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All Star Schools Squad revealed

Having announced our School Sevens ‘All Stars’ squad recently, there has been much debate in the Fifteen Rugby offices about whether we should also put together an ‘All Stars’ fifteen-a-side squad.

There are obvious flaws to us doing so, namely that by the very nature of the number of schools that there are on the circuit there are several players whom we have not seen and therefore cannot pass judgement.

Our site is about the promotion of schools rugby and encouraging people to play and to be able to see the progression from school playing fields to the global arenas like Twickenham, The Aviva, The Millenium Stadium and Murrayfield, even the possibility of a 2017 Lions tour.

What we would not want to do in selecting a side is to discourage or dishearten those who miss out because we have not seen them – nor do wish for anyone to think that we are somehow experts and that because we do not select them to our ‘All Stars’ then they are not up to it.

In the end though, this website is about fun and enjoying rugby and encouraging everyone to get involved in healthy debates and selecting a “Schools All-Star Squad” is certainly a good way of achieving both of those things!

We have selected the squad on the same basis as the Lions selected theirs, except that we will include a 38th player – a third fly half! (So a 21/17 forwards/backs split)

Like the Lions, certain positions caused us no end of grief when trying to decide who to pick, in particular the back three and the back row, where the abundance of quality is scarcely believable.

Let us know what you think!

(AASE Colleges are not included)

Fifteen Rugby All Star Schools Rugby Squad:

Full Backs/Wings:

Tom Whiteley, Millfield School

Whiteley began the season with a bang, collecting the ‘try of the tournament’ at the St Joseph’s Festival. A player of immense speed and agility, Whiteley is the classic ‘pocket rocket’ style of player. Possesses a cracking boot too.

Ali Neaden, Dulwich College

Dulwich have been very vocal about the fact that they have added an attacking verve to their game this season and Neaden is one of the key plays behind that new attacking ability. His magical break was the standout moment of the schools Daily Mail Cup triumph, while his tactical kicking is outstanding too.

Tom Penny, RGS Newcastle

Capable of playing at either wing or full back, Penny has been in outstanding form this year for an RGS Newcastle side that ended up having a storming season after some early struggles.

Zach Kibirige, Yarm School

A winger of immense talent, Kibirige has actually spent most of the season in the centres and was the driving force behind his sides run to Daily Mail Vase glory. He has also excelled for the Newcastle Falcons and represented England U18. His mixture of pace and power frightens defenders, while he is also a useful ball player.

Nick Haynes, Wellington College

Haynes is a natural finisher and a deadly weapon in this side, particularly with the creative talent playing inside him. His performances for Wellington were outstanding this year and were good enough to earn him a place in the Rugby World Magazine Team of the Year.

George Wacokecoke, St Joseph’s College

Wacokecoke has got oodles of pace and possesses a mean sidestep. He appeared for Northampton Saints in the Under 18 Aviva Premiership and is in the England Under 17’s set up. Watching him in full flight is spectacular and he is definitely a name to keep an eye on.

Ruaraidh Smith, Oakham

Despite some early struggles, Oakham finished off their season in cracking fashion, much of that was down to the attacking talent of their captain, Smith. An incisive runner and robust defender, his play was good enough to see him selected for Scotland Under 18.

Centres:

Rotimi Segun, Northampton School for Boys

Segun was the start of the NSB side that reached the Daily Mail Cup Final. His power in both attack and defence is out of this world, particularly as he was still playing England U16! Blessed with speed as well, he is a centre of the highest quality.

David Buck, Sherborne

Buck is a classy centre who has helped both England U18 and Sherborne to excellent seasons; he also starred for Bath in the Under 18 Premiership. Definitely a player to watch, he is very much a classic 12.

Brett Herron, Wellington College

Herron’s display for England U18s against Scotland Under 18s this season was outstanding, and showed all of his talents. He is a sublime goal kicker and a gifted runner. A tough injury ended his season early but he still showed what a class act he is.

