It’s four in a row for Rockin’ Tommies!

It’s four in a row for Rockin’ Tommies!
October 13, 2023
3 mins read

The ‘Tommies’ of Gloucester are launching another top-10 challenge in the SOCS Daily Mail Schools Trophy.

A 24-18 win over Dean Close notched up the fourth success of the campaign for Sir Thomas Rich’s, the Gloucester school that continues to boast one of the best state rugby-playing teams in the country.

‘We work hard at our rugby and enjoy it,’ is how head coach Tom Williams describes the attitude at a school which helped put England back-row forward Sam Underhill on the road to success.

‘Our aim is to maintain our good results and a top-10 finish in the Daily Mail Schools Trophy is a good target,’ Williams added.

The Gloucester school managed that feat last autumn, finishing ninth, having won eight out of their 10 games.

Among the scalps was a first win over local rivals Cheltenham College, who they will face again next month.

Also on the fixture list is a trip to Northampton School for Boys, another team flying the state-school flag. ‘Those two games will be difficult but we are looking forward to them,’ Williams said.

Dean Close, another Cheltenham rival, led last Saturday only for the Tommies to fight back with tries from No8 Jay Evans, scrum-half James Lilwall, lock Benji Grice and centre Oli Rendell.

‘We showed plenty of gas,’ Williams added on that latest win, which follows successes against Christ College, King’s School Worcester and Monmouth.

A link to the Gloucester academy is being continued this year through Rendell and Lilwall, and former captain and lock Rob Nixon is making his way in the senior squad at Kingsholm.

Those four wins put the Gloucester school in ninth place overall in a Trophy which is led by Ipswich, champions Harrow and Epsom, all of whom are unbeaten.

The Trophy is played over the autumn term on a merit-table basis and teams gain extra points for playing higher-ranked teams.

Epsom, who finished fifth last autumn, edged out Hampton School last Saturday, 24-17. Wing Ben Temperley contributed two tries and fellow backs Will White and Luc Springate grabbed one each.

Ipswich posted their fourth win on Tuesday, 45-19 at Rugby School, featuring four tries for wing Zach Mathews. The match was all part of Rugby’s continuing 200th celebrations of William Webb Ellis (if legend is true) inventing the sport when a pupil at the school.

As part of that celebration, Rugby are playing all their games at home. However, a cherished invite to play on The Close is helping to inspire opponents and Rugby have won just one of seven games so far.

Follow this season's competition on the Mail+app - go to for more details.

Share with your friends

We use necessary cookies to make our site work.

We’d like to set additional cookies to understand site usage, make site improvements and to remember your settings. We also use cookies set by other sites to help deliver content from their services. View our Terms & Conditions