Bryanston take on Marlborough in their opening fixture of the 2012 season this weekend. Ahead of the big game, Fifteen Rugby caught up with last 2011 captain Tom Vaughan Edwards:
Fifteen Rugby: How was Bryanston’s season was last year?
Tom Vaughan Edwards: Or season was very good last year, it started slow as we had 10 injuries, which meant we lost some crucial games against Wellington, Millfield and a South African touring side called VKB.
After half term we got a lot better, we beat Filton 5-3 in the worst conditions I have ever played in and followed that up with other big wins against Truro College, Sherborne, Canford and Harrow. We won 12 out of 15 games.
Our 7s season went really well, we started off losing in the final of the Brecon 7s, then we won our tournament. We played a couple of other tournaments and then had Rosslyn Park.Â
We got to the final of the festival with no team scoring more than 1 try against us. Sadly in the final we lost to Wellington due to being tired and losing a bit of organisation and some poor decisions by the ref at the breakdown.
However as Wellington had exam commitments, it meant we got to play coleg sir gar, winners of the open, at Twickenham before the last day of the London 7s, which we won 19-7, so ended well!!
F.R: Who were your stand out players, and who do you expect to star this year?
T.V.E: We had a great team with 7 England players. Ollie Devoto(10) and I at (7/2) played for England U19 against Wales in January. Then Tom Woolstencroft (6) and George Trick(14) played England U16 B. Charlie Ewels(5) played England U16 and U18.
Max Clark(13) and Rory Jennings(12) played England U16 this season and so were playing people two years older than them in the 1sts! All of whom are involved in the Bath EPDG. Sam Barkham at 9 has also been a key player for us this season.
Next year Max Clark and Rory Jennigs will tear up, Rory will move to his preferred position of 10. Goerge Trick on the wing will be very strong, in one 7s tournament this year he scored 13 tries. Charlie Ewels will be very strong in the second row accompanied by the new captain Oli Drew, who is playing for USA u17. Then finaly Tom Woolstencroft will be very strong for us as one of our main runners in the forwards.
F.R: Who are your major rivals?
T.V.E: Milfield is always one of the biggest games but the main rival is probably Sherborne as they are very close to us and we know lots of the people from their school and itâ€™s such an old fixture.
F.R: How important do you feel schools rugby is both to the players and to the school community?
T.V.E: Very important, it helps players develop their game in the younger years which are the most important. It also forms very strong bonds and friendships and teaches students the value of teamwork and leadership.
It gives students something to look forward to at school as well and acts as a break from the pressures of work and exams. It also causes school to have more interactions with other schools, which is a good thing, and having a good rugby team can bring a lot of good publicity to the school.
F.R: How well supported are Bryanston? Do the other teams/the girls/lots of parents come to watch?
T.V.E: We get a lot of parents watching us in all conditions, which we are always very grateful for. A few old boys always come back and watch our games as well. The 1sts start about 30mins after all the other teams and so when they finish we get all the players and parents form all the other games watching us for the last 30ish minutes which is cool.
We get a lot of students and girls watching the big games or the mid week games. Its often hard for them to watch as the girls and other boys have many fixtures as well, but when they can they come to watch.
F.R: Who are your most prestigious rugby alumni?
T.V.E: Dave Trick played for bath and England. Then we had England captain Phillip De Glanville. More recently Huw Bennet, the welsh hooker. Then Ben Williams is in the Bath first team and WIll Skuse is in the Bath Academy along with Joe Buckle who is also in the academy.
It certainly looks like being a strong season for the South Westerners, with England representatives to spare; we should all be in for a very exciting and competitive fixture against Marlborough.