They are now in their Upper 6th year and remain a quality group of players, with scrum half Simon Sexton captaining the side, a man who has represented England at age group levels and was key to that 2010 Daily Mail Cup run.
They can also boast some of the finest coaching staff in the country with former London Irish and Wasps players Kevin Brennan and Steve Shorthand coaching the 1st XV, while the man in charge of Wellington College rugby as a whole is former Glasgow and Canada international Kevin Tkachuk. With a combination of coaching and playing talent of that pedigree, Wellington can have reasonable expectation of an excellent season.
Wellington have a fine tradition of producing professional players and amongst others England internationals James Haskell and Paul Doran Jones along with Scotland flyer Max Evans and his brother Thom are Wellington College alumni.
Last season was mixed for Wellington as they won 8, drew 1 and lost 5 of their 14 competitive matches, but when you consider that their star crop of players were just in Lower 6th at the time it was an excellent season.
If that crop of players can perform to their potential, and draw inspiration from the likes of Haskell and the Evans brothers they can really cause a stir in the school rugby world. Don’t be surprised to see a few of these boys in the Wasps side in the future.
They have some big fixtures already confirmed for the first few weeks of the season including against rugby heavyweights Whitgift and Bryanston.
It would come as no surprise to see Wellington challenging Daily Mail Cup holders Dulwich College at the top of the schools rugby tree this season, and in captain Simon Sexton they have one of the very best scrum halves out there directing proceedings.
The other teams have been warned, Wellington are definitely a force this year.