Whitgift School has a strong rugby tradition at the heart of its sporting ethos. Rugby was introduced at the School in 1871, and Whitgiftians have gone on to represent university, club and country ever since.
The School proudly received the London Society of Referees award for rugby excellence in 1996. In 2011, the School joined an elite group of schools by achieving a consecutive victory in the ERFSU Daily Mail/RBS U18 National Schools’ Rugby Cup, the most sought-after prize in schoolboy rugby. Players from those matches have since progressed onto the national and international stage. Director of Rugby, Mr Chris Wilkins, was subsequently awarded the RFU’s ‘Performance Development Coach of the Year’ in 2010.
The School’s thriving sporting community sees 550 boys involved in weekend school rugby. 28 teams play a strong fixture card, with games against Millfield, Sedbergh, Warwick School and Wellington College, to name a few, plus local derbies against Dulwich College and John Fisher School. The boys benefit from annual rugby trips; recent tours include Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Hong Kong.
Whitgift has developed close ties with Harlequins over the years, evident by the current tally of Old Whitgiftians on their books:
• Marland Yarde (played in the winning side in the 2010 Daily Mail 1st XV National Schools’ Cup, started his professional career with London Irish before moving to Quins in the summer of 2014, and has been capped five times, notably on the recent tour against New Zealand)
• George Merrick (Quins lock and previously represented England U20s)
• Henry Cheeseman (has attended Quins Academy since the age of 13)
• Stan South (has attended Quins Academy since the age of 13)
Many current Whitgift pupils are enrolled at the Quins Academy, making the most of the outstanding facilities and coaching available at such a prestigious premier league club. Quins was founded in 1866, five years before Whitgift introduced rugby at the School; both take pride in their exceptionally-strong traditions.
Whitgiftians currently enrolled at the Quins Academy include:
Whitgift looks forward to forging ever-stronger links, helping to develop the stars of the future.
Further information on Harlequins can be found at: www.quins.co.uk