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Rugby is the core sport in the autumn term for all boys. The aim of The Leys School rugby programme is to create an enjoyable and challenging environment that allows pupils to find their level and develop their skills to the best of their ability. We are particularly proud that a high number of boys take part in the sport and participate at a range of levels on a strong rugby-playing circuit.

At least two teams compete in each age group. Physical mismatches are as far as possible avoided and all can develop their game without size and speed being too much of a factor. Players are monitored carefully, regardless of the team they play in and team selection rewards effort in practices as well as strong performance in matches. Confidence is particularly important, and this is fostered by playing a ‘15 man game’ in which everybody is able to contribute and pupils are encouraged to be decision makers regardless of their position. This ethos has helped the school have success on the domestic circuit and nationally, most notably winning the U15 Daily Mail Vase (2009) and U18 Daily Mail Vase (2012).

Rugby 7s

In the Lent term, senior boys continue with Sevens Rugby through the activities programme, building on and improving both handling and skill levels. The Senior 7s team competes in a number of national seven tournaments and recently made the semi-final of the Rosslyn Park National 7’s (2018). The sevens activities program is opening up to pupils in y9 next year to further develop the strength of players skills and understanding throughout the school.

The Leys And Northampton Saints

The School has strong links with the Northampton Saints Academy. Talented rugby players in the School attend the Player Development Group (PDG) or Development Player Program (DPP) session run by the Northampton Saints Academy. The most exceptional players from the PDG are selected for the Junior Saints Academy (JSA). Training is largely during school holidays; Northampton Saints strength and conditioning coaches come to the school once a week to work with our JSA pupils in the Sixth form.

Local Links

The school enjoys good links with local clubs Cambridge and Shelford and many of our pupils play club rugby when they are not playing at school. The school is proud of its link with Cambridge and Shelford RFC. This link works to improve the standard of rugby in the local area through the promotion of rugby within the school and the local club community.

Rugby Tours

There is a strong tradition of touring abroad with the senior squad undertaking major trips to South Africa (2004), New Zealand (2007), Asia and Australia (2010), South Africa (2015 & 2019). Junior teams will also have the chance for local tours as part of the school’s future tour programme. The U14’s enjoyed a fantastic trip to Belfast (2018).

Rugby offers competition, in a competitive environment skills are tested, and character is honed. Pupils learn about communication and personal organisation through the process of preparing for fixtures and taking part. Matches are also a source of the feedback, which is essential to learning. Learning is in fact at the heart of Leys Rugby and our ultimate aim is to form intelligent and versatile players who continue playing professionally or for fun long after they have left the school.

James Clark
James Clark
Head of Rugby

As Head of Rugby, my philosophy centres around cultivating the individuals before players. We want to create a supportive environment that values each person's unique qualities, both on and off the field. Through a forward-thinking approach, we aim to create a vision for Leys Rugby that prioritises inclusivity, growth, and teamwork.

Full buy-in from players and coaching staff is achieved through a shared commitment to hard work, mutual respect, and a passion for the game. Together, we strive for success not just in rugby skills, but in building character and lasting connections within The Leys community.

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