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Bristol Rugby debut for Tom

This Sunday (5 February 2017) marked an impressive and proud moment in the recent history of Bristol Grammar School RFC. The whole School community was delighted to witness the incredible and unexpected achievement of BGS Sixth-former and First XV player Tom Rowland, who made his Bristol RFC First XV debut. This was unexpected as, even though Tom was predicted to be at Ashton Gate, this should have simply been as ball-boy, a role he has been in charge of for a number of years. His inclusion in the match day squad, facing West Country rivals Exeter Chiefs, in the Anglo-Welsh Cup was a huge moment for all.

TR5.JPG#asset:737:contentImageTom made his professional debut, coming off the bench after 73 minutes and made an impact – making his tackles and supporting his team mates around the field. After the game Tom said “It was a very surreal experience, words cannot truly describe it – it was an unbelievable feeling running out on to the pitch at Ashton Gate”.TR4.jpg#asset:741:contentImageTom has been an integral member of Bristol Academy’s Player Development Group over the past four seasons. He has made huge progress in his game, following his move from the back-row to loose head prop only two years ago. He has dedicated his time and efforts to learning, competing and bolstering his abilities in this challenging position. He has worked tirelessly to prove himself, driven by success and supported by expert coaching, both at the Academy and at BGS. Tom fully deserves his call up into the Bristol squad and will no doubt take this learning opportunity in his stride. TR2.JPG#asset:739:contentImageAs BGS First XV vice-captain, Tom has had an extremely successful season, with man of the match performances whilst on tour this summer in Australia, New Zealand & Singapore, as well as dominating both the scrum and contact zones throughout our regular season. This has extended into the U18 Academy Premiership, where Tom continues to work hard on areas of his game and gain experience in the sport he loves.

Following in the footsteps of former BGS student and current Bristol Academy coach Sean Marsden, Tom’s sporting goal sees him focussed on the opportunity of representing Bristol in the Aviva Premiership in the near future – this First XV debut certainly sees him well on his way to achieving this.

There were a huge number of supporters in the crowd willing him on, with a big cheer when his name was called out. Without realising it Tom has already started to inspire the next generation of BGS Rugby players and we hope he continues to wear the badge with pride, making the impact we know he is capable of.

For now, it is feet firmly back on the ground with the reality of being back in school lessons hitting home this morning. Tom will finish the U18 Premiership campaign with his peers on Saturday, as Bristol U18 take on Gloucester in their final game of the season.