Since St. Anselm’s was founded in 1933 rugby has been an instrumental part of College life, reflecting strongly the values of fair play and sportsmanship and it has allied itself to the College’s promotion of personal growth and excellence for over 75 years.
Rugby is the main extra-curricular sport at St. Anselm’s with the College participating in one of the most prestigious Saturday morning fixture lists in the country. The Senior rugby consists of a 1st, 2nd and 3rd XV and under 16s XV, whilst Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 have strong A and B teams.
In the 1970s under the careful stewardship of England international Martin Regan, the College rugby began to achieve considerable success and allied to the high level of Cheshire county honours our students achieve, there was a notable first when Dave Norman represented England 16 group in 1980.
In the 1980s and 1990s the College rugby sides continued to achieve national success under both Martin Regan and Joe Green and in 1990 Graham Peberdy represented England 16 Group against Portugal and Spain. This began a rich period of international representation with fifteen players gaining international caps, including Austin Healey who played on two Lions tours, represented England 49 times and won 2 European Cups.
The current PE staff includes ex-professionals Martin O’Keefe who represented England Counties and Simon Mason who played for Ireland and won the European Cup with Ulster in 1999.
Rugby is very much on the up with the 1st and 2nd teams enjoying strong seasons and the Under 16s remaining unbeaten all year at XVs with notable victories over Stoneyhurst College and Merchant Taylors. The Year 7s won the Manchester Grammar invitational tournament to cap a strong season and they have a bright future. Fifteen students from Years 7-10 participate in the St. Anselm’s Rugby Elite Player Programme and once again our players have continued to perform strongly for the Cheshire rugby teams.
The College has a fine history of touring and since the inaugural tour to California and San Francisco in 1980 there have been regular trips to Ireland, Canada, Italy and more recently South Africa. The tour to Calgary and Vancouver in July 2011 was a considerable success in the development of the current 1st XV and included victories against regional and provincial sides. Please click here to read the full story of the Rugby Tour to South Africa in July 2014. Students have just returned from a successful tour of North America in July 2016. A full report of the trip will be published shortly.