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Hampton aiming for back to back at the Middlesex 7s

The draw for the 2014 Middlesex 7s at St Benedict’s School on Sunday 9th March has been announced.

Hampton School won the title last year, beating Haileybury 35-5 in the final, and this year both sides are drawn together in Group A, a break in the usual convention for 7s tournaments. Interestingly, the two were also drawn together at last year’s group stage, so a repeat is still on.

It will be more challenging this year though as the competition has increased from 16 to 20 teams, with the old four team groups each gaining a team to make it four 5-team groups.

Joining Haileybury and Hampton are Caterham, UCS, and Wimbledon College. UCS reached the Plate quarter finals last year but neither of the other two sides competed.

Group B also includes a fair few new faces, Antony Watson’s old school, St George’s Weybridge, Norwich School, and John Fisher – who will be among the favourites to lift the trophy after an impressive start to the 7s season.

Joining them are Gunnersbury, who reached the Plate quarter finals last year, and St Benedict’s, who reached the Cup semi finals last year, only to go down 33-7 to the eventual champions, Hampton.

Group C ought to be interesting, both Dulwich College and RGS High Wycombe are drawn in this group. However as they play each other on Saturday afternoon in the NatWest Cup semi final at Allianz Park, it is unlikely that either will be fielding the strongest possible sides at their disposal.

Not that it might that much difference, last year Dulwich College were in the same boat but still managed to win the Plate competition, beating Latymer 40-12 in the final.

In all likelihood though, it will leave Worth, Tiffin, and Bicton College all liking their lips at the prospect of topping the group.

The side that Dulwich swept aside in that Plate final, Latymer Upper, are drawn in Group D, alongside newcomers Harrow, who will automatically be installed as group favourites, Mill Hill, Wallington County Grammar, and London Oratory.

On a busy day of sevens rugby that also includes the Kukri Fylde 7s, the Mount St Mary’s 7s, Reed’s 7s, Oakham 7s, and the South West 7s, this is still definitely a tournament to keep an eye on.

Who do you think will win at the Middlesex 7s, and which of the weekend’s many 7s tournaments do you think is the most competitive? Let us know what you think by commenting below or getting in touch on Twitter via @FifteenRugbyXV

2014 U18 Middlesex 7s Draw

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Caterham

Gunnersbury Catholic School

Bicton College

Harrow

Haileybury College

John Fisher

Dulwich College

Latymer Upper

Hampton

Norwich

RGS High Wycombe

London Oratory

UCS

St Benedict’s, Ealing

Tiffin

Mill Hill

Wimbledon College

St George’s, Weybridge

Worth

Wallington County Grammar

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