THE RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION (RFU) and the England Rugby Football Schools Union (ERFSU), the national constituent body for schools rugby, are pleased to announce NatWest as the new official title partner of the Schools Cup.
Previously the Daily Mail RBS Schools competition, the historic tournament will be solely sponsored by NatWest from the start of the 2013-14 season to become the NatWest Schools Cup.
It will continue to see 1,000 teams compete across the country every year at Under 15 and Under 18 level for a chance to play at Twickenham and clinch the coveted trophies. This year’s Finals day attracted thousands of supporters to the home of English rugby, with a further 58,000 watching on rfu.com via a live stream.
Commenting on the announcement, RFU Chief Commercial Officer Sophie Goldschmidt said:
“The RFU are delighted to welcome NatWest on board as title partner of the NatWest Schools Cup and are excited about the new opportunities that this partnership will bring. We look forward to further growing the competition.
“We would like to thank the Daily Mail for the role they have played in helping to progress the tournament and for their long and valued support.”
All schools that enter the competition play for a main cup and a vase for teams knocked out in the early rounds, also culminating in a Twickenham final. Dulwich College secured a second consecutive U18 Cup title this season, holding off Northampton School for Boys to lift the trophy on March 23, with Warwick School turning around a 6-0 deficit at half-time to claim the U15 equivalent.
Tim Stirk, ERFSU President added:
"The Schools competition has fast become a pathway for young players up and down the country to play rugby in a competitive environment, testing themselves and their improvement against schools that they would not meet on their usual fixture list. It is also the showcase of the high standards achieved by schools in England.
“You need only glance at the players who have passed through the Schools competition, including Chris Robshaw, Danny Care, Manu Tuilagi and Elliott Daly to see the impact the tournament can have on inspiring those players with aspirations to become professionals. This partnership commitment is another huge step forward for the competition and on behalf of the ERFSU, I am delighted to welcome NatWest.”
Chris Long, Senior Sponsorship Manager at NatWest, commented:
“It’s a fantastic competition and one that all school rugby players across England want to win. Alongside NatWest RugbyForce, a community initiative that has provided support to over 1,000 local rugby clubs since 2009, this partnership further demonstrates our commitment to supporting grassroots rugby in the UK.”