It has been an impressive season of achievements for Trinity School Rugby following the Rugby World Cup. Trinity hosted the French Rugby team in preparation for the World Cup late last year, an opportunity that has set new heights for one of the most talked-about rugby schools in the country that has recently picked up a national title and now boasts two national team captains in the upper sixth form.
Trinity students Gabriel Ibitoye and Charlie Fatoma (Year 13) have shown that they are amongst some of the most talented young rugby players in the country, with leadership skills to match their rugby pedigree. Both boys have made national representative sides. Gabriel captained the England team in the U18 five-nation festival over the Easter holidays. He played against Ireland, Scotland Wales and France, scored four tries and received two ‘Man of the Match’ (MOM) awards, all whilst being captain, with the scores as follow: Wales 41-9 (MOM 1 try), Ireland 15-12 (MOM 1 try), Scotland (45-24 2 tries). Meanwhile Charlie also captained a warm up game and was selected to play in the U18 Tri Nations against France and Ireland.
As members of Trinity’s 1st XV, Gabriel and Charlie had the honour of meeting with Sir Clive Woodward in the build up to the Rugby World Cup. Sir Clive visited the school ahead of the national French rugby squad’s arrival, accompanied by the Web Ellis Cup, in order to open the school’s new Strength and Conditioning suite and deliver a speech about his experiences of working with athletes in a high performance sporting environment. In addition Charlie was treated to a one on one kicking session with French fly half Freddie Michalak during the Rugby World Cup after being impressed by his performance for the Trinity 1st team.
Photo (L to R): Charlie Fatoma and Gabriel Ibitoye in their England kit.
Both Charlie and Gabriel have also been invited to the official training base for England Rugby, Pennyhill Park Hotel, on Sunday 22nd May as part of an U18 NatWest School Cup Academy day where they will be hosted by an England Rugby legend and treated to a training session with current England players, followed by a video analysis session.
Trinity’s U13A rugby team were also enthused by the having a Rugby World Cup team come to Trinity. They went on to go one step further than last year this season when they were crowned National Champions after beating Warwick school 15-12 in what was a rematch of last year’s final. The Trinity side were down 12-3 and playing against strong winds in the second half but the team showed a large amount of resilience to come back to win the match, and in doing so collecting their first national rugby title. The young team certainly benefited from watching a training session with the French and a one-on-one with then French Head Coach Philippe Saint Andre, an experience that sparked inspiration in the young players ahead of their national campaign and provided insight into the professional world of rugby.
Aaron Liffchak Director of Rugby at Trinity School commented “The legacy the Rugby World Cup has left at Trinity will not be forgotten quickly. We could not have been luckier with the team that selected us as a Team Base. France gave us unbelievable access to their cutting edge training techniques and coaching staff. We are very grateful and have learnt a lot. They have generated a tremendous buzz around Rugby amongst the whole Trinity community. Their impact has already been felt with the U13 National Cup win and producing two England U18 captains in the same year.”
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