THREE years ago RGS High Wycombe were crowned national U15s champions – now the same group of boys are two games away from adding the U18s title to their impressive list of achievements.
They play Dulwich College in the semi-finals of the NatWest Cup at Saracens’ Allianz Park on Saturday at 2.15pm, with the winners progressing to the final at Twickenham on March 29 against either Durham or Warwick School.
Director of sport Liam Doubler said: “I think the boys have got a really good chance.
“Like in 2011, there are no superstars in the team, but they’re a great bunch of boys and know what it takes to win.”
If RGS can back up their U15s victory it will be the first time in more than two decades that the same squad has won both age groups, and to rewrite history they will have to overcome the defending champions in the last four.
But RGS have an enviable record on the rugby field.
Last year they became the only school in the country to win national titles in both rugby codes and apart from winning in 2011, their U15s also reached the final in 2012.
Doubler believes that experience will be invaluable.
He said: “They’ve experienced what it takes to get to Twickenham, coming through some tough semi-finals.
“The team that holds its nerve and performs on the day will win, and they’ve certainly got the ability and the mental toughness to do it.”
RGS have received good luck messages from around the rugby world.
Below are some examples: Lawrence Dallaglio: “Good luck to you in the NatWest Cup Semi Final. Fight for the inches on the pitch for each other and for the pride of RGSHW.”
All Black Sean Fitzpatrick: “I supported your U15 Cup run in 2011. Your passion, determination and teamwork will be needed again. Work hard for each other and enjoy the challenge.”
John Fletcher, England U18 head coach: “In cup rugby there is no next game – give it everything and support your teammates and have no regrets. I hope the day goes really well.”
Mike Friday, Sky Sports Commentator: “I know you won this national competition at U15s. Focus now on preparing well and putting in a big performance at The NatWest Cup semi-final.”
Will Greenwood: “Play for your jersey and fight for every inch.”
RGSHW Old Boy and broadcaster Nick Heath: “Good luck to RGS, the school where mine and many rugby careers began. Make your own history, leave everything out there and do yourselves proud.”
British Lion Michael Owen: “Focus on the basics and everything else will take care of itself.”
Joe Worsley: “17 years ago I was playing in the Schools Cup...the memory of being knocked out is still crystal clear in my mind. We didn’t play to our potential, the desire to win made us tentative and cautious. Don’t make the same mistake. Step up and have a go. Good luck to you all.”