Our latest School Team of the Decade feature looks at the next two sides on our shortlist, two teams that hit some magnificent heights over the decade to leave a mark on the school rugby scene, Hampton and John Fisher.
Previous teams on the shortlist are Bedford, Brighton College, Bromsgrove, Cranleigh, Dulwich College, and Epsom College, and you can see our summary of their decade from 2009/10 to 2018/19 below.
The series looks at the 2009/10 season to the 2018/19 season in England, which should avoid ranking too many current school pupils, it therefore includes the likes of the 2009 St Joseph’s Festival (which took place in October, but means that 2019 tournament from September-December do not factor in.
In all there are 20 teams, and we will be looking at performance over the whole of the decade. From there, it will be down to you to pick your School Team of the Decade!
So to the next two sides on our list, Hampton and John Fisher, two sides that thrilled across the fifteen-a-side and seven-a-side versions of the game.
Major Honours: St Joseph’s Festival 2015, (Unofficial Daily Mail Trophy 2011)
The 2010’s saw Hampton firmly establish themselves as a really top side on the schools rugby circuit and they were really just a handful of results away from even more major honours through the decade. They enjoyed two strong seasons to kick things off with before really coming into their own in the 2011/2012 season, where they would have won the Daily Mail Trophy had it been up and running, indeed their only defeat was to Dulwich College in the Cup, the eventual winners. Dulwich were to prove the nemesis, were it not for them an even more impressive 2012/13 season would have ended in the Cup final. They came close again in the Cup in 13/14, losing a miserable quarter final to RGS High Wycombe.
The point is though, that for three years running Hampton had been seriously on the hunt for major honours and the following year they were again only for Dulwich again to prove the quarter final nemesis with a last play drop goal. It was also the first year that Hampton entered the St Joseph’s Festival and it was at that tournament the following year where Hampton would earn their biggest ever title at only the second attempt, they also reached another Cup quarter final. 2016/17 was hugely successful too as they won the Plate at the St Joseph’s Festival before going on to win the prestigious Surrey 7s. A tougher year followed in 2017/18, but things were on the up again in 2018/19 and the 2020’s are already looking like another strong decade for Hampton.
Over the course of the decade some outstanding players passed through their ranks, not least prop Alex Lungberg and full back Louis Lynagh, as well as the likes of Gwilym Bradley, Roman Malin-Hiscock, Will Attfield, Zach Santos, and Akira Takenaka, among others, in what was truly an excellent decade.
Major Honours: St Joseph’s Festival 2009/10
John Fisher put together some absolutely outstanding runs through the 2010s, over the course of the decade they developed a real reputation as a ‘competition team’, in that in events with consecutive games over a short period they could build momentum and belief better than just about anyone. The decade could hardly have begun better as they opened up the 2009/10 season by winning the St Joseph’s Festival in a packed field. Two strong seasons followed that before another run to the St Joseph’s Festival final in 2012/13, this time it was not to be as they faced a Millfield side for the ages but it set them up for a stunning 2013/14 season.
A hugely strong regular season was followed by a run to the Rosslyn Park 7s final, Millfield again just got the better of them but the two sides were invited to meet at Twickenham later that year and John Fisher got the better of them in front of a full London 7s crowd. In 14/15 they returned to the Rosslyn Park 7s final again, losing out narrowly to Wellington College but again demonstrating their ability and this remarkable knack of putting together a run of results as they headed again to Twickenham.
Over the decade they have produced some outstanding young players, too. Among them, Kieran Treadwell, Alex Dombrandt, Jack Walsh, Suvwe Obano, and George Simpson over the course of what has been a superb decade for the Croydon based school.