February is always an interesting month in schoolboy rugby, for many it is the start of the sevens season, whilst for the select few there are still a few fifteen-a-side games to be played out. It is always a tough period in which to judge form.
This month has seen plenty of action though, winners of the January award, Hampton School, have been in action again in the Daily Mail Cup, and take on Dulwich College tomorrow in the semi final, while we have had sevens action galore in the form of the Marches 7â€™s, the Christ College Sevens, the Bryanston Sevens and more.
Despite the intensity of the fixture schedule building up, many schools have also had to contend with losing some of their players to the Under 18 Aviva Premiership, which has been a great success. Others have lost players to the Independent School Lambs XV, who had at one stage been on the shortlist for this monthâ€™s award but it was decided that as they are a representative side they are not eligible.
There have been some excellent performances all round though, Bedford have were in outstanding form to win the Oakham 7â€™s last week, while Hurstpierpoint were in stunning form at the Shiplake 7â€™s, the first tournament of the season, beating a Radley side in the final that have been earning praise all year round.
All four of the Daily Mail Cup semi finalists, Dulwich, Hampton, Northampton School for Boys, and Warwick deserve a special mention; each has performed well throughout February to leave themselves one game away from Twickenham.
In our opinion though, there are three sides who have excelled over the past four weeks.
First, Brighton College, they began the month with a sublime victory over Whitgift at Esher RFC, playing a brand of rugby that even this talented Whitgift side just could not live with.
They have had to deal with the absence of their outstanding back rowerÂ James ChisholmÂ through his commitments to the Harlequins academy at times too, and yet they have still performed well.
With their fifteen-a-side season over, they then travelled down to theÂ Bryanston SevensÂ last weekend where amongst an incredibly strong field they won the tournament, immediately becoming one of the favourites for the National Cup at Rosslyn Park later this term.
SGS Filton College have also been outstanding in the last month. Here at Fifteen Rugby we tend not to focus too much on the AASE league but the form of Filton both in AASE format and in wider school competition has been simply too much to ignore.
A string of quality fifteen-a-side performances were capped off on Wednesday with a 41-19 victory over Truro College in the AASE league, securing themselves a semi final spot at the same time, the first to do so.
They have also contributed a vast amount of players to the Under 18 Aviva Premiership, withÂ Monty ReedÂ andÂ Lucas SlowikÂ particularly impressing. If their fifteen man form was not enough, they have also been displaying their skills on the sevens circuit with both their 1stÂ and 2ndÂ VIIâ€™s performing well at the Marches and Bryanston sevens last week, with their 1stVII competing again this weekend atÂ The Reigate Grammar School Charity Sevens.
The third side is The Kingâ€™s School, Worcester, who have in our opinion been without question the team of the month and as such are Februaryâ€™s Fifteen Rugby Team of the Month.
Their form on the sevens circuit has been quite simply irresistible, they have won every single game they have played, results which have seen them lift both theÂ Marches 7â€™sÂ trophy and the Christ College Sevens, tournaments that were both packed with schoolboy 7â€™s talent.
In George De Cothi they have had perhaps the best performer of the month, his eye for a gap, crisp passing and creativity have all been key, whilst their captain, Andrew Boyce was awarded a contract by the Worcester Warriors this month.
Those two, along with several others, have been in action for Worcester Warriors in the Under 18 Aviva Premiership too, and while their position in the table is not so good, some of their play has been very pleasing on the eye.
Kingâ€™s Worcester are next in action on Sunday in theÂ Kurkri North of England School Sevens, and go into it as strong favourites off the back of their last few tournaments.
Another win there and they will surely be the absolute favourites for both theÂ Rosslyn Park SevensÂ and the March award for Team of the Month!