Pangbourne has a proud tradition of playing rugby. Boys’ rugby is one of the three leading sports at the College, with all boys expected to take part during the Michaelmas term.
At present the Rugby Club puts out 9 teams on Saturdays, as well as occasional matches on Wednesdays. At senior level there are three teams and two teams in each of the other age groups.
Training ensures boys of all standards are catered for, including those who have not played the game before and there is a strong focus on the core skills of passing, tackling and game awareness.
Coaches work with their teams to develop these skills, but teamwork is a vital factor in Pangbourne's success and the determination of Pangbournians often makes the difference and can be seen on Bowden Playing Fields and Whites Playing Fields on match days.
The Rugby Club organises a balanced fixture card against some local schools as well as some a bit further afield, such as Shiplake College and The Oratory School, which often produces close-fought matches.
Pangbourne enters several cup competitions, including the Berkshire Cup (2nd XV and U14s) and the Natwest Schools Cup (1st XV and U15s), and the 1st XV compete with the best and regularly produce stirring victories. Our highest achievement so far has been to reach the semi-finals of the National Cup drawing 10-10 against Durham and not going through on a try count to play at Twickenham in the final. Last season (2017) we won the Berkshire U18 Cup and our U14 team have won the Berkshire Cup 3 times in the last 10 years.
Not only do the 1st XV take their rugby very seriously, but the boys act as role models and help lead the Rugby Club by helping with coaching sessions and refereeing throughout the MIchaelmas and Lent Terms..
In the Lent term, the Club switches to Rugby Sevens and Pangbourne has a 1st VII boys’ and girls’ team, as well as an U16 and U14 VII. All teams are entered into several tournaments, including the Rosslyn Park National Schools Sevens competition which is held at the end of March every year.
There are more than 20 members of staff who contribute to the smooth running of the Rugby Club which helps to build staff-pupil relationships and that mutual respect boosts Pangbournians in other areas of school life.
It is the hope that many of our pupils will continue playing rugby beyond Pangbourne and join local clubs to further their playing careers at whatever level and support the development of local sport.
Pangbourne has contacts with London Irish and some of our boys are members of the Academy teams in their relative age-groups.
The College also provides training facilities for Berkshire Schools to train their squads. We encourage many of our students to go for Trials and hopefully gain places in the relevant squads and move towards their dream of playing rugby at a higher level.
The senior hockey and rugby teams come together to celebrate the highlights of the season at the end of the Michaelmas term. It is always an enjoyable and social evening, with senior coaches and parents included in an event usually attended by more than 180 guests with a guest speaker from the world of professional sport.
In each team, awards are given by each team to the Player’s Player of the Year, the Most Improved Player of the Year and the Coaches’ Player of the Year. The captain and coach of each team round up the season in their speeches.
A number of Pangbourne students play county rugby and the College is often represented in matches in Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. More recently, an impressive number of Pangbournians have been called up to the England Independent Schools squad. Darryl Marfo is playing professional rugby in Scotland and has represented the full, senior Scottish team.