Rugby at Ipswich School promotes teamwork, comradeship, enjoyment, and lifelong memories. The School regularly fields nine teams per week during the Michaelmas Term across the Year 8 to Senior age groups with a very competitive fixture list against local and regional schools on Saturdays. At U15 and U18, pupils have the opportunity to compete in the National Cup competition, with both teams regularly challenging to reach the latter stages of the competition.
Rugby Skills Development
Ipswich School puts a large focus on developing the catch and pass, tackling, and running skills of every pupil. Training takes place during games lessons on a Tuesday and Wednesday, with pupils also having the extra choice of training further on Thursdays during activities afternoon and after school. Encouragement and opportunity is given to try a variety of positions in order to allow pupils to find their best fit for the sport at every age group.
Specialist after-school groups such as half back club, kicking club, and Front Five Club take place to further develop pupils looking to fine tune their skills. The pupils are also supported by Ashley Cook, the School’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, who supports all pupils with specific and appropriate physical conditioning methods to enhance performance and decrease injury risk. Mr Cook is also rugby coach to the School U15 National Cup team, as well as Bury St Edmunds Women’s 1st XV away from school rugby.
In the Lent term, the U12 teams compete every week, and Rugby 7s is offered to the older age groups. The school fields a U16 and a 1st team for Rugby 7s, who compete in a variety of national tournaments. These include the HSBC Rosslyn Park Sevens Tournament where both teams regularly advance past the group stage. Outside of the Michaelmas and Lent terms, pupils can still keep in touch with rugby through the extensive after school programme and activities afternoons that take place all year round.
The School is very proud to encourage participation at all levels of the game, with year groups in Years 7-9 having a ‘non-contact’ group to gradually introduce and teach the game to all ability levels. Furthermore, the school regularly puts forward and supports players who are part of the Northampton Saints Development Pathway.
Rugby Coaching Staff
Ipswich School boasts some high quality staff from playing backgrounds. The Head of Rugby, Keith Fowles, has played in the Premiership Academy and National Leagues. Mr Fowles currently works with the Scottish Exiles U18s alongside being an RFU Coach Educator and completing his Level 4 qualification. The Junior Lead Coach, Sam Goodwin, is an international rugby player for Cyprus, as well as a regular first team player for local club Ipswich RFC. The school benefits further from having Nick Greenhall in the coaching team, who is a Level 4 qualified rugby coach and Head Coach of Ipswich RFC. Mr Greenhall has previously spent long periods with England Colleges, North Walsham, and Wymondham.
Recent Old Ipswichian Honours Board
William Brown (2017) – Scotland U19 International
Simon Uzokwe (2014) – England Students, Current Newcastle Falcons Player
U12 Saint Sebastian, Spain - 2015, 2016, 2017 (with plans to return in 2018)
Senior Rugby Tour Normandy Chateau 2015, 2016 (with plans to return in 2018)