The Best Rugby Schools in England: Tradition, Excellence, and Star Players

England boasts some of the finest rugby schools in the world, renowned for their deep-rooted traditions, high standards of coaching, and production of elite players. Here, we explore the best rugby schools in England, delving into what makes them stand out, their rugby achievements, and the famous players they have produced.

History - Rugby School

1. Rugby School, Rugby

Rugby Tradition: As the birthplace of the game, Rugby School’s rugby tradition is legendary. The school has a profound connection to the sport, having given it its name and some of its foundational rules.

What Makes Them Good at Rugby: Rugby School benefits from excellent facilities, experienced coaching staff, and a curriculum that emphasizes physical education and sport. The school nurtures talent from a young age and instills a strong sense of discipline and teamwork.

Rugby Achievements: Rugby School consistently competes at a high level in national school tournaments. Their teams are known for their technical skills and tactical awareness.

Best Players: Tom Curry, a standout England international, honed his skills at Rugby School. His success at the highest levels of the game is a testament to the school’s quality coaching and player development.

2. Millfield School, Somerset

Rugby Tradition: Millfield has a long-standing reputation for sporting excellence, with rugby being one of its flagship sports. The school attracts talented athletes from around the world.

What Makes Them Good at Rugby: Millfield’s success in rugby is attributed to its world-class facilities, including multiple pitches and state-of-the-art training centers. The school employs top-level coaches who focus on developing players’ skills and fitness comprehensively.

Rugby Achievements: Millfield frequently dominates national school rugby competitions and has a strong record in the prestigious Rosslyn Park Sevens tournament.

Best Players: Chris Robshaw, former England captain, and Jonathan Joseph, a regular in the England backline, are among the notable rugby alumni from Millfield School.

3. Sedbergh School, Cumbria

Rugby Tradition: Sedbergh School has a rich rugby tradition dating back over a century. The school is renowned for its rigorous approach to the sport, combining academic excellence with a strong rugby program.

What Makes Them Good at Rugby: The school’s emphasis on fitness, discipline, and a structured playing style contributes to its rugby prowess. Sedbergh’s rural location allows for extensive outdoor training, fostering physical toughness and team cohesion.

Rugby Achievements: Sedbergh has won numerous national titles, including the NatWest Schools Cup. Their teams are known for their formidable defense and aggressive play.

Best Players: Will Carling, a former England captain, and John Spencer, a British and Irish Lion, both attended Sedbergh School, underlining its reputation for producing top-tier rugby talent.

4. Wellington College, Berkshire

Rugby Tradition: Wellington College has a storied rugby tradition, with a strong emphasis on excellence both on and off the field. The school fosters a culture of sportsmanship and leadership.

What Makes Them Good at Rugby: The school offers exceptional coaching, with a focus on developing well-rounded athletes. Wellington College’s comprehensive rugby program includes strength and conditioning, skill development, and tactical education.

Rugby Achievements: Wellington College regularly competes in and wins major school rugby competitions. They are also known for their success in the Rosslyn Park Sevens.

Best Players: James Haskell, a dynamic back-row player who earned numerous caps for England, is a product of Wellington College’s rugby program.

5. Dulwich College, London

Rugby Tradition: Dulwich College has a proud rugby tradition, with a strong emphasis on developing young talent. The school has been a force in schoolboy rugby for decades.

What Makes Them Good at Rugby: Dulwich College’s success is built on a robust coaching system, excellent facilities, and a culture of high expectations. The school places a strong emphasis on teamwork and strategic play.

Rugby Achievements: Dulwich College has won multiple NatWest Schools Cup titles, showcasing their dominance in national competitions.

Best Players: Andrew Sheridan, known for his strength and powerful scrummaging, and Nick Easter, a versatile back-row forward, are among Dulwich College’s distinguished rugby alumni.

6. Whitgift School, Croydon

Rugby Tradition: Whitgift School has a well-established rugby tradition, known for producing skillful and physically adept players. The school has a competitive rugby program that attracts top talent.

What Makes Them Good at Rugby: Whitgift’s rugby program emphasizes technical proficiency, fitness, and mental toughness. The school’s facilities and coaching staff are among the best in the country.

Rugby Achievements: Whitgift has claimed multiple national titles, including victories in the NatWest Schools Cup. Their teams are known for their flair and attacking prowess.

Best Players: Elliot Daly, a versatile back who has played for England and the British and Irish Lions, developed his rugby skills at Whitgift School.

7. Barnard Castle School, County Durham

Rugby Tradition: Barnard Castle School has a strong rugby heritage, known for producing tough and competitive players. The school’s rugby program is highly respected in the rugby community.

What Makes Them Good at Rugby: The school’s success is driven by dedicated coaching, excellent facilities, and a focus on developing players’ physical and tactical skills from a young age.

Rugby Achievements: Barnard Castle School has a history of success in regional and national competitions, often competing at the highest levels of schoolboy rugby.

Best Players: Rob Andrew, a former England fly-half and influential figure in English rugby administration, is one of the school’s most notable rugby alumni.


The best rugby schools in England are distinguished by their rich traditions, outstanding coaching, and impressive achievements. These schools not only produce elite players who go on to excel at the highest levels of the sport but also instill values of discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Whether through their state-of-the-art facilities or their commitment to developing well-rounded athletes, these institutions continue to play a crucial role in the development of rugby talent in England.

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