The ISRFC Lambs National Rugby Squad was announced last night following the highly successful Northern XV versus Southern XV trial game on Sunday.
Thirty-three lucky men were selected for the squad after a long and tough process of selection; they will represent the Lambs in several matches from now until Easter before touring Ireland during the Easter holidays.
The process began back in November when the coaches of each independent school nominated the players they thought would best fit the Lambs â€˜fast and freeâ€™ model.
Following those nominations, the players were broken down into four regions, North, Midlands, South East and South West, before taking part in trial games in order to make the squad to represent that region.
Those who made it to their regional squad then faced their neighboring region, South East v South West and North v Midlands, in a trial for the Northern and Southern combined squads, who then played each other in the game on Sunday.
Those who did not make the National Squad following Sundayâ€™s encounter have been placed in the National Pool and could be called upon should players in the National squad become injured or unavailable.
Despite the Southern XV winning 29-22 on Sunday, the Northern XV have a greater representation in the National Squad, with nineteen representatives to the Southâ€™s fourteen.
Perhaps the most surprising statistic of all is that the rugby heartland of England, the South West, has just six representatives in the squad. Suggestions are that due to the adverse weather conditions over the last few months in that region, the players found it challenging to demonstrate their broken play skills to the same extent throughout the trials process.
It is an incredibly strong squad, with some of the most successful schools in the country represented, including two sides involved in the regional finals of the Daily Mail Cup, Durham and Sherborne.
In all there are twenty five schools represented, with Berkhamsted, St Peterâ€™s York, Colfeâ€™s, Brentwood, Harrow, Bedford, Canford and Ampleforth College all contributing two players each.
Kit Goodfellow, a talented and exciting full back, will represent the home of rugby, Rugby School.
The Lambs philosophy is to play for the love of the game, rather than by the constraints of a win/lose mentality, they play with the intention to keep the ball alive and to kick only when strictly necessary. As such this squad of players are all comfortable with the ball in hand and have the confidence to try out new ideas on the pitch, very much in the â€˜fast and freeâ€™ spirit intended.
The Lambs first game will be against the Irish Exiles at Maidenhead RFC on Saturday 27th January.
ISRFC Lambs National Squad:
Angus Hardy – Berkhamsted School â€“ Midlands
Angus Smith – St. Peterâ€™s, York â€“ North
Ben Bruce – Cheltenham College â€“ South West
Charles Greswold – St Peters York â€“ North
Charlie Banks – Colfeâ€™s School â€“ South East
Conor Philips – Brentwood School â€“ South East
Cyprian Owen Edmonds – Harrow School â€“ South East w
David Elliot – Durham School â€“ North
David Harrison – Hymers College â€“ North
Eliott Roofe – Colfeâ€™s School â€“ South East
Elliott Croft – Brentwood School â€“ South East
Freddie Chalmers – Harrow School â€“ South East
George Adams – Bedford School â€“ Midlands
Iain Billington – Berkhamsted School â€“ Midlands
Jamie Williams – Kingswood School â€“ South West
Josh Gray – The Perse Upper â€“ Midlands
Josh Pieterse – St. Columbas College â€“ Midlands
Kit Goodfellow – Rugby School â€“ Midlands
Liam Fitt – Bedford School â€“ Midlands
Matt Warren – Framlingham College â€“ South East
Matthew Retchless – Wisbech Grammar School â€“ Midlands
Michael Peek – Kingâ€™s Taunton â€“ South West
Mike Haines – Canford School â€“ South West
Miles Lloyd â€“ Sedburgh â€“ North
Nathan Stansfield – Bolton School â€“ North
Nial Brown – Canford School â€“ South West
Nick Richardson – RGS Newcastle â€“ North
Patrick Nichol â€“ Ampleforth â€“ North
Roland Walker â€“ Ampleforth â€“ North
Simon Waller – Yarm School â€“ North
Thomas West – Radley College â€“ Midlands
Will Bennett – Reigate Grammar School
Will Martin â€“ Sherborne â€“ South West