Rugby at Stoneygate
Rugby is played in the Autumn term at Stoneygate on two afternoons per week, Tuesday and Thursday, in the Junior Section up to and including Year 4, and on three afternoons from Year 5 to Year 8 inclusive. Broadly, the school follows the Rugby Continuum.*
While a basic introduction to Rugby is given to the boys in Year 2, Rugby coaching proper begins in Year 3, where organised ball handling sessions combine with fitness and agility training, together with teaching of the basic rules and tactics. TAG Rugby fixtures begin in this year group. All boys play with the emphasis on participation and enjoyment.
Rugby is continued into Year 4 which sees the introduction of contact Rugby. Fixtures against other schools are arranged, with a similar timetable to Year 3 but with more fixtures. Year 4 constitute the Under 9's, usually split into A and B teams.
The Colts A, B and C teams are made up of a combination of boys in Years 5 and 6. Every opportunity is given to each boy to prove himself as a player, and he is then selected for one of the above teams. Throughout the term each player is carefully monitored to see if he is placed in the right team for his ability and whether he should be moved up or down to fit his standard of rugby.
Similarly, the boys of Years 7 and 8 are selected according to their playing ability into the 1st and 2nd XV teams. Once again, there is ample mobility between the teams as we give each boy the chance to prove himself.
Colours may be awarded to boys who show commitment, ability and team spirit at Colts and 1st team levels. We have regular contact with the Leicester Tigers Community Coaching establishmen and attend an annual Rugby training day at Warwick School run by Worcester Warriors coaches. We try to enter as many tournaments as possible and we have had some memorable success in recent years, including being the winners at the Warwick Sevens tournament and twice runners-up. We have also been runners-up at the Leicester Grammar and Oakham sevens in the Under-13 age group. Last year we were the County Bowl winners at u12 level.
At Stoneygate we aim to instill in players a love of the game at an early age, and to give a sound foundation of skills for their future progress. Former pupils have gone on to play at Senior school, club, county, semi-professional and professional Rugby Union and Rugby League levels. Others have played in national teams at under-18 and under-21 level.
*THE RUGBY CONTINUUM: The Rugby Continuum is a playing and coaching pathway by which Clubs and Schools introduce the game of rugby to young players. This is done in a series of incremental stages so that by Under 13 players have acquired the skills and knowledge required to participate a 13-a-side game. Each stage has its own rules distinguishing it from the adult game and should not be considered as being merely a shortened version of senior rugby. This progression has been structured to accommodate the changing developmental abilities of children as they mature with the emphasis being on the improvement of individual skills through purposeful and enjoyable activity. Provision is made for testing these skills in match situations during a limited number of competitive fixtures and festivals/tournaments each season.