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Rugby is played at Canford as a core team sport in the Christmas Term and a 7s programme operates for senior pupils in the Easter term.. The philosophy in coaching all the rugby teams is to encourage the development of fundamental core skills during the games sessions. In addition, there is an emphasis on fostering team spirit through commitment and a positive attitude and these are characteristics that should be present in all Canford rugby teams, from the 1st XV to the U14d team.
At least 12 teams regularly compete against schools drawn from a very competitive fixture list. There are seven full size pitches for matches and practice and use is also made of the sports hall and weights room for both specific individual and team sessions. Guest coaches are often invited to work with the rugby teams and in recent seasons Canford rugby squads have worked with RFU Elite Coaching Director Kevin Bowring, Former Bath, Wasps and now Ospreys skills and defensive coach Brad Davis, Exeter Chiefs players Hayden Thomas & James Scayesbrook. We contribute to the online sports website www.schoolssports.com. Please click on the link to find out more.
Numerous pupils have represented the County, Area, South West division and England at U16 and U18 level and have gone on to play professional rugby after they have left Canford. In recent years players have signed Academy contracts with Bath, London Irish and Wasps or have secured scholarships to some of the leading rugby playing universities. One of our most illustrious Old Canfordian rugby players is Ben Gollings, who currently holds the world record for points scored in the IRB sevens series. Ben is arguably one of the greatest 7's exponents in the world and often returns to Canford to share his knowledge of the game with current pupils.
Heading the coaching team is Director of Rugby Peter Short. He was previously with Exeter Chiefs and also spent six years at Bath where he was part of the winning European Challenge cup squad. Prior to joining Bath, he spent four years with Leicester Tigers, part of the squad winning both the English Premiership and back to back Heineken Cups. Director of Sport, Mark Burley (Ex Moseley, Pontypool, Glamorgan Wanderers) also works directly with Peter overseeing and co-ordinating the coaching of all the teams throughout the School. Mark completed his RFU Level 4 coaching award in 2009 which is the new gold standard for any coaches wishing to work with junior international teams or in professional rugby and is only one of a handful of teachers in the country who have undertaken the course.
Peter Short is about to complete his RFU L4 in the Spring of 2017, leaving Canford with arguably the most well qualified school coaching team in England. Also integral to the rugby coaching team is ex Samoa, Gloucester and Bedford player Junior Paramore who combines his Pacific Island heritage with the significant playing and coaching experience gained whilst living and playing in England