The Marlborough College rugby community gathered on Saturday evening to celebrate the 2021 season, with Bath Rugby’s Beno Obano in attendance as guest of honour.
Players, coaches and parents gathered in Norwood Hall to reflect on a successful Michaelmas Term campaign which saw a return to regular rugby fixtures and rules. The evening highlighted a number of impressive performances and contributions from players across the senior teams.
Obano spoke freely about the life of an elite professional, his Six Nations debut and the sacred duty of all props to tuck the ball under the arm and head for contact. He talked about his desire to broaden the appeal of the game and the commitment he is making alongside Anthony Watson to provide opportunities for young people in the sport. He was a highly-amusing and engaging guest who delighted the audience with his insights about life at Bath and with England.
The Bath Rugby prop was joined by teammate Josh Dingley (C1 2016-21), who has made several first team appearances this season after leaving Marlborough less than a year ago.
The evening also offered the rugby club a chance to say ‘thank you’ to former Head of Rugby (2002-06) and XV coach Bill Nicholas, who will leave the College at the end of the Lent Term following 24 years of service. A number of his former captains also returned to say ‘farewell’ and show their appreciation to the outgoing Second Master.
Terry Gilmour, Head of Rugby, commented: “It was great to have families, pupils & beaks together again to celebrate what was a great term of rugby. The evening epitomised the importance of community – something that rugby creates. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a great way for the Upper Sixth boys – led by XV captain Will F – to sign off. I look forward to seeing the boys stay connected with Marlborough rugby in the forthcoming OM matches and on the touchline.”