Rugby is becoming a firm favourite for girls at Oundle. Introduced as a sports option in 2006, it is now played in the Fifth and Sixth Forms. The girls learn the same skills and techniques as the boys, with exactly the same teaching approach.

As with any sport, rugby teaches many softer skills such as creativity, resilience, courage, respect and discipline. Players must learn the ability to approach problems from different angles, stay calm and mentally agile under pressure.

The contact element of the game is new in girls sport, and is challenging for those who are not used to it. But the pure physicality of the sport becomes a mental and physical release, and through tackling, players develop confidence, courage and grit.

The highlight of the sporting calendar at Oundle is the annual Tommy Purbrook charity match, which sees the boys coaching the girls, and large numbers of enthusiastically supporting pupils on the sidelines.

Rugby has also offered opportunities for girls to succeed on pitches away from Oundle. Recent successes include former captain of rugby Honor Murison (Sn 2016), who was picked to play for Oxford at the Varsity Match at Twickenham in December 2018, and current Fourth Form pupil, Lucy Ramskill (N) who has recently been selected for the U15 East Midlands Rugby Squad.

(photo: Declan Lyttle)