Edwin Doran Celebrates its Golden Jubilee at Rosslyn Park Sevens

Edwin Doran Sports Tours, a cornerstone of school sport heritage since its establishment in 1974, proudly marks its 50th anniversary amidst the exhilarating atmosphere of the Howden Rosslyn Park Sevens. As the leading tour operator in bespoke sports tours worldwide, Edwin Doran continues to embody excellence and commitment to fostering the next generation of sporting talent.

The Howden Rosslyn Park Sevens, a quintessential event in the school rugby calendar, is poised to make history this week from March 18th to 22nd in Southwest London. With a staggering 2,000 fixtures scheduled across 11 categories and 1,039 teams competing, this edition of the tournament stands as the largest in its history. Witnessing an unprecedented surge in participation, the tournament boasts 500 hours of schools rugby sevens, firmly establishing its status as the foremost school rugby event globally.

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Edwin Doran anticipates a thrilling showcase of talent, with over 14,000 young competitors set to grace the pitch, accompanied by an enthusiastic audience of more than 10,000 fans. Notably, the tournament reflects the growing prominence of girls’ rugby, with a remarkable 25% increase in participation year on year and an astounding 52% surge over the past two years.

The 2024 iteration of the Howden Rosslyn Park Sevens promises to be a spectacle like no other, with boys and girls aged 11 to 18 representing more than 520 schools. Renowned for unparalleled expertise and meticulous attention to detail, Edwin Doran assumes the role of the official accommodation provider for the tournament, ensuring seamless arrangements for over 520 schools encompassing both state and independent institutions, as well as numerous overseas participants.

A highlight of the festivities was a captivating Q&A session hosted by the esteemed Sam Warburton, OBE, engaging teachers in the Edwin Doran 50th anniversary camp. Warburton, holds an illustrious record, including stints as the undefeated Lions Test Captain in 2013 and 2017, the youngest-ever rugby World Cup captain with Wales in 2011, and numerous Six Nations titles. Reflecting on the event, Warburton remarked, “School sports events have a special way of bringing people together.  It’s been great to celebrate Edwin Doran’s 50th anniversary and to give pointers to future potential international players.”

Richard Twynam, Managing Director of the Experience Education portfolio which includes Edwin Doran, expressed; “We are proud to celebrate being involved in school sports tours for the past 50 years and our future vision for the next 50 years is to increase inclusion and participation in rugby from the grassroots level up. We will also be evolving our proposition further to capitalise on growth of both multi sport and girls only tours. We have seen the profound impact of school sporting events on children from all walks of life and will continue to strive to make this happen”.

The Howden Rosslyn Park Sevens embodies a rich history dating back to 1939, with a distinguished roster of international rugby luminaries having honed their skills on its hallowed grounds, including Gareth Edwards, Will Carling, Johnny Wilkinson, Lawrence Dallaglio, Connie Powell, and Marcus Smith.

Established in 1974 as ‘Rugby Travel Twickenham’, Edwin Doran Sports Tours began as a niche provider catering to European Rugby enthusiasts. However, a pivotal shift in the mid-1980s saw the company organising extensive school tours worldwide, facilitated by key partnerships with major airlines like Qantas and Laker Airways. This pioneering approach allowed Edwin Doran to break new ground by flying school teams to destinations such as Australia and California, a feat unprecedented in school group travel. As South Africa emerged from international isolation in the 1990s, Edwin Doran seized the opportunity, establishing itself as a leader in arranging tours to the rugby-rich nation. The success of an international Rugby festival at Haileybury cemented South Africa’s status as a focal point for the brand, leading to a surge in British schools seeking tours to the country. Today, Edwin Doran’s presence in South Africa is emblematic of its enduring legacy, underscored by the establishment of a dedicated office in Cape Town.