Andy Mackay insisted Ardingly College could still hold their heads up high despite missing out on the top prize at the 76th Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens.
Mackay and his Ardingly teammates pitted themselves against some of the country’s best when they took to the field for the Festival competition at the world’s largest school Sevens tournament in south west London last week.
Drawn in a group of five, Ardingly made sure to give it their best shot but they were unable to progress to the knockouts after failing to pick up a win in four attempts.
Despite the disappointment however, hooker Mackay admitted it had still been a worthwhile outing at the annual event in the English capital.
“This is our second time here at the Rosslyn Park Sevens, we were here last year as well,” said the 18-year-old.
“We actually had a great Sevens season, we were undefeated, but we only had six games, so we were coming in to Rosslyn Park on ok form and were just looking to enjoy ourselves.
It’s great to pit yourselves against other teams from around the country and to see what level you are atAndy Mackay
“This is the biggest event we play in and we were looking a bit nervous to begin with but we absolutely love it here.
“It’s great to pit yourselves against other teams from around the country and to see what level you are at.”
A total of 650 teams, comprising 7,500 participants aged from 13-18, competed in various different competitions across the week, with the two Open finalists also getting the chance for a rematch at Twickenham during the ninth and final round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
They were also watched closely by England international Mike Brown, the full-back impressed by what the next generation of rugby stars, such as those at Ardingly College, had to offer.
“It’s been great to see the different schools in action and the high standard of rugby that is out there,” he said.
“There are some good kids out there, some very quick players, I remember when I was that age and couldn’t even stretch that quick. It will be good to see if any of them carry on all the way to the top level.
“Rosslyn Park Sevens is massively important to help develop grassroots rugby and help the players down here move forward and hopefully they’ll enjoy their rugby even more so they want to carry on.”
HSBC is proud to sponsor the world’s largest schools rugby tournament. All HSBC’s rugby sponsorships aim to help develop and grow the sport and ensure even more youngsters get involved with rugby.