Caldicott’s International Rugby Tournament Tackles Controversy

Posted: 14th March 2024

young boy running, playing rugby

Taking place on Saturday 23 March, Caldicott is set to host the country’s leading Rugby 10s event for prep school aged boys, and all are warmly invited to attend.

Taking place on Saturday 23 March, Caldicott is set to host the country’s leading Rugby 10s event for prep school aged boys, and all are warmly invited to attend. Now in its third year, the Caldicott National Schools 10s rugby tournament promises to be a truly spectacular event, as teams come together from all over the UK and as far afield as Kenya and Dubai.

Director of Sport, Matt Hutchings, who also is also a part-time U18 England Counties Rugby Assistant Coach, says: “I spotted a gap in the opportunities available to keen and talented younger rugby players, and a real appetite for top level competition. I believe this event will continue to grow and we all have every ambition here at Caldicott to support this.”

As well as expecting a large crowd on the day to make the most of the food stalls and locally sourced bar, the audience on the livestream (hosted by NextGenXV) in past two years has generated high levels of engagement; the viewership in 2023 saw a 20% increase from the year prior. In 2023 the livestream gained over 50,000 impressions, 500 hours of watch time across 12 different countries (including Hong Kong, Australia, Netherlands, South Africa and France). For rugby fans everywhere, this is a rare opportunity to watch the cream of youth rugby battle it out over 16 pitches set in 40 acres of Buckinghamshire countryside (yet only a 30-minute drive from West London).

Despite the sport being mired in controversy recently, with provocative headlines in the media calling out its risks, Caldicott is unapologetically pro-rugby. Head of Rugby, Gareth Williams, believes that no other sport combines so many benefits for physical and mental health, and for personal growth, such as strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, teamwork, and courage. He says it’s important to acknowledge the risks, but just as there are risks in every sport and in every area of life, the key is education: “It’s our job to mitigate risk through excellence in coaching, and through teaching a pathway to contact rugby that is individualised for every boy.”

The RFU are known to be hugely proactive in combining academia and cutting-edge technology to increase the safety of players, and Caldicott is actively involved in a number of these exciting studies. Rob Owen, a PhD student from Swansea University, is carrying out a national ‘tackle study’, and has been working with Caldicott pupils, among others, to identify and analyse the movement patterns that make you a strategically better and overall safer tackler. Caldicott boys are also soon to be fitted with microchipped mouthguards, a medical innovation still in its infancy, which uses groundbreaking technology to monitor collisions and impacts related to potential concussion incidents and immediately identify players who need to be assessed.

Caldicott are championing rugby, but will Caldicott be Rugby 10s champions? Join us for a day of fun and competition on Saturday 23 March from 10am. RSVP to Lisa Botwright, Director of Communications (, or just turn up on the day; either way, we look forward to seeing you there!

Categories: Caldicott School News