Mount St Mary's College dream of Twickenham win in U18’s National Schools’ Rugby Vase

Schoolboys at Mount St Mary’s College are dreaming of winning glory at Twickenham.

Mount St Mary's progress to U18 National Schools Vase.
Mount St Mary's progress to U18 National Schools Vase.

That is because the college’s talented rugby union side are through to the semi-finals of the U18’s National Schools’ Rugby Vase.

Mount, who lifted the trophy back in 1995, eased past St Anselm’s College 36-10 after having previously won the north of England section.

Headmaster Dan Wright said: “For boys who have aspirations to have pro rugby careers, who are largely already playing at a semi-pro level, playing at Twickenham would mean the world to them.

Mount St Mary’s progressed to U18 National Schools Vase semi-finals as they target a return to Twickenham. They last won the trophy back in 1995.

“To get to a national semi-final for a school with only 350 pupils is simply wonderful.

“It’s somewhere we have not been since we won it in 1995 as it is a competition usually dominated by much bigger schools.

“We are over the moon with it. Life in schools has been challenging and to have fixtures back again after COVID was already an achievement for a lot of schools.

“Getting the semi-finals has given the school a massive lift.”

The next round will take place in March with the Spinkhill school currently waiting to find out who they will face.

It is also yet to be confirmed where the match, or the final, will take place - with the home of Saracens and Twickenham the traditional choices respectively.

And Mr Wright credits the success to a mixture of the school’s South African coach and good old fashioned team spirit.

“A lot of it is down to our coach Dylan Campbell, who has been here as director of sport for the last three years,” he said.

“It is essentially down to his coaching as to why we have been undefeated all season. We have rolled some teams over with significant scores.

“They play with tremendous pride. Every time they put the blue and gold the players go through a 102 year-old traditional where they run down the Long Gallery in their studs in full kit, they bang on the lockers and then kneel in front of the shrine of Our Lady, arms around each others shoulders, and say a Hail Mary before they go onto the pitch.

“We have something here that we call ‘Mount Spirit', the boys have plenty of that and we couldn’t be prouder of them.”