Berkhamsted Group, Boys, Girls, Sixth Form | 19.04.2023

The Berkhamsted Spotlight podcast: James Rodwell

The Berkhamsted Spotlight podcast: James Rodwell

The latest episode of the school podcast, Berkhamsted Spotlight, features James Rodwell, professional rugby sevens player and Old Berkhamstedian.

Last term we were delighted to welcome James back to Berkhamsted to coach our Senior and Sixth boys in rugby sevens.

James was part of the English national rugby sevens squad from 2008 to 2019 and held the record for the world’s most capped sevens player, having played in the most consecutive tournaments and most tournaments in the World Rugby Sevens Series. He was an Olympic silver medallist in 2016 and won a bronze medal in the 2018 Commonwealth games. After retiring from professional rugby, James became the assistant coach for the men’s and women’s England sevens teams and finished as Head Coach with England Women’s 7’s. His coaching experience at the highest level has been of huge benefit to Berkhamsted pupils.

 Our 1st VII, coached by James, were in action at Rosslyn Park last month.


James was at Berkhamsted between 1991 and 2002 in Fry’s and Hawks House, before leaving to go to Birmingham University. He was a first team rugby player as well as a first team hockey, cricket and fives player.

Reflecting on his rugby career, James commented, “To be successful, you need to be dedicated and work hard to achieve your best performance. Whilst not being the most successful player at school, I continued to try and train hard before it all fell into place during an U16 training match at Chesham Fields, when I had a change of mindset. I decided to go in for a robust tackle, which gave me so much confidence and made me realise that I had potential for the game.”

“It was that moment when I fell in love with the game and continued to improve through training at university and beyond.”

James took the Berkhamsted rugby sevens teams to the Herts County tournament, where the U13s and U16s were victorious, and the Q.E. Barnet tournament, where the U14s were finalists and U16s were plate finalists. The U14s played in Reigate, finishing as runners up in the cup competition. The 1st VII team put on a fantastic performance at the National School Sevens Cup at Rosslyn Park, just losing in the semi-final to eventual winners, Harrow School.

You can listen to the podcast here.

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