Dom Fraser, Dulwich College

Fraser’s goal kicking this season has been unbelievably good, think of Leigh Halfpenny and you’re getting close. Fraser possesses an outstanding knowledge of the tactical side of the game and was at his best this season when guiding his big Dulwich pack around the field on the way to Daily Mail Cup glory. Not a bad pass either.

Fly Halves:

Owain James, Harrow

This young fly half is a real star of the future and with a couple of years of school left still has plenty of time to develop. Despite his tender years he still played for Wasps in the U18 Premiership and found himself in the England Under 17 squad.

Callum Sheedy, Millfield

Like the great Welsh fly halves of the seventies, Sheedy is unafraid to have a go. Blessed with excellent vision and sublime handling skills, Sheedy has created some stunning tries for Millfield this year.

Rory Jennings, Bryanston

Jennings is a classy operator who showed just how good he is when representing England at the FIRA/AER Championship. His broad range of skills enabled him to play at both fly half and inside centre where his passing skills were brought to the fore.

Scrum Halves:

Jack Maplesden, Woodhouse Grove

Maplesden was the key figure for Woodhouse Grove this year where his perfect passing and jinking running style were vital to their play. He also loves a tackle like all good number nines.

Akira Takenaka, Hampton School

Takenaka is a classic scrum half; he possesses a crisp pass and an eye for a gap that is as good as any. His all round skills are good enough to have seen him fill in at fly half too. A classy operator.

George De Cothi, The King’s School, Worcester

One of the best running scrum halves in the country, De Cothi has excellent awareness and a very solid all round game. One of the key cogs in a good King’s Worcester team.

  

Props:

Alfie Barron, Millfield

Barron is a classic modern prop, as able with the ball in hand as anyone else around him but also brutal at scrum time and in and around the breakdown. Has shone this season and has a bright future ahead.

Beno Obano, Dulwich College

With his squat frame and bullocking running style Obano has symbolised much of the feted Dulwich College power game over the past two years. He scrums well and always makes ground, a player the opposition hates to see.

Alex Lundberg, Hampton

Lundberg has had a phenomenally successful season, he performed well for his school and in the U18 Premiership, however it was on the England scene where he caused the most headlines, lining up for both the U18s and the U20s this season, an outstanding achievement – particularly in light of the U20s recent success.

Ollie Lamprell, Oundle

Lamprell is a dominant scrummager with an unbelievable work rate around the park. Watching him take the ball on from the shoulder of his school and Northampton Saints fly half Sam Olver is a thing of destructive beauty.

Jeremy Reason, Dulwich College

Flanker, Hooker, Prop, Reason seems to be able to do it all. He has settled in at prop though and has excelled there for both his school and Saracens U18s. Possesses good skills on the deck, a sublime work rate, and his scrummaging technique is right up there.

Josh Ibuanokpe, Dulwich College

Ibuanokpe has spent most of the season at number 8 where he has been terrorising opposition defenders, however prop is perhaps his natural home, though maybe not for much longer! One of the key players in Dulwich’s Daily Mail Cup double, Ibuanokpe is one of the most destructive ball carriers around.

Hookers:

Sam James, Bishop Stortford High School

James is an excellent prospect, moved from prop to hooker not too long ago and has not looked back since. Carries very hard and relishes the physical stuff, lineout throwing is also pretty handy for a man who has not been a lineout thrower for all that long.

Tom Woolstencroft, Bryanston

Woolstencroft has switched between openside flanker and hooker this season, which is probably about as good a testament to his skills as any that we can add. He is a fierce competitor with excellent ball skills – a thoroughly modern hooker but with some good old school dog in him too.

Charlie Piper, Cranleigh

Piper is another hooker who relishes having the ball but also relishes the challenge of winning it and securing it for his team. Plays like an extra member of the back row and carries like a man possessed.

