South East school to make Wembley history
The final is played at Wembley Stadium as the curtain raiser to the Carnegie Challenge Cup Final on August 25.
What is even more remarkable is that this is the boys' first year playing Rugby League, a sport they took up only last September when London Broncos Foundation Development Officer Adam Kyle approached the school.
There are huge opportunities for schools in the Carnegie Champion Schools competition and the success of Howard of Effingham highlights what can be achieved.
They played their first game of Rugby League in the Broncos’ Year 7 Super Cup in the autumn, and carried on their winning run through the regional and national rounds until Wednesday's semi-final in Wakefield against St Cuthbert’s school from St Helens.
The Surrey boys were losing at 10-0 half-time but turned on the style in the second half to run out 20-10 winners and secure their place in history.
Howard of Effingham will face Castleford High School at Wembley in the national final, a school which has enjoyed massive success in the competition over the last few years.
Another Broncos development school, Tiffin of Kingston, were beaten In the Year 8 national semi-final, ending hopes of an all-London double in the finals.
The success of Howard of Effingham and Tiffin schools can be traced back to the decision to widen the scope of the London Broncos Foundation’s development activity in summer 2011.
Broncos Development Manager Andy Fairhurst said: “Last summer we looked at our coach deployment across the region and made a decision to branch out into Guildford and Surrey.
"Adam Kyle was set the task of introducing these areas to Rugby League, and Howard of Effingham were one of the schools he brought into the sport.
“Having two schools from our development programmes in the national semi-finals and the Howard school getting to Wembley is an outstanding achievement. The schools in our programmes get stronger every year, so this is something we hope to see more of.”
Adam Kyle added: "This is an outstanding achievement from Howard of Effingham, considering that prior to September they had never played Rugby League.
“Shane Birkett and the PE staff have embraced the sport and the Wembley appearance is a reward for the commitment and work they’ve put in over the year. I’m sure all of London will be supporting the lads at Wembley, it’s a great event and something they will never forget."
For more information on Carnegie Champion Schools visit: www.therfl.co.uk/championschools