School Rugby 2013/14 Key Dates & Coverage

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Coach Logic

If 2012/13 is anything to go by then the 2013/14 School Rugby season should be an absolute cracker.

Despite what felt like a very long and cold winter, which seemed to see a far higher proportion of matches called off than usual, attractive rugby was the order of choice for most schools, and what a pleasure it was to watch.

Crucially though, youth was at the core of what most teams had to offer, with Lower Sixth players shining across the board and even a few Colts popping into the equation.

Northampton School for Boys perhaps demonstrated this better than anyone in their run to the Daily Mail Cup final with a side that contained just a couple of players who have progressed from the school this year.

Their rise from seemingly nowhere to just inches from the summit of schoolboy rugby was an inspirational and joyous journey to be able to follow, one which we took great pleasure in recounting to our readers and which, with any luck, will inspire other schools to reach new levels of competitiveness this year.

Key Dates

Almost every day this term there is a 1st XV fixture in one school or another throughout the country, with some particularly enticing clashes along the way – RGS Newcastle v Durham at Kingston Park on the 13th September being one particularly enticing early season clash – however there are some particular dates that should be kept in the diary of all school rugby fans.

St Joseph’s Festival – Saturday 19th October to Sunday 20th October

Last year Millfield won this annual tournament with an 8-0 win over John Fisher whilst RGS High Wycombe picked up the Plate tournament.

This year Millfield enter the tournament with just a handful of last years 1st XV still at the school but will, as ever, still be among the favourites. RGS High Wycombe meanwhile has ambitions to go beyond the plate this year, and with a competitive squad and an even more competitive fixture list they should be more than capable.

NatWest Cup – September to March, Round 1 Wednesday 18th September

Dulwich College won the Daily Mail Cup (as it was then) for the second time in a row last year and enter it again this year as one of a number of sides with the opportunity to win it.

A majority of that back to back winning side has now left though and there are suggestions that a tilt at the Rosslyn Park Festival is not out of the question (conventional wisdom says that winning at Rosslyn Park and the NatWest Cup is a near impossible feat), winning is a habit though and with a quality group of players and possibly an even better coaching staff, Dulwich will be expected to go deep into this tournament once again – could they become the first side since the mighty Colston’s of the mid nineties to win three in a row?

Rosslyn Park National School Sevens – 24th to 28th March 2014

In a weather hit Rosslyn Park Sevens last year, which saw the Colts tournament abandoned, Sedbergh took the Open crown with Wellington College taking the Festival title for the third year in a row (and their sixth final in a row, excluding the abandoned tournament in 2008), the two sides then met at Twickenham in the London leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series, with Wellington taking the crown of undisputed national schoolboy sevens champions.

Both sides are again expected to be strong again this year, though of course with such a long period of time before the sevens season starts predicting their relative performances is a tricky business.

Our Coverage

Once again will aim to give you as detailed a reflection as possible from as broad a range of schools as possible throughout the season. With your help we hope to have plenty of match reports, photos and videos coming in each week.

This term alone we are hoping to take in nearly 40 games live, from which we hope to bring you even more written, photographic and video content than last year. In addition we hoping to be adding a few more schools to our roster, details of which will be revealed ahead of the start of the season.

We will have fixtures and results being updated daily on our sidebar, with plenty of competitions, votes and new features to keep you entertained throughout the season.

The Events section in our FanZone tab will also be regularly updated to include details of where our next live coverage will be coming from.

Our Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby) feeds will be full of live info, links and debate daily, whilst our YouTube channel will be regularly updated with video highlights.

Obviously we want you to be able to interact with us as much as possible, be it through tweeting us your results or sending us match reports and photos, or just getting involved with the general debate – our website is for you, so we want to hear from you as much as possible, pupil, parent or coach.

The more that you get involved, the more we will cover your school and feature you and your teammates throughout the site.

In addition to our schools coverage we will of course be keeping you up to date with the best of the pro game, particularly in the wake of the glorious Lions tour, we will have Aviva Premiership news, Heineken Cup news, and bits and pieces from the Pro 12, Top 14 and the Amlin Cup.

Our international coverage will again be a big feature and we hope that our editor will again be bringing our some great live, and slightly offbeat, coverage from Twickenham this season.

With an England squad stacked full of former schoolboy talent it is a great opportunity to see what the future could hold for some of those that we cover each day, it was just a short hop from Whitgift to England for Marland Yarde, or Oakham to England for Alex Goode, or indeed Bromsgrove to England for Ben Foden, and it is a journey that we love to highlight.

It promises to be an exciting season for all, beginning with a couple of enticing pre-season fixtures tomorrow, Ampleforth welcome Eton to Yorkshire, Bromsgrove play Bromsgrove RFC as they wind up their preparations for the season, whilst Millfield play Cardiff Blues U18, a side that could include last year’s star Number 8 Dafi Davies.

 

We hope it proves to be yet another enjoyable season, and look forward to sharing it with you!

To send in match reports & photos, or just to get in touch generally, feel free either to use the contact box at the bottom of the page or to email us at promotions@fifteenrugby.com

 

Alternatively we can be contacted via Twitter and Facebook.

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