St Paul’s School were crowned 2013 Powder Byrne Schools Six Nations champions after a two day festival of schools rugby hosted by London Scottish.
St Paul's ran out 15-5 winners over French side Lycee de Borda Dax in the Cup final which took place on the main pitch at the Richmond Athletic Ground, after nine teams had battled through extremely adverse weather conditions over the two-day tournament.
This was the third Powder Byrne Schools Six Nations and the tournament continues to go from strength to strength. This year, the event kicked off on Friday afternoon with schools from England, Scotland, Wales, France and Andorra arriving for the live pool stage draw which was conducted by France legend and London Scottish defence coach Serge Betsen.
After the teams had been drawn into their pools, the action began and the first day's play saw some thrilling rugby played. The standard of play was extremely high, with all competing sides eager to advance to the Cup semi finals stage, which was to be played on the following day. The top two sides from each pool would advance to the semi finals, with all remaining teams entering a Plate round-robin competition.
At the conclusion of the first day's play, all teams were invited to the Deutsche Bank Sportsman's Dinner at Twickenham Stadium, where they enjoyed a pitchside photo beside the hallowed turf and an entertaining evening including a Q&A with guest speaker Jason Leonard.
On the Saturday, in torrential rain, St Paul's played Welsh side Rhydal Penrhos whilst Lycee de Borda Dax faced off against Sherborne School in the two semi finals, whilst the remaining sides battled it out for the Plate.
RGS Guildford ran out eventual winners in the round–robin competition for the Plate trophy, just seeing off the challenge of Scotland’s Fettes College.
Then it was time for the grand final, played on the main pitch in front of the Grandstand at the Athletic Ground. Lycee de Borda Dax were unbeaten throughout the competition and looked in dangerous form but St Paul’s adapted to the wet conditions well and scored three tries to the French side’s one. Despite a strong comeback from Borda, St Paul’s held on to record the win and avenge their defeat in the final of the inaugural Schools Six Nations tournament two years ago.
There was consolation for Borda’s Gaetan Martinez, who was named as the Player of the Tournament. And congratulations must also go to Lycee Comte de Foix, the travelling side from Andorra, who picked up the John Scott Sportsmanship Award at Friday night’s Dinner.
Tournament Ambassador Serge Betsen said: “It was a privilege for me to be invited to take part in the draw for the Powder Byrne Schools 6 Nations tournament. I feel that it’s excellent to get players from different nationalities to come together and play against each other in this fantastic tournament. I was particularly pleased to see teams from France and Andorra travelling to take part and I was proud to see the French school make it all the way to the final!”
Congratulations to all teams who took part in the tournament for a wonderful two days of committed and skilled rugby. Thanks must go to Powder Byrne, the tournament’s main sponsors, for their continued support.
Please visit www.schools6nations.co.uk in the coming days for updated results and video footage from the tournament.