Pupils at Harris School were delighted when Graham Rowntree arrived to lead their training session.
Rowntree is an ex-England prop forward (54 caps) and twice a British & Irish Lion. He is now forwards coach for the England team, and also the British & Irish Lions who have recently been successful in Australia.
The Year 8, 9 & 10 rugby players were put through their paces in an intensive warm-up session followed by some tricks of the trade! The emphasis was clearly on keeping the ball alive and moving but rucking skills were also worked on. The training session was excellent. At the end, as the lads huddled together in the rain and cold, there was a stimulating Q & A session.
In answer to one of the questions, Graham talked about rugby instilling qualities in his life – discipline, teamwork and hard work. Qualities that, as he said, are essential for life as well as rugby.
Martyn Rice, associate headteacher, said: “Having somebody of Graham’s calibre coach the lads was, for all of us, very exciting. The techniques demonstrated can now be implemented in matches to improve performance. But sport is more than just playing a game; it is an amazing tool in the process of education. For young lads to hear words of advice, not in the classroom and not by a teacher, but from a ‘hero’ just might have a long-lasting impact on their lives”.