Old Cranbrookian Ruaridh McConnochie

This event is now FREE!

Dear All

As I am sure you are aware,  Old Cranbrookian, Ruaridh McConnochie,  won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, as part of the GB Rugby 7s team – see photo attached.

As well as being educated at Cranbrook, Ruaridh played rugby for Cranbrook Rugby Club, before joining England 7s and then being selected for the Olympics – see http://www.englandrugby.com/england/england-sevens/squads/ruaridh-mcconnochie/

Ruaridh  has kindly agreed to come to Cranbrook on 8th October to take part in the Apple Fair during the day  and then  to participate in a  Q and A session in the Queen’s Hall in Cranbrook from 7 pm.  I very much hope you and your children can join us in the Queens Hall for an evening of celebration, analysis and inspiration.  The format of the evening will be:

6.45 pm:  Drinks and light supper served.

7.30 pm:  Question and Answer session with Ruaridh.  A panel including Alex Presnell (Ruaridh’s former coach at Cranbrook), Steen Mickelborg from Cranbrook Rugby Club, Liz Coleman (Head of Sport, Cranbrook) and the current Cranbrook School First XV Captain will explore Ruaridh’s meteoric rise to Team GB,  how he got there and the lessons learnt.  We will look back at the performance of the GB 7s team, with footage from the matches and an expert analysis from Ruaridh.  The floor will be thrown open to the audience for questions.

8.30 pm:  Further refreshments

Please do come along for what promises to be a fascinating and inspirational  insight into this amazing journey from Cranbrook to Rio.

There will be a pay bar for beer, wine and other refreshments.

This event is organised by the Cranbrook School Parents Association and all proceeds raised will go to the school. Please email Henrietta King on  henky1@btinternet.com or call 07786441090  to reserve tickets.   This is likely to be sold out so please reserve early!

Ruaridh McConnochie profile

Since taking up the game with London Scottish at the age of seven, Ruaridh McConnochie has enjoyed a variety of experiences, including playing for Rangataua Rugby in New Zealand when he was a gap year student at Tauranga Boys College. But nothing compares with his contribution to Team GB winning the silver medal at the Rio Olympics this August. Ruaridh was called into the squad to replace the injured Alex Davis and he ended a terrific maiden sevens campaign in great style.

He had appeared for Nuneaton from 2012-14 and for Hartpury College and spent four years studying Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Gloucestershire. Ruaridh signed for England Sevens for 2015-16 and scored a remarkable debut try against Kenya in his first tournament in Dubai last December. Richard De Carpentier caught a pinpoint restart kick from Tom Mitchell, fed Phil Burgess and Ruaridh popped up to take his pass near the posts.

England Sevens head coach Simon Amor said afterwards: “Ruaridh had one of the best debut tournaments I have ever seen.” He was unable to play in the Cape Town leg of the series the following weekend after being unable to recover from an injury to his lower back. He reappeared in the Wellington event in January and scored his first try on the circuit in the 19-5 pool win over the USA. Ruardith played in his sixth tournament in Hong Kong in April and took his try total to seven overall with one in the 19-0 Plate final victory over the United States. He also played in the Singapore event the following week and took his try total in nine events to nine with two in Paris in May. Earlier that month, he had been included in the 25-strong Great Britain training squad for the Rio Olympics.

Ruaridh was among six students from his university in the Great Britain Students side that won the 6th World University Sevens Championship in São José dos Campos in Brazil in August 2014. He said: “It was an awesome experience. To play in a World Championship is one thing but to come back with a gold medal is an incredible feeling. We obviously expected to do well but gold was far from certain.”

His other representative honours feature England Students and England Counties. He was educated at Yardley Court in Tonbridge, captained the sevens side at Cranbrook School and played for Cranbrook RFC. Ruaridh’s mentors have been Phil Llewellyn, his university and club coach, together with Nick Martin and Alex Presnell at Cranbrook School. He played as a wing until he was 18 before switching to full back.

He was Nuneaton’s player of the season, players’ player and best back for 2012-13 and his favourite ground is Liberty Way, the home of the National Three Midlands club. Ruaridh’s father Rennie played until a back injury at university ended his involvement on the field and his brothers Jamie and Callum have both figured at county level. His top players are Australia’s Stephen Larkham and All Blacks Christian Cullen and Ben Smith.

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