- Ex-England scrum-half Shaun Perry coaches Stourbridge-based Old Swinford
- Swinford are vying for tag of top state school alongside Sir Thomas Rich's
- No team has yet toppled champions Sedbergh but that might end in next week
Ex-England scrum-half Shaun Perry has put Old Swinford Hospital School in line to be the top state team in the SOCS Daily Mail Schools Trophy.
The former Worcester No 9, who also coaches at the Wasps academy, has inspired the Stourbridge-based team to be undefeated in this national merit table competition sponsored by the school management system, SOCS, over the autumn term.
Director of sport Andrew Coalter believes Perry's arrival has been hugely influential in helping to revive rugby at the state boarding school who were runners-up in the under-18s section of the old Daily Mail Schools Cup in 2012.
Old Swinford are enjoying an unbeaten campaign in the national schools rugby competition
A 25-3 win over St Peter's of Gloucester was win No 6 in a season which has also brought such notable scalps as RGS Worcester and Monmouth.
Coalter said: 'Shaun has certainly given our rugby a big lift. We have a solid pack which is led by our back-rower Adam Shaw who has been outstanding for us.
'This is not a team of super stars but a very tight knit group of players. We share the captaincy around to give each player the opportunity to lead and players will, on their days off training, help coach the younger players.
'Training numbers are as high as we have ever had and this coupled with our expanding numbers in our younger year groups promises for the future.'
Swinford are vying for the tag of being the top state school alongside Sir Thomas Rich's from Gloucester who have so far posted five wins from seven games including last weekend when they defeated Pate's GS, 41-10.
No team has yet toppled champions Sedbergh but that might end in the next week as the Cumbrians have two tough games in five days.
Ex-England scrum-half Shaun Perry coaches Stourbridge-based Old Swinford
Sedbergh, who have won all their 10 Trophy games so far, travel to Woodhouse Grove, who won the inaugural Trophy in 2013, this Saturday at 2.30pm.
They then take on former champions Wellington in a mid-week floodlit match staged at Broad Street, the Coventry junior club, next Wednesday, kick off 6pm.
Bradford-based Grove have yet to be beaten as well this season putting together an impressive eight wins, including a 29-5 success last Saturday against Durham.
Wellington, who won the Trophy three years running from 2014-16,lost ground on the unbeaten pair when losing to Millfield in October.
But Wellie have found better form recently and have gained a place in the final of the RFU's Champions Trophy following a semi-final win over Bristol GS.
Third-placed Rugby School had their chances damaged of overall success when losing their first game in the Trophy this season, 33-21 at Stamford School.
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