The Sevens season in the North of England truly kicks off on Sunday with the North of England School Sevens, won last year by a strong Sedbergh side who went on to perform well at the National Sevens at Rosslyn Park.
Sedberghâ€™s tournament victory last year came with a 22-12 win over Hymers College in the final, but while Sedbergh look like the favourites to qualify top of Group A, Hymers face some very tricky competition in Group E in the form of Kingâ€™s School, Worcester.
Kingâ€™s Worcester have swept all before them in the world of sevens this season, winning both the Marches 7â€™s and the Christ College, sweeping up the Fifteen Rugby Team of the Month title in the process, and they are firm favourites to add to that string of titles this weekend.
Their bitter rivals, RGS Worcester, who they bear 52-0 in the Marches 7â€™s final, are the firm favourites for Group B. It is revenge in the latter stages that is the main goal for them though.
The pace setters of school rugby in the North this year have been Durham School and Kingâ€™s Macclesfield, both are expected to top their groups this weekend. (Groups D and F).
Barnard Castle have traditionally been one of the strongest schools in the country, let alone the North, they have been a touch off colour this season but remain favourites for Group C, Woodhouse Grove will provide a particularly strong challenge though.
Sherborne make a big trip up from Dorset to Birkenhead (the tournament venues are split between Birkenhead School and St Anselmâ€™s College), they will be hoping to top Group G and make the long journey worthwhile but they face a stiff challenge in the from of RGS Newcastle.
Finally there is Group H, perhaps not a group likely to contain the Cup winner but certainly one of the most delicately poised groups. Any one of Ellemere College, Trent College and Kirkham Grammar School will feel that they have a real chance of topping this pool.
Kukri North of England School Sevens (predictions in bold)
Mount St Maryâ€™s
Wirral Grammar School
Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr
Merchant Taylorsâ€™ School
St Anselmâ€™s College
Woodhouse GroveÂ Â Â School
Adams Grammar School
King Henry VIII, Coventry
The Kingâ€™s School, Worcester
St Ambrose College
The Kingâ€™s School, Macclesfield
Calday Grammar School
Kirkham Grammar School