The Six Nations squad has been announced and unsurprisingly it’s very posh
They mostly went to Harrow and Millfield
The England squad for the Six Nations has produced a couple of surprises – including the uncapped Ollie Devoto and Josh Beaumont – but not in one key respect: it’s still a very posh gang. Whereas there were 11 players from fee-paying schools in England’s world-beating squad in 2003, there are 21 in this initial list, by our calculation.
There were the fresh faced uncapped newcomers. It certainly looks like manager Eddie Jones wants to increase the speed, not the mention the poshness of the squad. Old Harovian Maro Itoje, Jack Clifford who went to Guildford Grammar, Whitgift’s Elliott Daly, Ollie Devoto from Bryanston and Arnold’s Josh Beaumont – all fee paying schools. Just Sam Hill and Paul Hill came from
Beacon of sporting excellence Millfield was the most represented school, where rugby is just as important as A-levels. Harrow and St. George’s in Harpenden also did well by getting more of their old boys into the six nations squad than anyone else. Some got in through paying full fees, while admittedly others got in on scholarships. We tracked down where the England team went to school.
On the other hand here are the 12 players who didn’t go to a fee-paying schools.
Shockers came in the lack of inclusion of Tom Wood, Geoff Parling, Brad Barritt and Tom Youngs. Fewer were surprised at Whitgift old boy Danny Cipriani being left out. He’s got a bit of a bad reputation, and that’s hard to shake.
Speaking last year at the World Cup, Director of Sport at Oakham school admitted he was unhappy at how rugby had become more for the elite. He said: “My great sadness is that state school sport has gone downhill in the last 20 years. We don’t play any state schools, because they don’t offer the right level or quantity of competition. For lots of state schools, sport just isn’t important.”