St Joseph's - Pride of national rugby

IPSWICH'S St Joseph's College sits proudly atop a prestigious national league table for junior rugby today.The independent school's under-15 rugby side have an impressive win rate of 94% this year, a statistic which puts them ahead their peers from of a number of fee-paying schools with rich traditions for the game.

Stuart Watson

IPSWICH'S St Joseph's College sits proudly atop a prestigious national league table for junior rugby today.

The independent school's under-15 rugby side have an impressive win rate of 94% this year, a statistic which puts them ahead their peers from of a number of fee-paying schools with rich traditions for the game.

In the national Schools Rugby table, which chronicles every school in the country's junior rugby results for the season, St Joseph's are one per cent clear of three other under-15 sides when it comes to win rate per fixture.


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Notable establishments to trail St Joseph's in the table include second placed Wellington College, the Berkshire college having been one of the founder members of the 22 founding members of the RFU, and Rugby School, the birth place of the sport as low as 152nd in the table.

Coach of the successful side Chris Branch said: “The boys are just legends. There are some really prestigious schools on that list so to top it is amazing.

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“They are not the biggest of lads for their age so we have tried to get them playing a very dynamic style of rugby, very much like the Welsh side.”

In all, the Suffolk team have won 16 of their 17 domestic matches and drew the other - a 7-7 result at home against Norwich School in the Daily Mail Cup knocking them out at the fourth round.

Amongst these fixtures was a three game tour of Italy in October last year where, amongst a trio of victories, St Jo's comprehensively beat the Italian under-15 champions Petrarca Padova 49-3.

Branch said: “It all started with a great win in our very first game of the season against Coopers' Company and Coborn. We had never beaten them before so that was a huge confidence boost.

“The Italian tour was a great experience but although we although the lads were distraught at going out of the cup against Norwich by virtue of being at home they bounced back even stronger.

“We're very excited about this generation of players and next year they should provide us with a formidable first team.”

In addition to many of the St Joseph's squad playing club rugby for Colchester, four have experience of playing for the Northampton Saints academy, four more have played junior rugby for the Eastern Counties, while a further four have represented their county.

Schools Rugby Under-15 Table

1st St Joseph College 94%

2nd Wellington College 93%

3rd Birkenhead School 93%

4th Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf 93%

5th Christ's Hospital 92%

6th St John's College 92%

7th Skinner's School 91%

8th Oundle School 91%

9th Queen Elizabeth Grammar School 90%

10th RGS Lancaster 90%

Notable alumni of schools below St Joseph's in the table

Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf (4th) - Welsh internationals Nicky and Jamie Robinson.

Skinners' School - Former England prop forward Colin Smart.

Oudle School - Wasps fly-half Dave Walder.

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Wakefield - Former England captain Mike Harrison and World Cup winner Mike Tindall.

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