The Manchester Grammar School will be flying the flag for the north of England after reaching the final of the England Rugby National Schools Cup with a thrilling last-minute 22-21 victory at the weekend.
The school’s under-15s faced Warwick School in the semi-finals at Allianz Park – the home of Saracens – in the competition open to all schools across the country.
Up against a much-fancied Warwick side looking for their fifth final in sixth years, the MGS boys were 21-3 down with 10 minutes to go and looked like going out, but staged an extraordinary comeback.
Tries from Noah Ellis and Haeden Johnson reduced the arrears, and, with just a minute remaining on the clock, scrum-half Tom Archer picked up the ball and sprinted over the line.
Captain Ben Simpson then kept his composure under immense pressure and kicked the winning conversion, booking MGS’s place in the final against Whitgift School on March 14 at Twickenham.
The man-of-the-match was deservedly given to MGS vice-captain Seb Murphy.
Director of Sport at MGS, Mark Walmsley, said: “The boys and coaches were magnificent and deserve all the credit.
“It was a fantastic game of rugby and the boys showed incredible character to overturn an 18-point deficit with ten minutes of the game left.
“It was one of the best comebacks I’ve ever seen from an MGS side and they thoroughly deserve their day at the home of rugby, Twickenham Stadium, later this month.”
Steve Swindells, Director of Rugby at MGS, added: “It has been an incredible journey that the boys have been on this season, and all the coaching staff have been immensely proud of their achievements.
“It will be a fantastic occasion down at Twickenham and the boys will have created a memory that will last a lifetime.”