Rydal Penrhos has a rich rugby history. The game has changed dramatically since the days of Wilf Wooller (Old Rydalian capped in rugby and cricket and considered the most talented Welsh sportsman ever) and Bleddyn Williams (former Welsh rugby captain and the last captain to lead the Welsh team to victory over the All Blacks) but the school continues to produce players of an international standard, with players progressing through regional squads to be selected for Wales U18s or U20s on an annual basis.
There are a number of Old Rydalians who are currently playing professional rugby across Europe and the role of 1st XV captain is one of the most prestigious within the school.
Fixture lists are busy throughout the Michaelmas term with fixtures every weekend, and occasional midweek ones too. These are played against the best independent and rugby-playing state schools across the North West and West Midlands. As we are affiliated to the Cheshire RFU, we compete in the Cheshire County and Natwest cup competitions. We also represent Wales in the prestigious Deutsche Bank Schools 6 Nations (losing finalists 2015). More details of our rugby fixtures can be viewed at www.rydalpenrhossport.com
In the Lent term U18 and U16 teams continue their skill development on the 7s circuit playing midweek and weekend competitions across the north of England. The grand finale for each team is the National School 7s, and having twice been finalists in the U18 competition expectations are always high.
The school has well established links with the WRU regional side RGC 1404 and have played a significant role in their development from their infancy through to the present day. Many of our players feature in their U16 and U18 teams before graduating to their successful 1st XV who play in the Welsh Premiership. We have consistently produced Welsh U18 and U20 international players since the link was forged in 2011.
As a Cheshire affiliated school we also have players who have progressed through the RFU player pathway to play for Cheshire and Sale Sharks. Our provision is aligned with, and complements, the pathways of each academy. Players are offered all the support expected to assist them in pursuit of a rugby career whilst receiving an outstanding education. This includes S&C support, where appropriate and in addition to that which they receive from their respective academies, from our highly qualified S&C team.
For those who are not part of academies we also offer additional S&C support as part of our provision in our Performance Centre. Our dedicated strength and conditioning staff oversee the athletic development and pre-habilitation work of our players, working on strengthening players’ functional movement.
The exceptional level of rugby provided at the school is overseen by dedicated and well-qualified staff, many of whom have international playing and coaching experience in 15- and 7-aside formats. We also have a full-sports therapists to assist players’ recovery who has worked on the Glasgow Commonwealth and London Olympic games.
Scholars are offered all the support expected to assist them in pursuit of a rugby career whilst receiving an outstanding education.