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Canford Rugby – Beyond the School
The rugby programme at Canford is very much geared towards getting as many pupils expressing themselves and loving the game whilst here, but also carrying on that enjoyment when they leave the school. The life skills that they will have picked up learning the game at school will underpin their future development as individuals and they will also have gained friends for life.
It has been a tough period for rugby in many ways over the last year, so it is particularly pleasing to see those who were seen recently on Higher Park at Canford excelling at the highest levels of rugby in this country and beyond. They are following in the illustrious footsteps of OC’s Ben Gollings (Rugby 7’s World Record Points Scorer) and Steve White-Cooper (England International 2001) and some of those achievements are outlined below:
Arthur Cordwell, Bath
Arthur joined Bath Academy from Canford School as a lifelong Bath fan and worked through the system to make his 1st Team debut against Newcastle in March. He has just finished studying a degree in Physics at Bath University alongside his rugby commitments showing a great ability to balance both whilst achieving a senior squad contract for next season.
Will Butt, Bath
Will began his rugby journey with Bath as a 14 year old progressing through DPP and PDG systems whilst also studying and playing at Canford School. He was co-captain of the school 1st XV and also had the honour of Captaining the U18 Academy side. He further combined studies at Bath University alongside his rugby development giving standout displays for the BUCS team and making appearances for Bath United and 1st XV. This season he has gained further valuable experience on loan at Coventry RFC in their Championship season. He grasped the opportunity with both hands being a standout in the 6 games that he played including scoring a club record for tries in a game (4) v Jersey. Next year as a senior squad member he will be looking for appearances in the Bath 1st XV.
Luke Mehson, Wasps
Luke has just signed a full-time contract at Wasps after a successful trial period at the Club including a loan spell at Nottingham RFC. Luke’s blistering speed was on display scoring with his first touch of the ball on his loan spell.
A successful player at Canford, co-captaining the 1st XV with Will in his Upper Sixth year, making his debut in the 5th form and dazzling from Full-back as a Lower Sixth player. Luke had previously made his Gallagher Premiership debut for Exeter Chiefs against Saracens last season while he was at the University of Exeter. He is another Canfordian who has combined university studying alongside making appearances in the Premiership Rugby 7s and A League.
The 2016/17 year was a particularly strong cohort. Captain of the 2016 vintage was Patrick Regan (pictured below), an all action back rower who chose to pursue his studies in the US at UCLA. Pat has captained the UCLA side over the last few years and now is set to join the burgeoning Major League Rugby (MLR) competition following culmination of his student life via the draft. This will see him locking horns with the likes of Chris Robshaw and Matt Giteau who are among the many internationals now playing in the USA.
Chris McIntosh joined Canford as an Assyrian Scholar in 2016 has gone on to make appearances for Jamaica in their U18 7’s squads at events like the Las Vegas 7’s. He is now a part of the senior Jamaica Men’s 7s squad who will be preparing in 2022 for the World Cup 7s, Hong Kong 7s and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The future of Canford Rugby is also looking strong with a number of players currently training within the Bath Academy pathway across the age groups. This year’s 1st XV Captain Freddie Charles, part of Bath U18’s this year, will look to be the first to follow in the footsteps of those above combining rugby and academic success when he heads to university in September.
We are extremely proud of their achievements and all are a credit to Canford Rugby and the school. We look forward to continuing to follow their rugby journeys and also inviting them back to Canford to keep inspiring the current and future generations.
Canford 1st XV x Sherborne - 2017/18 season
Canford 1st XV v Blundell's - 2017/18 season
Canford 1st XV v Craighouse - 2016/17 season