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South West Emerging Schools� finalists prepare for big day at Twickenham

30 April 2008

April 30th, 2008

Seven South West schools are preparing to take part in this season's Daily Express Emerging Schools Rugby Festival.

They are among 48 schools from across the country who have qualified through a series of county and regional tournaments to compete in the national stages at Staines RFC on the morning of Saturday May 3.

The finalists from Staines will then have the experience of playing on the hallowed turf at Twickenham Stadium that afternoon as curtain-raisers and during the half-time interval of the Babcock trophy Army versus Navy match which is expected to attract a 40,000 crowd.

The South West schools through to the national stage are: Chippenham's Hardenhuish School, Devon's Kingsbridge Community College, The Stonehenge School in Amesbury, Mangotsfield School in Bristol, The Swindon Academy and Newquay Tretherras School in Cornwall.

Mangotsfield School in Bristol will be flying the flag for the South West in the Under 13s Emerging category and Gavin Solomons, Head of PE at the school, said: "The boys are so excited about Saturday. They just can't wait for the day to come.

"After winning all of our games in the regional tournament the boys are feeling confident, but I am hoping they won't be too confident as they need to remember they have got to win the national stages before they can play at Twickenham! Certainly the allure of playing at Twickenham is a massive incentive for them, even the boys who have only ever played football before."

The Emerging Schools Festival is designed to drive up participation at state schools who play little or no formal rugby, including those introduced to the game for the first time this season.

More than 50,000 children have taken part since its launch in October last year, when the 12-year-old competition expanded to add boys under-14 teams to the existing Under-12 and Under-13 categories for �new' and �emerging' schools and the Under-14 girls.

"The Emerging Schools Rugby Festival is a fantastic event that that gives thousands of children in state schools the chance to take up the sport and to take part in a national competition," said Andrew Scoular, the RFU's Community Rugby Director.

"We see it as a major part of our strategy to continue the growth of the game and our Rugby Development Officers work closely with teachers and School Sport Partnerships to make sure that growth is sustainable.

"We're very grateful for the support of the Armed Forces, who play a key role in the running of the Festival, and the excellent backing we receive from the Daily Express."


Under-12 New
London North: Honywood School, Coggeshall
London South: Heathside School, Weybridge
Midlands East: Central Technology & Sports College, Grantham
Midlands West: De Ferrers STC, Burton Upon Trent
North East: Durham Johnston School
North West: Birkdale High School, Lancashre
South: Sir William Ramsay School, High Wycombe
South West: Hardenhuish School, Chippenham

Under-12 Emerging
London North: The Philp Morant School, Colchester
London South: Norton Knatchbull School, Ashford
Midlands East: Carre's  School, Sleaford
Midlands West: The Chase, Malvern
North East: Harrogate School
North West: The Whitby High School, Ellesmere Port
South: Bay House School, Gosport
South West: Kingsbridge Community College
Under-13 New
London North: Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge
London South: Chaucer Technology School, Canterbury
Midlands East: West Bridgford School, Nottingham
Midlands West: Hagley Catholic High School, Worcestershire
North East: Johnspence Community High School, North Shields
North West: All Hallows Catholic High School, Preston
South: The Mountbatten School, Romsey
South West: The Stonehenge School, Amesbury

Under-13 Emerging
London North: The Philp Morant School, Colchester
London South: Bishop Justus CofE School, Bromley
Midlands East: Wrenn School, Wellingborough
Midlands West: Alvechurch CofE  School
North East: Harrogate School
North West: St Cuthberts Catholic Community College, St Helens
South: The Cottesloe School, Wing
South West: Mangotsfield School, Bristol

London North: St Mary's Catholic School, Bishop's Stortford
London South: Heathside School, Weybridge
Midlands East: Frederick Gents School, Derbyshire
Midlands West: Aldridge School, Walsall
North East: Acklam Grange School, Middlesbrough
North West: Moorside High School, Salford
South: Sandown High School, Isle of Wight
South West: Swindon Academy

Girls Under-14
London North: Twyford CofE School
London South: Winston Churchill School, Woking
Midlands East: Wootton Upper School, Bedford
Midlands West: Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College
North East: Settle Middle School
North West: Wyndham School, Egremont
South: Perins School, Alresford
South West: Newquay Tretherras School, Cornwall


9am-12pm: Qualifying games

1.30pm: Under-12, 13 & 14 Emerging finals
3.40pm New Under 12 & 13 New finals