Very few people can say they have coached at Twickenham, but King’s College Wimbledon’s Director of Sport Russell McCluskey is now part of that exclusive club.
Coaching King’s U15s in their 38-21 Continental Tyres Schools Cup final defeat to Northampton School for Boys, McCluskey joined the likes of Sir Clive Woodward, Martin Johnson, and Eddie Jones in coaching at HQ.
His side may have come out on the wrong side of the scoreline in an incredibly exciting, open game, but McCluskey could not have been more grateful to the squad for their efforts and for his once in a lifetime opportunity.
He said: “It has been an amazing day; we just thanked the boys in the huddle there for giving us a day at Twickenham as teachers.
“When you start your teaching career, you don’t know which path it is going to take you in, and those 20 lads that have been involved have given me at 40 years old a day out at Twickenham coaching, so we cannot thank them enough really, they are a great group of boys.
“I am really, proud of our efforts to keep going in those last 10 or 15 minutes, we did not let our heads go, and we got a try, and probably deserved another one at the end, but that is life isn’t it.
“It is great to be involved again, this is back-to-back years now, we were involved at StoneX last year in the Plate Final with the 1st XV, now we have got the U15s in the Cup, so we are building some momentum and hopefully there are a lot of pupils at the school who are inspired to keep playing rugby.”
As part of Finals Day, girls from Campion School, Northamptonshire, Caroline Chisholm School, Biddenham International School and Sports College and Bedfordshire and Collingwood College, Surrey played their part in XRugby Games on the pitch as part of the Rugby World Cup 2025 Impact Programme, showcasing the progress of girl’s school rugby.
Pete Robb, Marketing Director for Continental Tyres said: “We are proud to be supporting the growth of grassroots rugby with our title sponsorship of the Continental Tyres Schools Cup.
“For school teams to come together at the iconic Twickenham Stadium to play for the coveted Continental Tyres Schools Cup trophy will no doubt whet the appetite of those competing, increase their ambitions for a career in rugby and help to develop the next generation of rugby players.”
The Continental Tyres Schools Cup is an important part of the age-grade rugby landscape in England, with schools’ rugby often where players fall in love with the game for the first time. For more information on how to get involved with Age-Grade rugby visit www.englandrugby.com/agegraderugby Your local rugby club would also love to see you! Findrugby.com