St Peter's have a point to prove

Last updated at 11:19 04 April 2006

St Peter's Sixth Form College have played an influential role in helping nurture the talents of Gloucester and England stars Adam Eustace, Ryan Lamb, Marcel Garvey, Brad Davies and Jack Adams.

But surprisingly the Catholic comprehensive school are still to leave their stamp on England's top schools rugby competition: The Daily Mail U18 Cup.

Next Wednesday, however, they will have their chance with Dave Pointon's side finally making the Twickenham showdown following a 27-9 victory over John Cleveland College in the March semi-finals. And one old boy in particular will be keeping a close eye on their progress.

Ryan Lamb, the Gloucester and England Under 21 scrum-half, is one of several St Peter's boys who have had to endure the miseries of defeat in the competition.

And considering St Peter's have contested four semi-finals and nine quarter-finals that is a lot of misery to endure.

Lamb playedin the 2003 semi-final defeat to Barnard Castle School.

Lamb said: "It's a massive achievement for my old school to reach the finals of the Daily Mail Under 18 Cup and an achievement truly deserved.

"For many years they have been at the very forefront of the competition, but have never managed to actually get to Twickenham so I am delighted for Dave Pointon and his side.

"St Peter's helped me develop my rugby tremendously and I am sure that their experiences in this competition, as well as the chance to play at a stadium like Twickenham, will give the players a great lift as they too look to grow as players.

"Durham will be tough opposition for St Peter's. All teams that get this far in the Daily Mail competition are, but I'm confident that St Peter's can enjoy this once in a life-time experience and come out on top.

"I'll certainly be looking out for the result and I wish them all the best."

Head of rugby at the school, Pointon, is equally bullish about his side's chances of a successful end of the season finale. His optimism is not too surprising considering nearly every member of the squad has played county rugby.

"Four players - Mark Davies (brother of Gloucester's Brad Davies), Joe Williams, Ryan Burford and Danny Pointon - have also represented England Under 18s this season. Danny Pointon is also the captain of the England Under 18s Home Unions side.

Pointon said: "I always thought this team was capable of reaching the final. They have got better and better as the season has gone on.

"Early on, we didn't field our full team and we also made some positional changes to strengthen the whole squad but since Christmas we have been really stepping on it and produced some impressive performances.

"The feeling in the school is fabulous. All the children have high expectations and for some of our boys this could be the biggest crowd they ever play in front of and to play at Twickenham is another massive milestone for them."

St Peter's opposition for Daily Mail Cup honours will be Durham School, who booked their place in the final after a tense 20-20 draw against Berkshire's Wellington College at Castlecroft.

Durham went through 3-2 on the try ruling.

Pointon added: "Durham are a very good side. They are well drilled, excellent in defence, well organised and strong in certain areas. However, I think we can beat them if we are allowed to play the way we want.

"Durham probably won't want to hear this but we will put out our strongest squad of the season on Wednesday.

"We have two players coming back from injury, who will be on the bench, and our second-row who was injured in the semi-final will be fit. We are in the best possible shape for this end of season finale. Gloucester RFC have also been very supportive.

"They are obviously behind us all the way and we have had a training session with the Gloucester Academy.

"The number of well wishers we have had is lovely. Some many people seem genuinely pleased we are in the final and want us to win. It is great to have their support and we certainly have no intention of disappointing them."

St Peter's VI Form College's road to Twickenham:

Round 1: Bye

Round 2: Bye

Round 3: St Peter's 22 Chosen Hill 7

Round 4: St Peter's 31 Sir Thomas Rich?s GS 6

Round 5: St Peter's 25 Queen Elizabeth Hospital School, Bristol 10

Round 6: RGS, High Wycombe 8 St Peter's 23

Quarter-finals: Campion, Hornchurch 5 St Peter's 11

Semi-finals: St Peter's 27 John Cleveland, Hinckley 9

Finals Day fixtures

Daily Mail Under-15 Vase final: Langley Park v John Cleveland College ( 11am )

Daily Mail Under-15 Cup final: Bedford v QEGS Wakefield ( 12.15pm )

Daily Mail Under-18 Vase final: London Leisure College v Lymm HS ( 2pm )

Daily Mail Under-18 Cup final: Durham v St Peter's VI Form Centre, Gloucester ( 3.30pm )

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now