Persistence and Perseverance Pays for Former Pupils

November is always an enthralling time in the International sporting calendar and the eleventh month of 2017 will undoubtedly be one to remember for the Newport High School Community.
At the time of writing, the school is celebrating potentially its first International Rugby Union cap, as Leon Brown has been named to make his debut from the bench in the forthcoming fixture against the Wallabies at a packed Principality Stadium. Having joined our Junior Academy from St Joseph?s High School in 2013, Leon went on to win International Honours, alongside many of his academy peers, at U18 and U20 level. His rise to the senior side, having just turned 21, is viewed by many pundits as nothing short of astounding, bearing in mind he will be packing down in the prop position which is normally the guarded territory of gnarled veterans of the sport.
Another former learner expected to gain Senior International recognition this week is former Taliesin House Captain, Lee Evans. Whilst at Newport High, Lee led a very successful school team to both Town and County honours. He went on to represent Newport County as a youthful (17 years old) but integral part of the team who made the FA Trophy Final at Wembley. Lee has been named in Chris Coleman?s squad to face either France or Panama this weekend. Having missed out on his first cap 3 years ago due to a back injury whilst at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Lee has battled back with all the determination we remember him by to gain this marvellous achievement .
Two older but just as noteworthy former students who have represented Newport High during November on the global stage are Joe Burke and Dalton Grant. It only seems like yesterday when both boys were part of a plucky but losing year 7 team that competed in the inaugural Welsh Rugby League Schools Cup Competition, held at the old Bettws High school site in October 2001. Despite being well beaten by a West Mon team that boasted the considerable Mako Vunipola in the final, a love for the 13 man code of the game was firmly cemented. Both boys? rise through the ranks of this toughest of sports has been one of steely determination, showing the qualities of persistence and perseverance at their best. Having plied their trade on the fringes of the professional game, both Joe and Dalton are now full time sportsmen for Oldham RLFC and London Broncos RLFC respectively. This week, both were selected for the World Cup pool game against Fiji and are in the squad for the next fixture against Ireland; games seen by millions across the globe.
As a school community, we wish all four former pupils every success with their forthcoming fixtures and thank them for the inspiration their hard work and perseverance provides to our current learners.