Locks:

Charlie Ewels, Bryanston

Ewels is a top player, but better than that he is a natural leader. He captained England a couple of times this season and has been a standout player all year. Excellent in the loose and in the lineout he is one to keep an eye on.

Jordan Onojaife, Stowe

The new Superman hails from Stowe but Onojaife has been soaring into the sky for far longer, collecting restarts and lineouts for fun. A key player in one of the most formidable Stowe outfits for a few years, he has also starred for Saints and England.

Tom Ellis, Millfield

Ellis is a giant of a man yet still possesses great speed and ball skills. He has been one of the key players for Millfield and Bath this season and his continued England selection is no surprise. Millfield, Bath. England is a well worn path and it would be no surprise to see Ellis continue to follow it.

Maro Itoje, Harrow

Equally capable in the back or second rows, Itoje is a star in the making. He has already appeared for Saracens, in the first ever game at Allianz Park, and will be with them full time this coming season. Keep an eye on him.

Jonny Kenny, The King’s School, Macclesfield

Kenny is an excellent prospect in the second row and was the driving force in his schools exceptional season. He was also a key player in Sale Sharks unexpectedly good return in the U18 Premiership.

Flankers:

Henry Cheeseman, Whitgift

Blessed with pace, power and undeniable skill Cheeseman is a fantastic all round back row player who would not look out of place in the centres either. Do not be fooled though, he also does his fair share of the grunt work. Similar in many ways to Tom Croft.

Andrew Boyce, The King’s School, Worcester

Worcester fans lamenting the loss of Matt Kvesic next season need not worry, in Boyce they have a young man coming through who is a ready made replacement. Excellent over the ball and a good link man too, Boyce is a top player.

Dom Wroe Wright, Dulwich College

We at Fifteen Rugby have sung Wroe Wright’s praises all year, he has a tackling style and count that is reminiscent of Dan Lydiate and he is an inspiring leader. His performance as a captain and a player in the Daily Mail Cup final was outstanding, particularly given that he was basically on one leg. A classic flanker, all knees and elbows and completely fearless. Also a good lineout option.

Matt Eliet, Tonbridge

Eliet has spent a lot of time at number eight but the flank is his natural home. He possesses wonderful natural speed and an appetite to hunt down the ball. His work rate is off the charts, and he is involved with almost every breakdown.

Robbie Tait, Millfield

When Tait plays the team he is playing for always plays better. That is no coincidence. He works tirelessly and is a canny operator on the floor and a top support player. His leadership has been first class this season and his determination is infectious.

Number Eights:

James Chisholm, Brighton College

Chisholm is a rock of a man and has led for school, club and country this season with aplomb. A natural leader, Chisholm carriers ridiculous amounts of ball and always makes ground. No slouch at the breakdown either.

Buchan Richardson, Wellington College

Richardson has been the absolute go to man for Wellington all season, he takes lineout ball, smashes the ball up through the middle, takes it on out wide – whatever is needed at any point in time. He has a good burst of acceleration and always uses the ball wisely.

Similar to Warren Gatland’s Lions squad, the back row caused us incredible difficulty when it came to narrowing down selection. We tried to choose the same balance as the Lions, though the players are very versatile, with five flankers and two eights. However it has meant that some of the stars of the season such as Dafi Davies of Millfield, Matt Blandford of Tonbridge and Ollie Lyons of Bedford all narrowly miss out, yet probably deserve a spot.

Equally the entire of the three-quarters left us with some stellar names left out, highlighting our concerns at selecting this squad.

As we have already said though, this is by no means necessarily a fair reflection of the season, just our (much debated!) opinion based on who we have seen and how we have judged their performances, and with just 38 names allowed in the squad there are many players who are equally deserving but just miss out.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the squad, who do you think should have been included that you have either played with or against? Are there any glaring omissions? Let’s hear what you think!

You can get in touch either through the comments box below, or via Facebook and Twitter. We look forward to hearing your views!

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