World famous rugby player visits Harrogate school

Rugby player Mike Catt with St John Fisher student Henry Pritchard. (S)
Rugby player Mike Catt with St John Fisher student Henry Pritchard. (S)

Internationally renowned rugby player Mike Catt has been inspiring students at a Harrogate high school.

The former back position player, who played with World Cup squads in England and South Africa, spoke at St John Fisher Catholic High School for a question and answer session.

Students also challenged Mr Catt to bounce a rugby ball into a bin. They all tried it, but only Mr Catt succeeded.

Headteacher Rob Pritchard said: “It was really inspirational for the youngsters, not just talking about sport but also about life.

“The themes that went through all of his talk included discipline and character and how that is important in any walk of life.”

The visit was organised though The Academy - a health club in Harrogate - and Yorkshire Bank.

St John Fisher staff were contacted about the possibility of a question and answer session with Mr Catt, who promptly arrived and spoke about his World Cup experience and what attributes are needed to succeed.

Mr Pritchard added: “Mike said that whatever you do you are going to get disappointments, but if you 
show character and discipline that is what separates the good players and the best 

“That was a really good message for the students who know the value of perseverance.”

Mr Catt also spoke about his partnership with England’s favourite player Jonny Wilkinson, as well as the memorable attempt to tackle Jonah Lomu during the semi-final match against New Zealand.

His England debut came in 1994 against Wales, though he starred the following year before he was selected for the World Cup in South Africa.

Mr Catt also played for the Barbarians, Bath Rugby, British and Irish Lions, and London Irish, and was part of the 2003 England team that won the World Cup in