Family pride as Alnwick brother and sister head to world's largest school rugby tournament

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Alnwick siblings Orin and Eve Swatton have made their mark on local history by becoming the first brother and sister pair from Dame Allan’s Schools, in Newcastle, to head to the prestigious National School Rugby 7s tournament.

The event, which is held from March 18 at Rosslyn Park, in London, is an English rugby union 7s tournament. Organised by Rosslyn Park F.C, it has evolved into the world's largest school rugby tournament with some 9,500 boys and girls aged 13 – 19 competing annually from over 800 schools.

Orin (15) and Eve (13) both play for their respective school teams at Dame Allan’s, a collection of independent schools based in Fenham. Orin plays flanker for the under-16s squad, whilst Eve plays fly half for the under-14s girls squad - which is making its debut at Rosslyn Park this year.

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The pair, from Alnwick, are happy to be able to support each other through this intensive competition. Orin, who has been playing rugby since the age of 6, said: “I was lucky enough to represent Dame Allan's for the U14s last year at Rosslyn Park reaching the Plate final. Hopefully this year we can go one better when I represent the school again with the U16s team.”

L-R - Orin and Eve Swatton are rugby-ready at Dame Allan's SchoolsL-R - Orin and Eve Swatton are rugby-ready at Dame Allan's Schools
L-R - Orin and Eve Swatton are rugby-ready at Dame Allan's Schools

Eve, who recently took part in a training session with England star Sarah Hunter, added: “I'm so excited to be playing in my first national schools tournament and I'm really proud to represent my school competing against some of the best rugby schools in the country.”

Mr Adam Hay, Head of Rugby at Dame Allan’s Schools said: “This is a renowned rugby tournament that we are honoured to be involved in, and it is made even more special by the inclusion of our first pair of siblings! It’s great to see Orin and Eve share their love of rugby.

We have 4 teams entered into the tournament for the first time as a school; our 1st VII, U16s, U14 Boys and U14 Girls. We are delighted to be attending.”

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Orin and Eve’s parents, Anji and Matthew Swatton, added: “To be able to watch and support both our children playing a game they love at a national festival is a great moment for us as parents. We're really proud of both Orin and Eve and are grateful for all the hard work that has gone into developing Girls Rugby at Dame Allan’s, which has meant that now they both have the opportunity to attend this amazing event.”