For the twenty-one Etonians, and five accompanying staff, the Senior Rugby Tour to Yorkshire proved a huge success. The facilities at the University, as well as the exquisite architecture, York Minster and wealth of visitor attractions made York an ideal venue for a domestic rugby tour.
On the pitch, the 1st XV returned unbeaten, playing two games, scoring 68 points and only conceding 10. Eton skilfully employed an impressive offloading game in the first match against a buoyant St. Peter’s York team. The match will be remembered for a superb solo try by Captain James McRae.
The following day our rugby players flourished at a coaching session provided by the Wakefield Wildcats Super League team. The coach at Wakefield commented on how impressed he was with the boys’ ability to adopt new ideas. Everyone benefitted from the expertise provided by a professional rugby league coach.
The second match took place in the beautiful surroundings of Ampleforth College. A fantastic forward effort, spearheaded by Ed Hume-Kendall, seemed to sap the energy out of the opposition. It was pleasing to see so many C blockers make a seamless transition into 1st XV rugby. Hugo McPherson deserves a particular mention for his outstanding work rate and commitment.
This year’s 1st XV is a very well-balanced team. We look forward to the promise shown on the tour being fulfilled in the coming season.