I hope you have all had a good half term, now that the schools are (mostly) back, we are into the meat of the 7s season, and what a season it looks like being!
Without a doubt it is my favourite period of the season, 7s at school level always retains something of the old school, fairly removed from the style that we see on the HSBC World 7s Series circuit.
Indeed there have been a couple of seasons in the last three or four years where it could be argued that the quality of the 7s circuit surpassed that of the fifteen-a-side circuit, notably that couple of years in 2014 and 2015 where Millfield and Wellington College were producing play that simply took your breath away at times, their games against each other in those years were a joy to watch.
Could this year see similar standards? At this stage it is hard to tell, but by the end of the weekend we should know the identity of a fair few of the movers and shakers, with Haileybury hosting a tournament on Saturday, and tournaments at Reed’s, Canford, Christ College Brecon, and Oakham on Sunday.
One frustration with the 7s season still exists for me though, and that is the weather. There is not a lot that we can do about it, after all we can’t control the clouds, but it remains a frustration that so many tournaments over the years have had to be cancelled as a result of waterlogged or frozen pitches.
A thought I have always had is the possibility of a move to the summer term. Yes, it would clash with cricket, but then it already clashes with hockey and football for most schools – no matter when it is played there will be clashes.
Playing in the summer would also mean that the other great problem of the 7s season would be fixed – international duty. So many top players have been unavailable for big competitions in recent years due to U18 international commitments.
It does not really feel right for anyone, schools suffer for producing good players, teammates suffer for not having their stars, and those star players miss out on some of their final and best school rugby memories. Yes, those international caps are treasured, but so are those final school memories, and players deserve to be able to enjoy both. A summer schedule would allow that.
Do I think summer term 7s will happen? No. But it is surely worth stirring the debate.
Speaking of stirring the debate, we will be launching a podcast in a couple of weeks, with guest hosts each episode. It will be a lighthearted look at schools rugby and a little beyond, but we would like to take on some of these big issues in schools rugby.
If there is anything that you would like to be discussed or any people you want to hear as a guests, then let us know – and if you have any questions do send them in too.
You can contact me directly on @AngusSavageXV or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great weekend!