Ealing independent school St Benedict’s’ 1st XV took third place in the Daily Mail Schools Trophy, marking a brilliant end to their rugby season.
The Daily Mail Schools Trophy is a national competition played under a merit system, wherein over 100 teams compete for top placement.
This year marked the first time that a team from St Benedict’s, a Catholic co-educational day school, has made the top ten of the table.
Their appearance displaces historic high-performers such as Millfield School and Clifton College, who came fourth and fifth respectively.
The competition started in 2013, and the year-on-year improvement in St Benedict’s results in the past few years are in part down to the school’s Director of Rugby, James Coles.
Coles said: “The extra mile that the Seniors have gone this year, not only in their own development but in supporting the progression of younger year groups, has been exemplary.”
The sense that the school has been working towards long-term, sustained success, was echoed by St Benedict’s equally instrumental Director of Rugby, Zoran Higgins.
Higgins said: “The 1st XV are a testament to what can be achieved through hard work, endeavour and commitment.
“The coaching team and I are delighted that the boys have played so well this year – some of the rugby played has been stunning!”
One of the standouts, who was highly praised by Coles, is Cathal Sheehan, who captains the team, and plays at No. 8.
“As a team we wanted to leave a legacy and our 3rd place finish in the Daily Mail Trophy is evidence of this,” Sheehan said.
The team were unbeaten in their run in the competition this year, and capped off this impressive performance with a stellar turn against Magdalen College School on Saturday 11 December, winning 35-7.
Berkhamsted School topped the 2021 table, and Sedbergh School took second place.
Photo credit: Gary McManus, St Benedict School