Back row (L-R): D Luxton, A Chikosi, J Feek, J Elphick, J Dancer, H Taylor, R Williams, E Attah, C Brookes. Middle row: L Hopkin, F Brookes, S Smith, N Mann, J Harbourne, J Mahal, J Wrafter, B Edwards. Front row: E Garbett, M Stelling, E Taylor (C), J Mockett, W Harris.

OSH win their first-ever Schools Team of the Month award, fending off challenges from Llandovery College, Clongowes Wood, King’s Worcester and Belfast Methodist.

The Stourbridge state boarding school reached the last four of the Daily Mail-RBS U18 Cup for the second year running and then went one better by clinching a place at Twickenham with a win over local rivals King’s Worcester. OSH began with a walkover and then won seven ties on the trot. Under No 8 Ed Taylor, they showed great conviction. Two of the last three ties were tight affairs when grit, character and coolness under pressure saw them home.

They beat Warwick and Lymm HS by less than a score before repeating an earlier success over King’s (22-14) in the semi-final. Taylor, centre Max Stelling, lock Joe Dancer and flanker Sam Smith were models of consistency, other big contributors being prop Joe Wrafter, flanker Ed Garbett and centre-cum-flanker Josh Feek.

There were England call-ups for Taylor (U19), goalkicker Stelling and Garbett (U18), Wrafter and Feek (U16), but it was the all-round work-rate and willingness of the pack to put their bodies on the line, plus the speed of ball behind the scrum, that took OSH so far.

There were also notable wins over Colston’s (31-8), Millfield (29-15) and Clifton College (38-5).

Check out January’s School team of the Month

This article appeared in the May 2012 issue of Rugby World Magazine.

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