Rugby legends take centre stage at the Pocklingtonian Sports Dinner

Over 140 members of the Pocklington School community enjoyed a Sports Dinner at the Oaks Golf Club, near Bubwith, on 12 October, with three special guests from the world of international rugby – Rory Underwood MBE, Steve McNamara and Rob Vickerman.

Rory scored a record 49 tries for England (85 caps, 1984-1996) and won 6 caps for the British Lions touring Australia (1989) and New Zealand (1993). He played first class rugby at Leicester Tigers for an unbelievable 14 years and was awarded the MBE in 1992 for his services to rugby. Throughout his rugby career Rory amassed 18 years flying as a pilot in the RAF.

After a 15 year playing career, Steve McNamara became assistant and then head coach for Bradford Bulls. He was appointed head coach of England Rugby League, which culminated in a 2015 test series win over New Zealand. Moving down under, he spent time coaching the Sydney Roosters, the New Zealand Warriors and the New Zealand national team. Steve returned to the Super League and is now head coach at the Catalan Dragons, winners of the 2018 Challenge Cup.

Rob Vickerman is one of England’s Rugby Sevens most successful captains, winning World Series Events in 2008, 2011 and 2013, and reaching the Sevens World Cup Final in 2013. He also played for Leeds Rugby and Newcastle Falcons, making 50 premiership appearances. He is a broadcaster for BT Sport, BBC Radio 5 Live, Sky Sports and World Rugby.

During the evening Rob hosted an entertaining and fascinating Q & A session with Rory and Steve, where they shared with guests their insights into playing rugby at the top level and the challenges, opportunities and successes they have encountered along the way.

David Byas, Director of Sport, Pocklington School said: “Rory, Steve and Rob gave us inspiring insights into the world of rugby and what it is like to play for and lead teams at the very top level of international sport.  Their thoughts fitted in so well with how we approach sport at Pocklington School and mirrored so many of our values.  They were an inspiration to listen to and our guests had a tremendously enjoyable evening.”

The Pocklingtonian Sports Dinner is a biennial event and celebrates the long history of sport at the School.  The inaugural event was in 2016 and featured as its special guest speaker former Yorkshire and England cricket captain Michael Vaughan OBE.