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Wellington College v John Fisher – London 7s Preview

At 15.02 on Sunday the players of Wellington College and John Fisher will live the dream of rugby players and fans the length and breadth of the country as they take to the field at Twickenham Stadium during the London 7s.

The two sides earned that right after reaching the HSBC Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s final back in March, a game which Wellington College won 12-7 to secure the trophy, and with it unbeaten 7s season, to date.

John Fisher are the only side who can stop them from completing that goal, and they have form, they did it to Millfield last year. In 2014 Millfield did as Wellington College have in 2015, winning every game and lifting every available trophy in the regular 7s season, setting up an appearance at Twickenham.

Having beaten John Fisher in the Rosslyn Park final, victory perhaps seemed a formality, however Fisher came flying out of the traps, stunning Millfield and taking an incredible 38-5 victory.

They will be looking to do the same on Sunday to Wellington College.

Wellington College have their own Twickenham story to tell in the build up to this one though, in 2013 they faced Sedbergh there in what was then a game to decide the ‘ultimate’ school 7s champion, with Sedbergh, the Rosslyn Park Open Champions, facing Wellington, the Rosslyn Park Festival Champions.

Wellington College took that by a 17-5 scoreline, turning in a hugely impressive performance in front of a full house at Twickenham, as there is expected to be once again on Sunday.

Wellington will certainly be favourites this time around, their squad boasts a ludicrous amount of talent, with Sam Aspland-Robsinson, Rory Brand, and Conor Dolan all gaining England U18 honours this year, Aspland-Robinson also represented England U19 and Brand England U17, while Tom Parton, Matt Williams, Isaac Curtis-Harris and Jack Ingall are also part of the England U17 set up, and Josh Basham represented England U16.

With the likes of Will Brinkley, Tom Papke, and Oliver Kitto also in the squad, this is a formidable Wellington College 7s squad. Their dominance of the school 7s scene this year has been total, and the quality of players, coaching, and play is astounding.

That will not scare John Fisher though. They showed in their 12-7 defeat at the Rosslyn Park 7s final that they can worry this Wellington College side, their physical and relentless brand of 7s proved had to contain and even harder to play against.

In the likes of Suvwe Obano and captain Nathan Thomas they have some truly devastating players, but what they also have is a group of hugely committed players and a work ethic and team spirit to rival the best. It is not coincidence that this unheralded side has reached Twickenham for the second year running.

Where others tire as the weeks, the season, and the tournament go on, Fisher seem to grow, their understanding of each other and their style of player peaking when it counts.

They will need it to on Sunday, for they face a threat in Wellington College that is the equal to the dominant Millfield side of last year, and could possibly be even better.

One way or another, we are in for an exciting 14 minutes of rugby on Sunday.

Squads:

John Fisher:

Harvey Camisa-Bundy

Connor Collins

Alex Dombrandt

Bamidele Fadahunsi

Montel Maruziva

Suvwe Obano

Sam O’Leary-Blade

Kieran Rickell

George Simpson

Nathan Thomas (c)

Wellington College:

Sam Aspland-Robinson

Josh Basham

Rory Brand

Will Brinkley

Isaac Curtis-Harris

Conor Dolan

Jack Ingall

Oliver Kitto

Tom Papke

Tom Parton

Charlie Tarn

Sam Trowbridge

Matt Williams

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