SHEBBEAR College in Devon is celebrating the achievements of its talented U14 Rugby Sevens squad, who have won the Independent Schools Association (ISA) Rugby Sevens Open Championships and are now national champions.

The team competed in the tournament at St James’ School in Surrey against 12 other schools from across the UK.

They played some intense games, remaining unbeaten throughout and going on to win the cup with style at 40 points to 7.

Team captain, Mitch Sibley, from Bude, said: “This was our first ever Rugby Sevens tournament so we arrived with not much experience and we were playing against schools from all over the country.

“We were the only South West school taking part and at the start we weren’t expecting to win at all.

“The adrenaline was pumping and we were all really excited but we had to stay calm and focused which paid off.

“At the end we were all buzzing and there was lots of singing on the bus journey home!”

Teammate Henry Hassell from Drewsteignton, added: “We always have a positive attitude when we play in fixtures and are quite humble as a team. “We tried not to think too much about the competition and what was coming next, but just stayed focused on the game.

“We took one game at a time, and with each game we gained confidence and got stronger.”

Robin Giles, Head of Sport and Outdoor Education at Shebbear College, said: “The boys played with humility and pride, developing and improving as they progressed through the tournament. 

“Each player made a significant contribution to the team both on and off the pitch, helping their team-mates thrive. 

“As they progressed through the tournament their understanding of the Sevens game improved and the quality of their rugby reflected this.

“I am extremely proud of the way the team performed and I am excited to see how they progress over the next weeks and years.”

Parent, Rob Bonsor, who attended the tournament with the squad said: “Shebbear U14s 7s squad represented the school and themselves with great sportsmanship and respect for the other teams and their hosts.

“What a credit to the college and Shebbear staff they are.

“To go away from home and win a national competition shows the training, skills and camaraderie that this squad has.

“It was an absolute privilege to be there to witness it.

“I am so proud of all the boys.”

The Sevens squad members make up part of the school’s U14 Rugby team, who won the North Devon Cup earlier this year.