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British and Irish Lions 2017: Looking at the success of Brynteg Comprehensive School

Wales

UK NEWS / Wales 8 Views comments

Scrum-half Rhys Webb will compete with England's Ben Youngs and Ireland's Conor Murray for a Lions starting place

To the uninitiated it might look like any other secondary school, but Brynteg Comprehensive School produced its eighth British and Irish Lion when Ospreys and Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb was called up on Wednesday.

That does not include multiple Wales internationals across both rugby codes.

Webb's selection continues the fine sporting record of the Bridgend school.

"I used to look at the board and see how many British and Irish Lions were on it," Webb told BBC Scrum V Radio.

Webb joins Jack Matthews, JPR Williams, Gareth Williams, Mike Hall, Rob Howley, Dafydd James and Gavin Henson as Lions to have attended the school.

"I knew some of them because they were in my time but some of them I hadn't really heard of, but you always used to count them. It shows what an immense school and breeding ground for talent it is," Webb continued.

"There's still a good rugby base there and a lot of young talent coming up through the ranks, so it's great."

School pride

Sam Warburton (right) will captain the Lions for the second time

Brynteg is not the only school to celebrate former pupils being called up to Warren Gatland's Lions squad. Wales pair Dan Biggar and Liam Williams both attended Gowerton School in Swansea.

Adam Rosser, head of physical education at Brynteg, says instilling a positive philosophy into the pupils contributes to their success.

"The children have got a good background of what the game is all about and we just tweak it slightly, and encourage them to take part," he told BBC Scrum V Radio.

"We're fully aware that not everybody has got to play rugby union but everybody has got to go to school and when they get to us in September, they know through family of the contribution Brynteg has made."

As well as breeding future talent, Rosser says the school and its students are aware of the impact they, and the wider community, have made.

"We're extremely proud of what the school has done. We know that it's not just the school in isolation. We're supported by the local club game as well," Rosser continued.

"The local clubs in the Bridgend district work their socks off and we're extremely grateful for the contribution that they make."

'No one to hug or high five'

Watch Exeter celebrate Nowell's Lions call-up

Whereas some players have uploaded their joyous reaction to their Lions call-up on social media, Webb says that his own discovery was an experience he went through alone.

"I shot home from training. We had the option to watch it in training but I knew I'd have the house to myself so I put it on pause, gave myself time to have a coffee and a chocolate bar and watched it then," Webb said.

"Then if there was disappointment then I could pout in the house on my own. I made it, so I fist-pumped in the house on my own and give it a big scream. I was over the moon.

"I had no one to hug or high five. Everyone was out and about. Lucky enough my mate called over and we celebrated, and two-and-a-half hours later my mum and dad decided to answer the phone."

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