As the season ends it’s farewell to many of our U17s
In January 2021 it will be nine year since the SCC’s iconic black and gold rugby shirt was worn by juniors for the very first time. Set up by a handful of players from the adult section who wanted to pass on their love for the game to their children, the SCC Rugby Academy was born. From a handful of kids we now have more than 600 Touch and Rugby players.
Josh Le Grice (as seen on the right above at the SCC Academy 7s, a few years ago!)
Over the last couple of years the Academy has seen many a young boy and girl run on the pitch and leave several years later as accomplished men and women players. Among them is Josh Le Grice who this December completes his junior rugby career with the Academy and moves onto SCC Colts, which officially comes under the banner of the SCC Rugby Section.
Josh is now 17 and joined the Academy aged 9 in 2011. How much does he remember of the early days?
“I think I was probably brought up to play rugby and, if I remember correctly, the very first time I went down to train I was wearing an England rugby shirt. I also remember my very first tour to KL, in those days it was the Saracens 10s which took place on this massive polo field. I remember staying in the hotel and it was a great experience.
I now play back row, in shirt number 6 or 7. When I started I was playing number 10 or 12, but over the years as I have grown and I’ve got more into a specific position, with more of a hands on the ball position. I have definitely improved a lot and I play at a much higher level now. I feel it’s been a good progression and I have definitely improved as a player over the years.
My position is a defensive position, I need to tackle well, lead the defence, carry the ball well, take part in line outs and the scrum – be good at everything really.
Some players who came at the very beginning or a year after I joined are still at the Academy too and it’s really good to have some faces who have been there since the start and some new people too. The U17s are probably a 50/50 mix of locals and expats and I’ve made new friends over the years and got to know the local players who have joined too.
There’s a great progression into the men’s section of SCC so when I have to leave the Academy at the end of this year that’s where I’ll go. Right now I’ve already been training with the men’s group, going down to the SCC twice a week and training there. It’s been really good to get to know them and see what happens after the Academy.
This is my last academic year of school and hopefully I’ll go to university and I really want to play there.
My dad (Rob) has been a head coach for 4 or 5 years. It’s been good and we have struck a good balance, he hasn’t tried to get too involved with what I’m doing and he’s let other coaches sort me out while he has got on with the other players. There’s definitely been no favouritism!
One of the best tries I’ve scored was at the SCC 7s. I scored in the final of our age group’s competition last year (November 2019) and that was such a great experience. It was down on the Padang – it was great to run out on the Padang and I remember hearing the crowd. It was a really good feeling.
I’ll also always remember around two years ago when I was picked to play up year in the (then) U16 team, and we went on tour to KL, that was when the tournament had moved to Epsom College. My team (U16) won the tournament. I can remember our team, just for fun, did some flamenco dance at the hotel that night. That was a really great tour.”
The SCC Rugby Academy is open to all, you don’t have to be a member of the SCC to join. We offer training on Saturday and Sunday: Rugby and Touch U4- U19.
Players who show commitment and talent have the chance to become a Junior Sports Member of the SCC, subject to approval from the Convenor.