Rugby Union is the priority sport in the Autumn Term at Haberdashers`. The School regularly fields up to 15 teams on a Saturday, meaning that there are over 300 boys playing the game each weekend at school. The development of each player starts in Year 7 when the whole year group learn the basics of the game in small, progressive steps. Those boys who have never played the game before learn within their House group in a safe and fun environment whilst the boys with previous playing experience are identified and form another training group. There is constant movement within these two groups as boys with no previous playing experience are identified as having a particular aptitude for the game. By the end of September, there will be enough players to form the year group rugby squad (known as Game 1). These boys will be representing the school on a Saturday in A and B teams.
Haberdashers` competes on a strong local schools circuit containing the likes of Berkhamsted, St Albans, Tiffin and Merchant Taylors`, alongside the local grammar schools of Watford and QE Barnet. We enter the National Cup Competition (formerly the Daily Mail) at U15 and U18 when appropriate and the County Competitions at U12, U13, U14 and U16. A number of our boys play club rugby and the link between these clubs and the school is welcomed and encouraged. Each year group generally contains players who have earned County representation with some progressing to Divisional level. The School is a named `partner` school of Saracens and the boys benefit from specialist coaching from the Saracens community team on a full time basis during the season.
There are regular mid-week matches for boys who enjoy the game but do not perhaps currently possess the physical acumen or skill level to make it into Game 1. These boys play C and D team matches as part of Game 2. Again, there is movement between the groups, particularly as the boys physically grow and develop at different rates.
In the Sixth form, Haberdashers` will field at least two senior sides every Saturday with the occasional 3rd team match against the bigger rugby playing schools. Again, mid-week fixtures are organised for the equivalent of the Game 2 squad in the form of 3rd and 4th XV matches.
Rugby is also played as part of the Inter- House Sports Competition and all boys are expected to take part. Each House provides two squads of 10 players per age group to compete during the Inter-House Rugby Day- a veritable feast of rugby!
In addition, there are regular organised school trips to The Allianz and Wembley to follow Saracens and the opportunity to play a floodlit match at the home of Saracens at The Allianz stadium at nearby Barnet Copthall.
We believe, here at Haberdashers`, that Rugby Football plays a large role in the development of character, discipline and teamwork within our community and we invest a substantial amount of time and resources into the sport as a result. The boys commit themselves to HABS Rugby in the knowledge that their efforts will provide them with the satisfaction and sense of fun that can be shared and enjoyed for years to come.