Rugby is a major sport at Mount Kelly and the school fields teams from U8 through to 1st XV, catering for all levels of ability.

All teams play a balanced and competitive fixture list in the Michaelmas term and the school is extremely fortunate to have impressive grounds and facilities. With a well-structured player-centred rugby programme in place based on player development and enjoyment, pupils benefit from four sessions a week which include game and skill based sessions, alongside strength and conditioning and pool recovery sessions.

Mount Kelly has a traditionally strong rugby reputation with teams entering the NatWest Cup with both the Under 15 and 1st XV teams reaching the latter stages of the competition in recent years.  Players also gain honours regionally with Devon, South West, Exeter Chiefs and also nationally; most recently with the Independent Schoolboys Lambs RFC.

In the Lent term, alongside hosting the prestigious Mount Kelly 10s tournament, Rugby 7s is also played, with a number of age groups playing in several tournaments on the 7s circuit across the South West and culminating in the Rosslyn Park National Schools Tournament.

In recent years, teams have also embarked on pre-season tours to Bath and biennial tours to Canada and Holland.

Academy Programme

This is our selected out-of-season training programme for each major sport. These academies enable us to prepare effectively for the season ahead, by improving our pupils’ individual skills as well as creating a team culture in which they are able to learn from one another. Our Heads of Sport lead the sessions at both Junior and Senior level, using contemporary coaching strategies to develop and improve individual core skills. Coaches will also start laying the foundations for what we refer to as ‘The Mount Kelly Way’ – a commonly understood set of principles that will underpin not only our playing strategy, but also our wider sporting ethos. The aim is that all age groups – from the youngest teams at the Prep, to the first teams at the College – will train and play to an established pattern, with a consistent philosophy of coaching and playing.

Mr Palepoi (Pale) Nonu

Mr Palepoi (Pale) Nonu

Head of Rugby, PE

I was born and raised in New Zealand and have played rugby at representative level in different age groups for the Wellington province. I moved to the UK in 2005 and have played at a professional level in the English Championship and in the All Ireland League. I have a first-class honours degree in Sports Performance which I undertook whilst playing at Plymouth Albion RFC. I am a qualified teacher of PE and previously taught at Camborne Science International Academy, Cornwall. Alongside this role I was also Head Coach for Redruth RFC National League Rugby.

I am an experienced and passionate rugby professional and educator, and am extremely interested and enthusiastic in developing individual skills and team performance through coaching and management of players ensuring that core values are paramount. My philosophy is just as much about helping pupils develop as people as it is about developing their sport.