19th November 2020 — Sam Pal-Byrne and Alex Gribbon have been selected as part of the London Irish Gold Group U18 Academy, and will participate in the Gallagher Premiership Rugby Academy League in January 2021 if it is able to go ahead.
Alex, who is in year 12 at St Benedict’s, said: “I have come up through the age groups in London Irish since U15 and have had multiple trials but I knew this one was going to be the hardest, with 20-30 players fighting for around 10 places. I trained hard before the trial with multiple strength and conditioning sessions each week complementing my rugby sessions.”
"Understandably, I was very nervous as this had been one of my goals for many years now”, said Sam, a student in Year 13. “However, once I had made my first pass/carry, I established the correct mindset to excel in this opportunity. By the second day I managed to grow in confidence which consequently resulted in my getting selected.”
Myles Stringer, Head of Strength and Conditioning at St Benedict’s, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for both of the boys. Their work ethic and energy in S&C and field sessions have been of the highest order at all times and they both fully deserve this opportunity and recognition.”
The pandemic currently prevents schools from playing fixtures against other schools, but the sporting programme at St Benedict’s continues, with students training and playing sport in year-group bubbles.