Scotland 7s head coach Graham Shiel today (29 June) presented Royal High School with the series trophy for the Edinburgh State School 7s.
The competition, based on the structure of the HSBC Sevens World Series, sees each school compete as a whole, with points allocated to each competing age group each week.
The points are combined at the end of the season to determine the series winner.
It’s the first time that the Royal High has won the competition with wins in three of the five age grade tournaments: S1, S2 and S3. In addition to this they finished 2nd and 6th in the under-18 and under-16 tournaments respectively.
They finished top of the series, nine-points above runners-up and defending champions, Potobello.
Graham Shiel said: “Congratulations to Royal High School on this fantastic achievement and to all of the five age groups who took part in the series.
“Ruaridh Pye and Edinburgh City Council have built a successful tournament which provides a really strong focus for state schools and a competition structure which allows them to develop rugby programmes through the vehicle of sevens.
“It is pleasing from my point of view to see a structure like this being established in Edinburgh which recognises a formal sevens tournament and the benefits and player development that playing rugby sevens brings.”
Some 21 schools took part this year encouraging competition in schools across the city while providing a platform for emerging rugby schools to field teams who would otherwise struggle to produce a full team of twenty-two players in more established school competitions.
Tyncastle High School and Clifton Hall are among the emerging rugby schools that have been extremely competitive and produce tight scores against stronger more established school teams.
Royal High School club development officer, Steven Leckie, said: “We are over the moon to have won this competition. We have tried every year to win the tournament and to have jumped from third last year to first this year is just brilliant.
“It’s really positive seeing the younger guys in S1, S2 and S3 winning as well because it means we can develop their talents in the next few years rather than the older ones who will be leaving.
“Sevens is a brilliant format for working on skills such as running, ball handling and tackling and we have seen fantastic developments in our players.”
Edinburgh development officer, Ruaridh Pye, added: “The Edinburgh State Schools 7s has had another successful year. We are continuing to see dramatic growth in sevens across the city with growing numbers and more emerging schools taking part each year.
“The real positives for me in rugby sevens is the raw talent that is on show throughout the age groups.
“With only seven players on the field at any one time they get far more opportunity to show what they can do and develop key rugby playing attributes such as decision making, one on one tackling, the ability to pass accurately off both hands over a variety of distances and improve their fitness levels.
“Also, it is great to see schools that simply cannot field a 15-a-side team taking part and having an opportunity to compete.
“With sevens being in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2016 Olympics Games in Rio, there are great opportunities within the sport and the beginnings of a pathway that could see some of these youngsters playing in the elite game in the not so distant future.”
Following is the final standings for the 2011 Edinburgh State Schools 7s Series
Position School Points
1 Royal High 76
2 Portobello 67
3 Balerno / Currie 66
4 Trinity 53
5 Boroughmuir 50
6 *Fraugies 35
7 Tynecastle 26
8 Craigmount 25
9 James Gillespies 23
9 Queensferry 23
10 Firrhill 20
11 Dalkeith / St Davids 19
12 Newbattle 17
13 Lasswade 14
13 Penicuick 14
14 Cliftonhall 12
15 Leith 10
15 Gracemount 10
(*Fraugies is the combined name for Forrester and St Augustines)