Rugby at Glenalmond is at the core of the Michaelmas term for the boys.
The spirit and manner in which pupils at Glenalmond approach rugby is central to all that is good about 'Coll'. Glenalmond prides itself on the ethos and conduct of its rugby teams, an often forgotten aspect of the modern rugby world. In an era of 'professionalism', 'rugby academies' and 'winning at all costs' we pride ourselves on providing an outstanding rugby upbringing within the framework of a balanced, all round education.
Player development and a balanced all round rugby education is at the forefront of our approach to rugby. It is obvious that rugby is special to many pupils at Glenalmond. It regularly brings the best out of them and builds on the pride and spirit that undoubtedly exists within the school. It is hoped that, in changing times, this special aspect of life at Glenalmond will never be eroded.
That said, there is no doubt that this is a hugely exciting period for Glenalmond Rugby! There has been a great deal to celebrate in the recent past and much to look forward to in the coming years. We have worked extremely hard over the last few years to put in place a strong rugby framework and we have certainly reaped the rewards of this structure and industry. With the 1st XV winning both the Brewin Dolphin Plate and Shield finals and the U16 A XV playing in the Brewin Dolphin Shield Final and Semi-finals over the last two years, we are certainly well placed. The SRU has launched a new format for schools rugby and we are both pleased and proud to be a part of the top three conference setting, positioned in the Blue Conference with Fettes, High School of Dundee, Loretto, Bell Baxter and Robert Gordon’s. Supplementary to this we still maintain fixtures with Dollar Academy, Edinburgh Academy and George Heriots to name a few. The school is very proud of its position amongst the top table of Scottish schoolboy rugby and will strive to continue to punch well above its weight in the years to come.
Our partnership with Perthshire RFC continues to flourish and we will once again benefit from the coaching expertise of Rory McKay and Andy Cummins throughout the next season. We will also continue to provide boys with the opportunity to play at the club post –Christmas, in order to continue their rugby development. We are also looking to build upon our links with the representative pathways. We have dramatically increased the numbers of boys involved with regional and national rugby over the last two years and will continue to develop positive and strong relationships with the SRU at all levels. This approach has recently seen Tom Galbraith playing a full part in the Scotland U20 Six Nations campaign and both Andrew O’Neill and Kaleem Barreto playing for the Scotland U16’s in the Wellington Festival this year. We are committed to looking in to the feasibility of a Sevens season and will continue to push on and strive to provide an outstanding rugby upbringing within the framework of a balanced, all round education.
Head of Rugby Graham Smith
1st XV coaches Conor Swaile
"I remember when I first arrived at ‘Coll’ and walked up and down the cloister looking at the pictures of the first XVs to see which ones had good records and then trying to find the names of the players that had gone on to play for Scotland. Long before I had any aspirations to play for Scotland I knew I wanted to be up in that cloister as a member of a successful 1st XV.
“When you run out onto Neish’s you are representing everyone at ‘Coll’ and everyone who ever went to ‘Coll’. At the time I remember feeling quite a lot of pressure to perform but a hell of a lot of pride that I’d been chosen to represent ‘Coll’. Even then I knew I was willing to give whatever it would take to help the team win and I was lucky enough to be playing with a lot of really good players who felt the same way.’’
Dougie Hall OG (Matheson’s 92/98)
‘‘Playing for ’Coll’ was one of your key school ambitions. From the first time you heard “Uggi, Uggi, Uggi” reverberating from Mad Wifie’s, you dreamt of being one of the lads in that shed. Being a part of the team gave you pride, prestige, social standing. But more importantly, it gave you the opportunity to challenge yourself, to strive to improve, and through this commitment, to help bind the players together to form the team. And if the team was strong, success would follow and the whole school would hum with it, whatever your sport.’’
Rob Wainwright OG (Skrines 78/83)
‘‘My three sons have enjoyed their rugby immensely at Glenalmond.The College nurtures a strong team spirit and have achieved some excellent results over the last few years. What is equally pleasing to see is the way in which the 1st XV play, which is a fun exciting all inclusive brand of Rugby!’’
‘‘Glenalmond rugby is in great shape! The training sessions are intense and the rugby players throughout the age groups love being a part of what Glenalmond rugby represents. It is a different level and the coaches support you all the way through your Glenalmond rugby career. For me I have come on leaps and bounds, whether it’s the major problems or little technical faults in your individual game, you are helped on every part of your game; that is why we are successful in what we do.’’
Kaleem B, Scotland U19’s, 2016
‘‘Rugby at Glenalmond is all about having fun, making new friends and learning how to be part of a team’’
2nd XV player
‘‘Rugby has not only improved my skills on the field, but it has also taught me how to think under pressure, for example, and because of this I feel that I, as a person am becoming a more confident individual in many aspects of life at Glenalmond.’‘
U15 B team player
“Glenalmond has improved my rugby hugely. It has provided me with a great deal of learning experiences and helped to fast track my development. Training with the senior squads as a junior gave me a great deal of confidence which has really allowed me to push on and force my way in to the 1st XV a year early. This in turn helped greatly in my desire to succeed at a National level and represent my country!’’
Andrew O’N, Scotland U16s, 2015
‘’As parents we have been closely involved with Glenalmond rugby for the past six seasons and have loved every minute of it. The touchlines have always been welcoming and the after match teas reinvigorating. The enthusiasm and commitment of the pupils and staff is inspiring and although there are moments when one’s children seem to discard the instinct for self-preservation it has been a journey that we would not have missed.”