The School’s aim is to provide as diverse a range of sporting opportunities as possible so that each boy has the opportunity to enjoy sport at the level of which he is capable and to become equipped with the necessary expertise to continue that sport in later life.
Every RGS boy is encouraged to participate in competitive sport and the School provides fixtures for all standards of sporting ability. The major sports are rugby, hockey and cricket and it is not unusual for the RGS to field over twenty teams on a Saturday, particularly in the rugby season. With the Sports Hall on site and extensive, twenty-acre grounds at Bradstone Brook, the School is well equipped to provide facilities appropriate to high-level performance. Specialist sports coaching, competitive fixture lists, and overseas tours provide a challenging environment for our elite sportsmen – who enjoy notable and regular success at district, county and national level – as well as those who wish to play sport socially. The RGS has also established an enviable reputation in sports including fencing, judo, sailing, shooting and skiing, many of which the boys start on joining the School.
The School sees sport as an integral part of each boy’s development and places great importance on providing opportunities for boys irrespective of their interest. In addition to the major sports, football is offered as an option in the Sixth Form only; there is also a wide variety of other sports available including cross-country, squash, swimming and tennis. Further information is provided below.
The RGS has a strong and proud rugby tradition.
Rugby at the RGS is about both performance and participation in equal measure; the School takes real pride in fielding as many teams as possible on a Saturday as well as looking to improve the performances of those teams on a weekly and yearly basis. In the First, Second and Third Forms, rugby is compulsory for all boys at the School; in these development years, the focus is on nurturing the talent of those boys that have some rugby experience as well as introduce the game to the students that have never played before. Regardless of experience, all boys are encouraged to represent the School in fixtures on Saturdays.
All boys will play rugby in their weekly games session held at the School’s Sports Ground which accommodates five rugby pitches. Those boys that represent the School within a team will also have an after-school practice run by their team coach. For those boys who are not representing the School there will usually be a coaching session on a Saturday morning instead. At Under 15 level, the School takes a 24-man squad on a performance tour to Ireland and all boys who choose rugby for their games option will have the opportunity to go on a Southern Hemisphere Tour in the Sixth Form.
The RGS competes on an extremely tough fixture circuit playing all of the major rugby playing schools in the area. To highlight this fact every game the RGS 1st XV plays in is ranked as a Daily Mail Schools Trophy fixture; the Under 15 and Under 18 sides also represent the School in the annual NatWest Schools Cup. A large number of RGS students play rugby at county level and beyond. Old Guildfordians Jack Clifford and Mark Lambert both play for Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership, with Jack having also captained the England Under 20 side to World Cup glory in 2013.
Hockey at the RGS is thriving and is the major sport for all boys during the Lent Term, as well as being an option for older boys during the Michaelmas Term.
Matches take place on Saturdays, with the School regularly putting out 22 teams from the 1st XI to the Under 12D team. A sport-for-all philosophy is central to the School’s aims as the RGS aims to provide opportunity for any boy who wishes to play hockey. The coaching focus is primarily on the development of the individual (the process) rather than results (the outcome) particularly in the lower school. After-school and games sessions take place throughout the Michaelmas and Lent Terms to help each individual reach their potential.
The School is fortunate to have some outstanding facilities available, with the School’s floodlit, on-site astroturf as well as shared use of Guildford Hockey Club and their two fantastic pitches. The RGS plays on a wonderfully competitive circuit; despite the competitiveness of the circuit, the RGS enjoys enviable success in fixtures, highlighted by the 1st XI winning 20 and drawing just three of their 26 fixtures last year. Notably, the Under 15C team have also lost just once in three years! The Under 15s are current County Champions, while the Under 14 and Under 18s were runners-up in last year’s Surrey Cup competitions. Numerous boys achieve National, Futures Cup, JRPC, JDC and JAC recognition as well as breaking through into senior National League Hockey.
There are currently 23 staff coaching hockey at the RGS with a wealth and variety of hockey experience, including representation at England A level, England U21, National League, England U16 and Oxford and Cambridge Blues. RGS uses the latest technology to assist with the coaching and development of players, with video analysis being used extensively.
In addition to the traditional school fixtures, there is an annual Under 14 tour to Holland or Spain, as well as a bi-annual joint rugby and hockey tour to the Southern Hemisphere for senior boys; 63 boys recently spent 19 days in Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Cricket is the major sport for all boys during the Trinity Term.
With matches taking place both in the morning and afternoon, the School fields up to 15 teams on Saturdays with games taking place at Bradstone Brook and Wonersh Cricket Club. With a newly-refurbished pavilion and magnificently prepared pitches, Bradstone Brook is the perfect location and a wonderful setting to enjoy a day’s cricket on a Saturday. With seven artificial outdoor nets, five indoor nets and a number of artificial and grass practice wickets the School enables the boys to get the most out of the sport. The School benefits from first-rate coaching staff which include former First-Class cricketers, Minor County players and superbly knowledgeable amateurs. Crucially, the enthusiasm for the game is shared across all levels making it an important facet of sport at the RGS.
The 1st XI, 2nd XI and Under 15A teams play in the South London Schools League Competition which comprises seven schools: Hampton School; King’s College School, Wimbledon; Reed’s School; St George’s College, Weybridge; St Paul’s School and Tiffin School. In 2013, both the 1st XI and 2nd XI won their respective leagues. Other fixtures include Cranleigh School, Charterhouse School, Whitgift School, Hurstpierpoint, Portsmouth Grammar School, Reigate Grammar School and the MCC. In addition, the 1st XI takes part in the annual RGS Festival consisting of the other Royal Grammar Schools across the country, and the School has an enviable recent record in this competition, with the latest win in 2015. The School also enters a variety of competitions for other year groups.
In the winter months, all boys train in the indoor nets from January to March in preparation for the forthcoming season. As well as bowling machines and other specialised coaching equipment, coaches use the latest technology to analyse performance. The School regularly goes on tours; the senior trip takes place every two years with the Caribbean, South Africa and Sri Lanka among the destinations.
Football is available in the Sixth Form only and is timetabled around the major sports of hockey and rugby.
RGS football has developed a strong reputation on the schools’ circuit due to the quality and consistency of results, as well as the stylish and technical football on show. Mainly played during the Lent Term, pre-season training also takes place at the end of August in preparation for the National and County Cups. Training sessions are delivered by an FA qualified coach twice a week on the astroturf both at the RGS and at Surrey Sports Park.
The RGS puts out four competitive teams as well as two social teams. Each of the competitive teams has a minimum of 12 fixtures each with both the 1st XI and 2nd XI playing 15 or more matches. The 1st XI enters five knockout competitions: the Independent Schools’ Football Association National Cup; the English Schools’ Football Association National Cup, the Surrey County Cup and, along with the 2nd XI, they play in the Trinity Schools’ Cup and the London and South East England Schools’ Cup.
The 1st XI has averaged a 77% win record over the past four years and has previously reached the semi-finals of both the Trinity Schools' Cup and London and South East England Schools’ Cups. The School has strong links with the Independent Schools Football Association and last year had players representing both the U18 South of England and the U14 England sides.
The RGS offers many other sporting activities; click on the tab for further information.