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Glyn Rugby Visited Pennyhill Park

Glyn Rugby 1st XV Trip to England Training Centre

Last Wednesday I was fortunate enough to be present when Glyn Rugby 1st XV went to the England Training Centre at the prestigious Pennyhill Park in Bagshott, Surrey.

One of the RFU’s main sponsors, Mitsubishi, were holding their annual ‘Coach the Coaches’ day and, fortunately enough for us, they required a school side to be guinea pigs for their coaching sessions! Upon arrival at the Hotel and Spa Resort, we caught a first glimpse of the training centre and pitch used whenever the England squads get together but, before the boys could contemplate stepping onto the carpet-like turf, we headed through the Main Reception and down to a large room where we would be based for the morning and lunch.

Inside the room were a number of established Community Rugby Coaches in attendance to develop their own coaching abilities, and at the front of the room stood the coaching team of the England U20s side, including globally known Head Coach, Steve Bates. The boys quickly   gathered their seats and enjoyed their free hot drinks and biscuits, all of which were ordered via an iPad - not the normal morning cuppa for us!

After a brief introduction from a number of representatives from both Mitsubishi and the RFU, we all made our way up to the rugby pitch and we were quickly kitted up and running around on a pitch commonly known as the ‘Home of England Rugby’; certainly when it comes to the actual development of coaches and players alike. Despite the pitch being home to the likes of Owen Farrell, Mike Brown and many other star studded internationals, the U20 coaches were highly impressed by the quality of our boys, both with their attitude towards   such an enduring (two hours long) high energy session in the sun, and their level of rugby ability, being highly praised by a number of England staff, something which is a credit to both the school and the boys themselves.

Despite some red faces and tired bodies at the end of the session, the boys had thoroughly enjoyed the session and activities that they had been involved in and had certainly benefited from being taught by such high quality coaches. Not many people can say that they have been out on the Pennyhill turf, and I am sure the day was an  experience that both I and the lads will never forget. Lunch back at the hotel was  certainly a treat for us all with a mini buffet laid on by the five star hotel catering team to assure energy levels were replenished before we headed back home.

At the end of the session, England U20 Head Coach Steve Bates presented us with an official England Rugby shirt, signed by all 30 members of the recent Elite Development squad, which was an honour to receive. This shirt will soon be framed and on display for the entire school community and is testament to the hard work put in by the students representing the school so well.

I feel that the day also provided the perfect short break from revision for us all in what is a critical time of the year. Having the chance to have a run around and enjoy such a cool experience in an extremely special environment was a real pleasure for us all.

With Eddie Jones and his Senior Coaching Team in the pitch-side offices selecting their England side for the summer tour of South Africa, it would come as no surprise to any of us if there were any last minute call ups for the Glyn boys, especially after James Stimson timed an interception to perfection midway through the session. You heard it here first…

Thank you, as ever, to Mrs Mabbott and  Mr Taylor for taking us and being around with us all day, making sure everyone was   enjoying themselves and staying hydrated! I am certain they enjoyed the day as much as we did!

James Peters 13M1