College’s rugby teams on a roll

Matt Kouris on the charge
Matt Kouris on the charge

Seaford College’s rugby teams are having a fine season.

Their under-14 A team are unbeaten so far this term. For the first time in the history of the school, the under-14s won matches against Hurst at A, B and C team level. The A team won 26-17, the B team won 45-0 and the C team won 19-12.

Seaford’s head of rugby, Edward Bowden, said: “The results against Hurst show the strength and depth at all levels at Seaford. Our strategy to spread our coaching resources across all levels and all age groups is paying dividends.

“We encourage the C team at this level with tag rugby and non-contact games to help them engage and enjoy the sport. With the under-14 As unbeaten so far we are looking forward to their progress in the Sussex Cup after half-term.”

With six wins from seven this term, the Seaford first XV have been in excellent form this season. Highlights include an impressive victory over Pangbourne College, a strong win over Portsmouth Grammar School and a ferocious fast-paced win against St John’s Leatherhead.

Although unsuccessful in their encounter with Hampton, one of the top schools for rugby in the country, the team can be proud of the close score of 16-14.

He gets physically involved in the training, and it’s not every day you get to tackle your headmaster (in a suit).

Captain Andrew Dixon

Captain Andrew Dixon said: “We had a terrific pre-season and have continued to develop as a side as the season has gone on. The coaches are the best Seaford has ever had. It’s Mr Bowden’s second year of coaching the first XV and he has added depth to the side with his skills and knowledge. We learn something new every training session.”

Bowden said: “The first XV are playing with real pace and power throughout the team. There have been notable performances from Jake McQuade, Lewis Morton, Matt Kouris, Hugo Squires and Jasper Brazier.

“The team all have a good attitude to training and are benefitting from the performance analysis sessions we provide at Seaford. They are also dedicated to our early-morning pool recovery and gym sessions.”

Commenting on all of the rugby teams, Bowden said: “We have had a strong half term with positive performances across the board. We plan to rest and recover over half-term and look ahead to the fixtures after the break. There has been a good attitude from all players and the momentum of the Rugby World Cup has brought out increased enthusiasm for the sport.”

Bowden is coaching at Harlequins and has played at club level in Italy. Another asset to the coaching team is headmaster John Green, who is an ex-Saracens professional and Harlequins Academy coach.

Dixon said: “He comes out training in his suit, he is phenomenal, and he has played at such a good standard. The forwards are learning a lot of amazing techniques from him. Even when he’s had an open morning, he makes the effort to come and support us with our matches on a Saturday.

“He’s very approachable, a great character, and it’s nice that he gets involved, it’s very motivational. He gets physically involved in the training, and it’s not every day you get to tackle your headmaster (in a suit).”

Seaford’s 1st XV squad have several representative and county players: Matt Kouris, Lewis Sampson and Jake McQuade play for London Irish, Andrew Dixon, Lewis Morton and Hugo Squires play for Sussex.

With training for these sides once a week, school fixtures on Saturdays, and county matches on Sundays, members of the team play rugby most days a week.

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