Bracken leads England trio in St Albans triumph

Bracken leads England trio in St Albans triumph
October 20, 2023
3 mins read

Son of World Cup winner following in dad’s footsteps for school and country Atrio of England Under 18s are helping to push St Albans School into the top 10 of the SOCS Daily Mail Schools Trophy.

Full back Jack Bracken — following in the footsteps of his father, former England World Cup winning scrum-half Kyran — lock Tayo Adegbemile and captain Charlie West went on England’s summer trip to South Africa before returning to help St Albans in this national competition.

A 49-7 win over Campion School was their fourth victory in the Trophy, with St Albans already claiming the scalps of Bedford Modern, Reading Blue Coat and St Benedict’s School, Ealing.

To round off St Albans’ strong first half of the autumn term, they defeated local rivals St George’s from Harpenden in the RFU Vase, 31-6. Head coach James White said the development of the England trio, who are also part of Saracens’ academy, is a real source of pride for the school. ‘It’s also worthwhile to note that all three boys have been with us all the way through the school,’ said White.

‘The really enjoyable aspect of being involved is that the squad includes those involved in pathways and representative rugby to those that have been stalwarts of the school.’

A busy season has included a pre - season tour of South Africa and the visit of St Alban’s College from Buenos Aires in September.

Next up for St Albans after the half-term break is a rematch against St George’s in the Schools Trophy followed by local derbies against Bishop’s Stortford, Mill Hill and Haileybury.

Former champions Woodhouse Grove are also benefitting from the experience of England age group players in hooker Alfie Longstaff and flanker Archie Hurford.

Longstaff contributed a try in the Bradford-based team’s 26-17 win over neighbours Leeds Grammar School. The teams were tied 12-12 at half-time but Grove pulled away after the interval thanks to a try from the impressive full back Callum Hyland-Dugbo.

Another improving team are Bath’s Kingswood School, who have been helped on the coaching front by former England winger Matt Banahan. Banahan, who has also taken up a role with the Scotland women’s team in the inaugural WXV tournament, has been a welcome addition to the staff.

‘Matt was part of our coaching team and wanted to gain some experience following his playing days,’ explained head coach Digby Webb. Like St Albans, Kingswood are indebted to the efforts of their whole squad for their good form so far this season, which has seen them claim wins over Cheltenham College, Marlborough, Malvern and Blundell’s School.

Webb added: ‘Though we have four incredibly impactful boys in the Bath Academy, they will be the first to admit that what sets us apart from other schools are our “other guys”. These players give their all for the team week-in, week-out.’

The Trophy, organised by the schools management system (SOCS), is played over the autumn term by more than 140 schools teams from across England. Champions Harrow lead the table having won all five of their league games so far this year.

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