When Tonbridge School are involved you are guaranteed two things: Passionate support and high quality rugby.
After going three seasons unbeaten from 2004/5 to 2006/7 they are without doubt one of the outstanding rugby schools in the country. Results since then have, understandably, been less consistent, but they are still among the top performers in the country.
What that three year unbeaten stretch has done though is provide Tonbridge with a vociferous and loyal support base, with an Old Boyâ€™s network that take a keen an interest in their schoolâ€™s results.
Tonbridge are an example to other schools of what long term effort, investment, and success and on the rugby field can to for the reputation of the school, and for the community of the school during and beyond those five years of education there.
Of course, consistently good results have been the other fallout of those three glory years, with each 1st XV aware of the unique history and prestige that playing for Tonbrigde brings. No side ever wants to be the one that lets results slip after so many years of success.
Already firing and ready to go, there was a debate raging on twitter last night suggesting that Tonbridge were in fact the strongest public school side in the country last season.
The argument was a strong one, centred around the fact that they beat Dulwich College, the Daily Mail Champions, 36-8 last season in quite emphatic style.
Certainly that was a resounding victory, and it shows just what a strong side Tonbridge are, though in this writers view, Dulwich are deserving of the accolade of being the top side in the country at the moment.
They won every tournament they entered last year, one of which, the St Josephâ€™s festival, included a 15-3 victory over Tonbridge. As ever in sport, itâ€™s where things stand at the end of the year that counts.
It is this spirit though that perhaps separates Tonbridge from other schools; they are so clearly up for the fight. It seems clear that they have set their sights on regaining top spot in the school game, beginning with Epsom College this Saturday.
Epsom are one of the very few other sides to have beaten Dulwich last season, squeaking home 8-7, so it is a clear that we are looking at a match between two of the heavyweightâ€™s of school rugby this weekend.
Itâ€™s a tough start for Tonbridge, but for a side with lofty ambitions this season it is nothing less than they would want.Â When itâ€™s time to take stock at the end of the year, donâ€™t be surprised if you see Tonbridge right up there at the top.
Fifteen Rugby are looking for a rep in Tonbridge School, if you are interested or know someone who would be please get in touch. Details on request.