Kingham Hill School’s outdoor rugby facilities and indoor swimming pool recently provided the stage for Oxford University’s top rugby team to practise a number of technically challenging drills that tested and improved their conditioning and core rugby skills.
Students had the opportunity to watch and participate in the day long training camp, which gave them the chance to learn and improve their skills with such experienced players.
Kingham Hill Biology teacher and Oxford University rugby player, Basil Strang, who successfully led the Oxford University second rugby team to victory over Cambridge last year, was thrilled to be able to join his team in helping the school’s pupils develop their own skills.
Basil reflected on the successful training day: “The preseason day at Kingham was a fantastic day for the Kingham and Oxford boys alike. It proved a valuable learning opportunity for the Kingham boys as they tested themselves against some top quality players at Oxford University! I hope it is a relationship that will continue to flourish. A link between the rugby teams stands as testament to the direction rugby is going here at Kingham Hill. I am excited for what the future holds.”
The school team trained with the Oxford players in small groups, practising their line out technique, kicking precision, and scrum and tackling abilities. Both teams joined together to play a fast paced touch rugby match.
Chris Ashton, Head of Rugby at Kingham Hill School, said: “This was a unique opportunity for a school team to train alongside a professional set up, the boys benefited across the board from developing specific skills to seeing how the OURFC players enjoyed themselves in a serious and disciplined environment. It was an inspiring experience for the boys.”
Following the top level training, the Kingham Hill players were able to get more top tips during a meet and greet with the members of the Oxford team, a number of whom hold professional rugby contracts.
Adam Smith, Kingham Hill pupil and 1st XV captain said about the opportunity: “It was great to have a formidable opposition in front of us, upping the pressure and helping us learn a huge amount about our own positions. It made us want to improve our own game and see how good we can be.”