Scrum-half Will Hodgson insists The King’s School Macclesfield’s never-say-die attitude is what propelled them to glory at last week’s Rosslyn Park HSBC National School Sevens.
With more than 650 teams taking part, the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School Sevens is the world’s largest annual school sport tournament.
But despite the sheer numbers The King’s School Macclesfield ensured they stood out last week as they topped their group before beating Worksop College 26-14 to advance to the National Sevens Vase Bowl final.
And they went on to lift the silverware thanks to Joe Turner’s last-gasp try leading The King’s School Macclesfield to a 14-12 victory over St Paul’s School – much to 18-year-old Hodgson’s delight.
“We had already lost two brutal games in this tournament in the last few minutes, so to come back like that, I couldn’t have asked for anything else,” he said. “It’s a relief to win the bowl after losing a couple of games, it feels amazing.
“I have to admit I never thought I’d be nervous for a kick under the posts but I was shaking there. It was fantastic that it went over to give us the win.
“We had a really tough group, with KES Bath in there who are a brilliant side, and we managed to win 19-17. They had the ball for over five minutes at the end of the game but we held on.
“To come back like we did in the final as well with two missing, so we were down to ten, and to win in the last minute, it’s special.
“The opposition had possession for most of the game in the final but we stuck at it and held out. It was a terrific performance.
“We were down 12-7 and in our own half, we ran all the way up the other end, got tackled two yards short. My team-mate Joe Turner came in and managed to get it over the line for the try and we managed to get the conversion to win it.”
Interest in rugby union is at an all-time high after the hugely successful World Cup in England and it will be breaking new ground and reaching a different audience this summer when rugby sevens is included in the Olympics for the first time.
And while the senior players prepare to break new ground, Hodgson admits he won’t be forgetting his Rosslyn Park HSBC National School Sevens triumph any time soon.
“Our school isn’t fortunate enough to have the best players in the country but what we do have is 12 lads who give it their all every week,” he added.
“We’ve done well as an age group throughout the years but we’ve never quite won something, so it’s fantastic to do it in my last ever tournament for Kings.
“Winning a tournament as big as the Rosslyn Park Sevens is the biggest moment of my rugby career so far. I even played at Twickenham when I was younger but this tops that.
“We’ve been so close before to winning silverware but not quite got over the line. It’s great to be able to do that here.”
In Rugby Seven’s biggest year the next generation of rugby stars, inspired by the Rugby World Cup, from more than 650 teams descended on Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens to start on their own journey and break new ground http://www.rpns7.co.uk/