Rugby at Mill Hill
Recently, there has been increased awareness and concern about injury rates in the sport, with an emphasis on the effects of concussion. At Mill Hill School our commitment to pupil welfare is paramount; we do all we can to ensure that our pupils get the best coaching to help reduce the risk of dangerous collisions and we provide excellent medical care if a pupil is suspected of having concussion (or indeed any other injury). Our medical staff, who are on site for all home fixtures, run a stringent Graduated Return to Play (GRTP) programme. The rugby staff complete a concussion awareness course annually, as do the rugby playing pupils at ages U15 and U18. Our rugby programme is guided by the RFU progression continuum, which suggests that contact is gradually introduced at U9s and developed through to U18 level. Finally, we are also very fortunate to have strong links with the Drake Foundation, who are at the forefront on research in concussion at the elite level and we will be continuing to seek their advice on current best practise in this field. Whilst we take all reasonable steps to reduce the risks associated with this fantastic game, injuries do, of course, occur. With this in mind, any pupils or parents with particular concerns about the sport, are invited to contact Mr Liffchak (Assistant Director of Sport and Director of Rugby) to discuss the various options which includes a competitive but non-contact version of the game. The touch group is ideal for pupils who are either new to the game or for those who are concerned about the physicality. These two streams allow our boys to fully engage in the sport that that contributes so significantly to ethos and history of the school at a level that they feel comfortable yet challenged. It also allows the Rugby staff to achieve the lofty aim of 100% of our boys representing the school at Rugby.
Mill Hill Rugby strives to provide opportunities for Elite and non-Elite rugby players to develop and reach their potential in tandem with enhancing their enjoyment and passion for the game of rugby union.
Rugby is the major boys game played in the autumn term with sevens being played at the major national tournaments in the spring term. We are especially proud of the number of boys who represent the school, with up to 13 teams taking the field on any weekend. Every Mill Hill boy is given the opportunity to represent the School and have a valuable role in a robust and challenging environment irrespective of his body shape or skill set. Rugby at Mill Hill is used as a vehicle for developing our student’s creativity, awareness, resilience, decision making and self-organisation, whilst allowing boys develop and hone their own leadership skills.
Mill Hill’s success on the rugby fields has been built through an intensive and comprehensive development program. The coaching is delivered by an outstanding coaching setup who have vast amounts of playing and coaching experience at the very highest levels of the game, this is spearheaded by our full time Director of Rugby Mr Liffchak, who has a wealth of experience including playing professional rugby for Saracens and coaching school teams to national success. This is supplemented by state of the art video analysis techniques and complementary strength and conditioning programs to ensure our students are fully equipped to deal with the rigours of rugby.
Our pupils enjoy an amazing array of rugby opportunities. Within the last few seasons pupils have benefitted from coaching sessions conducted by world class players including British Lion, Owen Farrell, Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Jamie George and many others. Through our formal partnership with European Champions Saracens RFC we are able to develop both our players and coaches to ensure we are at the cutting edge of rugby and developing our players to be ready for a future that is rapidly changing.
The 1st XV undertakes a major overseas tour every three years; recent locations have included New Zealand & Argentina, we are currently in the process of organising a Boys Rugby and Girls Hockey tour to Japan during the RWC in 2019.