Watching the Oundle vs Bedford match this weekend I was reminded of why it is that Fifteen Rugby was founded in the first place.
The match will be covered in detail elsewhere on the site, but it has to be mentioned what a unique and special thing schoolboy rugby is.
There really is nothing in sport quite like the swell of the crowd in a school 1st XV game as those involved with earlier kick offs make their way to the big game, united in their support not just of their team, but of their friends.
To witness the facilities and the organization and coaching that these pupils receive is to witness quite how close this is to the professional game.
Players in school teams will be playing professional rugby within 18 months of leaving school â€“ that shows just how strong the school set up is. The standard has to been seen to be believed.
Yet despite this, school rugby is really very unknown. I was in Oundle, a small rural town with just a cricket club and a local football team, to watch top-level sport they have to travel a long way, and yet there is a side in their town playing what is basically semi professional rugby and not a soul from the town is there.
This is why Fifteen Rugby is here, I passionately believe and hope that we can have hundreds of people from small towns like Oundle turning up to watch their school side play.
We want to raise the profile of school rugby because it deserves to be raised. The players deserve it, they train exceptionally well and are classy players, they should be watched, and if people knew about the hidden gem that is school rugby they would watch.
All of you playing school rugby deserve to be acknowledged, and we strive to do that. For many school players this is the pinnacle of your rugby careers, make sure to enjoy it.