Rugby at LES

Rugby at Loughborough Grammar School 

John Weitzel  – Archivist

In the middle of the Autumn term in 1948, the very first school XV was formed under the supervision of Harry Bowen. The photo below is of that very first side that played against Barrow Grammar School seventy years ago, losing 3-17, in a disappointing match. So rugby at the school was born and by the Autumn term of 1949 soccer had disappeared and the 1st XV, with 9 of that first side in it, recorded a successful season.

Rugby has been successful ever since and over the intervening 70 years, Loughborough Grammar School has seen the sport progress with the times. There have been two significant events in that time. Firstly, when the 1st XV was invited to Sri Lanka to celebrate their rugby centenary in 1978, as this was to be the first major oversees tour. In 1995 the 1st XV undertook a ‘World Tour’ as part of the quincentenary celebrations and today they undertake a major tour every two years, with South Africa, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Japan being recent destinations. The junior sides also now regularly tour in this country and Ireland.

Secondly, when in 1994 the school sold ‘Ten Acre’ with its 3 muddy pitches – two on a slope – and wooden pavilion and moved to the purpose built playing fields at Quorn, with 6 top quality pitches and an imposing pavilion. This enabled the sport to expand from putting out six sides to the position that today fifteen sides play regularly every Saturday.

Rugby is probably the greatest team game that exists and it was no surprise that ten years ago alumni decided to have a single match to raise funds for the Robbie Anderson Trust and Robbies was born. Since then, just as rugby within the school, Robbies has grown and grown and it was soon clear that Loughborough Rugby Club could no longer support the scale of the venture and just as the School had moved from ‘Ten Acre’ to Quorn, it was obvious that Robbies should do likewise.

The School is once again delighted to be hosting this 10th anniversary and wishes all the players every success, especially the six alumni sides that are playing today.


                                                                  The first ever LGS Rugby team