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Spectacular Sevens Tournament at Rugby School

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Hundreds of people from across the world converged on the birthplace of the game, over the weekend of 25/26 March, for a spectacular rugby sevens tournament with 20 teams from 11 countries playing world-class rugby.   

A key highlight of the school’s year-long bicentennial celebrations of the game, the tournament drew spectators from across the world, with teams from as far away as Chile, Japan and New Zealand bringing supporters, all keen to be a part of this historic event. On Saturday, former England captain Martin Johnson met all the teams, and spent time with them, discussing tactics and sharing stories from his career.   

Throughout the weekend, the standard of rugby played on The Close was exceptional.  Different styles of rugby from Northern and Southern hemispheres blended, with some Aussie rules skills on show from the teams from Australia and New Zealand.  Undoubtedly a highlight of both days was an impressive and intimidating Haka by the team from Nelson College, New Zealand.    

The final on Sunday became a South Africa vs Ireland match, with Michaelhouse School from Kwazulu-Natal facing Blackrock College of Dublin.  Michaelhouse ultimately triumphed despite two yellow cards, and the reaction of the team and their traveling supporters showed that to win this tournament, at the birthplace of the game, meant everything.   

James Fleming, Head Coach at Michaelhouse School, Kwazulu-Natal, said:  

“It’s a dream come true to play at the birthplace of the game. Rugby has been a big part of our lives, it is my country’s main sport and it’s been a big part of my life all my life. To come here and play at Rugby School – I couldn’t have asked for anything better for the boys in the team – just the experience to be able to come here, see the buildings, see the field and soak it all up, is unbelievable. I am really chuffed for the boys that they stuck it out and scored that last try to get ahead – I couldn’t be happier.”  

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