It feels like just a few short weeks since the season finished, and in many ways it has been.
While the school season may have finished back in early April, there has barely been a pause for breath as players swiftly moved into 7s representation, followed by the superb World Rugby U20 Championships in Manchester.
What a month that was, with England winning on home turf, their third title in four years. It was a pleasure for us to be able to witness live the progress that so many of the players have made since we saw them plying their trade on the school fields.
We then moved on to the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s, where a number of current schoolboys and June leavers were involved, before England and Wales’ tours of South Africa took place earlier this month.
Now though we are just a few short days from the start of the 2016/17 school season, and we cannot wait for it to start.
Last season saw some truly outstanding schools rugby, with the likes of Bedford, Bromsgrove, and Kirkham Grammar School enjoying spectacular seasons. It was an intense season, without any doubt, a number of schools found themselves playing Saturday-midweek-Saturday almost every week, something that we wrote about at the turn of the year.
That intensity made for plenty of excitement though, and it looks like that excitement is here to stay – perhaps starting on Saturday 17th September as Champions Trophy winners Bedford host back to back NatWest Cup winners Bromsgrove. What an early season fixture that is.
From a www.fifteenrugby.com perspective, our aim this year is to bring you more content and to keep on improving it. Tools such as Facebook Live and Periscope now give us an opportunity to bring live video straight to your phone or laptop so we are making every effort to be able to add as much of that type of content to our roster as possible.
Our aim and hope has always been to grow schools rugby, to bring it to a wider audience using the South African and New Zealand models as a target. There is no doubt that steadily the popularity of and interest in schools rugby has increased over the last few years, but hopefully these new tools and other innovations will help to bridge the gap even more.
Of course it is not just about what we want to bring to you though, most important of all is what you want from us. So we would be delighted if you wanted to get in touch and tell us what type of coverage, content, and promotion you would like to see more of at www.fifteenrugby.com – you can get in touch via email (email@example.com ), Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV), or Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby ) and we will do everything possible to bring you the sort of content that you want. Equally we would be delighted if you wanted to send in articles, photos, or videos – the more content we receive from you, the more we can promote and cover your schools and organisations. firstname.lastname@example.org is a good place to send content!
Finally, while our commitment to promoting and covering schools and age-grade rugby is absolute, it also must be sustainable if we are able to give you the type of coverage that you deserve and want. If you wish to discuss partnerships or sponsorships with us we would be delighted to, and you can get in touch via any of the above means and I will personally get back to you right away.
It is a big year all around, culminating in that most glorious of rugby traditions, a British and Irish Lions tour. In the meantime, we cannot wait for the season to get started and to bring you the best possible coverage of schools rugby from around the country – it’s going to be an exciting year!
See you on the touchlines soon!