Schools rugby: Queen Victoria continue to be influenced by Fijian flair, Watson's return to action with win over rivals

This coming Saturday Fijian flair will be on show at BT Murrayfield when Scotland take on Vern Cotter’s men in the Autumn Nations Series – and rugby at Queen Victoria School is influenced heavily by the exciting style of play associated with the nation.
Rugby at Queen Victoria School is influenced heavily by Fiji.Rugby at Queen Victoria School is influenced heavily by Fiji.
Rugby at Queen Victoria School is influenced heavily by Fiji.

Since 1908, Queen Victoria in Dunblane has been looking after the children of UK Armed Forces personnel. Youngsters from Army, Navy and RAF families board at the school and, because of the close links with The Royal Scots Borderers (1 SCOTS), there are a number of pupils with Fijian heritage at Queen Victoria.

Five such pupils are currently in the first XV rugby squad and two of them – Theo Natiri and Sam Lewini – were part of the Glasgow Warriors under-18 squad, along with their school mate Euan Lee, that defeated the Ealing Trailfinders at Scotstoun last week.

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In March, the school’s under-16 and under-18 teams were both involved in Scottish Schools event finals at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh. The under-16s defeated North Berwick High School 33-17 in their Shield final while the older age group lost out to Loretto School in their Shield final. From the latter team, Amena Caqusau went on to play for Scotland under-18 in the Six Nations Festival in France in April and he and fellow summer school leaver Aminio Bogidrau are now regularly performing for GHA in the Tennent’s Premiership.

Teacher Duncan Mclay from the school said: “I have been working here for 25 years now and about 12 or 13 years ago we started to get more pupils with Fijian heritage starting to attend. Since then, a number of those pupils have brought their talents to the rugby field and it has been brilliant to watch. We have many cultures here at the school and seeing the boys with Fijian backgrounds coming together with Scottish boys, those with Nepalese heritage and others to form rugby teams has been excellent and hugely rewarding. They learn about each other’s cultures off the field and have great friendships and respect while on the field they have a great team spirit and really play for each other.

“It was a very proud day for the school to have two squads of boys playing on Scottish Schools finals day back in March while we have been watching the progress of Amena and Aminio with great interest and Theo and Sam loved getting the chance to play at Scotstoun recently. We are quite a small school in terms of numbers, but when the boys come together in squads they punch above their weight against bigger schools. And this Saturday a number of the boys are heading to Edinburgh to watch the international match, so that’ll be a great occasion.”

Meanwhile, the Inspiresport boy’s National One Schools Conference at under-18 level returned on Saturday after the half-term break George Watson’s College made it four wins from four with a 28-14 away win at Edinburgh Academy. Henry Teall, Matthew Cingel (2) and Joshua Loukes scored Watson’s tries with Jack Brown converting them all. Ollie Duncan and Charlie Lamond scored the Academy’s tries, Thomas Whyte converting both.

Merchiston Castle and Dollar Academy are due to meet on Tuesday afternoon, while some of the best recent school leavers will be involved at 3pm when the under-19 1872 Cup game between Glasgow and Edinburgh Rugby takes place at Scotstoun.

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