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In search of the best School 1st XV in the country

There was a fair bit of debate on social media over our School Team of the Season decision last week, as we selected the NatWest Schools Cup champions Dulwich College for the award.

Some will fervently disagree, some will think we made the right call, but what was pleasing for us was that the level of debate, and the number of teams who could justifiably have received the award, only served to show the depth of quality, passion, and interest in schoolboy rugby in this country.

To have seen every school that we have this season has been a privilege, but particularly those eleven that we shortlisted for the award. There was some truly outstanding rugby on show all season and watching it, promoting it, and reporting it was a privilege.

The debate moved from debating winning the award, which goes beyond being the ‘best’ and is really for a mix of factors, to debating who actually is the best side in the country.

Which got us thinking, we all have our opinions – but how can it be truly defined?

One idea that we would love to see is for the top four sides from the Daily Mail Trophy (a great addition to the school season by Schools Sports last year), plus the next best placed side from each of the four regions (North, Midlands, South West, and London & South East), the NatWest Schools Cup champions, and the St Joseph’s Festival champions to all compete in an end of season tournament.

This year that would have seen the following sides competing: Woodhouse Grove (1st Daily Mail Trophy), Epsom College (2nd DMT), Sedbergh (3rd DMT), Wellington College (4th DMT), Solihull (5th DMT – Midlands), KCS Wimbledon (6th DMT – London & South East), Millfield (7th DMT – South West), King’s Macclesfield (10th DMT – North), Dulwich College (NatWest Cup Champions), and St Joseph’s College (St Joseph’s Festival Champions).

It is a pretty stellar line-up of schools, sure there are still some excellent sides omitted but no matter what you do that seems destined always to be the case, however it would certainly make for a great competition.

Of course it is logistically near impossible, where could the time possibly be found, but it certainly would be interesting…

What do you think, and have you got any other suggestions for finding the best in the country? Does it even matter?

As ever, it is all just a bit of fun.

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