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Draw for the 2014/15 NatWest Schools Cup creates some exciting potential winners

The draw for the 2014/15 NatWest Schools Cup has been made, presenting some very interesting early season fixtures for school rugby fans to get the teeth stuck into.

The champions, Dulwich College, who have won the last three editions of the competition, begin their campaign with a bye before a likely third round tie (the competition begins at the second round) against Ravens Wood.

London & South East

They are in the London & South East B section of the draw, and the eye there is immediately drawn to a potential 5th round tie between the champions and nearby neighbours and schoolboy heavyweights, John Fisher.

Both sides paths to that point look reasonably straightforward, though John Fisher do not have the luxury of an opening round bye, they face a tricky away game against Glyn.

As with last year though, Dulwich do find themselves in the easier of the two London & South East draws. Over in the ‘A’ section the competition looks loaded with danger, with St Joseph’s College, KCS Wimbledon, St Benedict’s, and the former back to back champions Whitgift all there, as well as a number of other top schools.

Last year’s surprise U15 package, Graveney, are also in London & South East A and their opening clash against St Olave’s will be one of the more exciting early games.

One of the shocks of the competition last year was Campion’s victory over St Joseph’s, that could repeat itself in round 5 should both teams make it there. Another likely clash in that section is KCS Wimbledon v Wimbledon College in round 4, followed by a probable tie with St Benedict’s in round 5. The winner of that will probably face Whitgift in round 6. Another to look out for though is Worth v City of London Freemen’s in round 3, these two evenly matched sides should put on a good show.

North

As early matches go, none is more likely to produce top quality rugby from both sides that King’s Macclesfield v Stockport Grammar School on the opening day in the North A section. The winner of that will be among the favourites to progress from the section so the pressure is really on.

The winner will probably play either St Ambrose College or Wilmslow High School in the next round, and looking further ahead, will face a round 6 tie with our favourites for the section, Stonyhurst College. In the bottom half, St Peter’s York, and Giggleswick will fancy their chances.

In North B, Rydal Penrhos v Calday Grange, St Anselm’s College v Liverpool College, and Altrincham GS v Audenshaw all look like exciting second round encounters, but this section looks as though it is the 2013/14 quarter finalists, Lymm High School, to lose.

That said, they will probably also have to get past either Manchester Grammar School or Ampleforth early on, while in the top half of the draw Hymers College and Crossley Heath both pose a threat.

Unfortunately though the North section is not quite as strong as it has been in the past, with some major names missing. The great giants of the North, Sedbergh, have long been absent but this year the likes of 2013/14 semi finalists Durham, 2013 Daily Mail trophy champions Woodhouse Grove, and two time Schools Cup finalists, RGS Newcastle, are all absent too.

That is likely to be because of the new 32 team RFU Champions Trophy, which runs through the first term of the new school year and is for one term rugby schools. As it runs in parallel to the NatWest Schools Cup, teams will not be able to enter both.

RGS Newcastle have already publicly confirmed their place in the competition and the others seem likely to join them.

Midlands

It looks as though there is a similar case in the Midlands where the two giants of Rutland, Uppingham and the two time champions Oakham are also both absent and are unlikely to have both simply chosen not to compete at all.

It has barely weakened the Midlands section though, particularly not the Midlands A draw, which looks like one of the most competitive of the entire competition.

Midlands A contains, Bromsgrove, Solihull, Stamford, who have not lost for three years at home, and last year’s finalists and U15 champions, Warwick.

Even more intriguing is the way the draw has fallen. Bromsgrove and Solihull will almost certainly face each other in round 4 before they will surely then be scheduled to face Warwick in round five.

Warwick are probably the favourites for this section given their recent track record, however should they escape that fifth round tie, they will still have the not inconsiderable task of having to beat Stamford in the final round before the quarter final redraw.

Midlands B is unsurprisingly slightly less strong given the strength of the A section, however there are still some top quality sides ready to lay down a big challenge.

Oundle might fancy their chances of progressing to the redraw this year, they are certainly in the right half of the draw for the job. Their main challengers are likely to be last year’s surprise packages, The Perse, and the winner of the exciting looking third round clash between last year’s Vase champions Trent College and champions in the Manu Tuilagi era, John Cleveland College.

The bottom half of the draw looks set to be an almighty clash focusing on the West Midlands, with King’s Worcester v Old Swinford Hospital and RGS Worcester v Adams Grammar School looking like a couple of probable fifth round fixtures, with the winner of each taking each other on in the sixth round. That is certainly a couple of weeks to keep the eyes focused on that particular corner of the country.

South West

For all of the strength of the Midlands section this year, the South West looks like in contains some of the real heavyweights of the competition.

Hampton have, somehow, been moved from the London & South East section of the draw to the South West section of draw and have been placed in South West B.

Having been drawn in the toughest possible section last year before facing a nasty quarter final against RGS High Wycombe, life has not got any easier for the former school of the England U20 star Alex Lundberg.

If all goes to plan for Hampton, they will play Bishop Wordsworth’s in the fifth round after a fourth round tie with Pangbourne College, before they are handed a 6th round tie against that same side that dashed their dreams last year – RGS High Wycombe.

RGS’ first game is already known as both they and Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School have second round byes, meaning that we know they will play each other in the third round.

Up in the top half of the section is one of the most exciting second round ties of the entire competition as Welsh school Monmouth face Wycliffe College. How Monmouth fare there will give a huge indication for the rest of the section as they are in the same quarter of the draw as the excellent Sir Thomas Rich’s and Stowe schools.

Those two will almost certainly face each other in the fourth round, surely one of the toughest fourth round ties of the competition. Later threats could emerge from the likes of Portsmouth Grammar School, but the suspicion is that this group will come down to a round 7 game between the winner of Sir Thomas Rich’s v Stowe and RGS High Wycombe v Hampton.

South West A unfortunately looks as though it might have suffered a little from the new RFU Champions Trophy. Marlborough College have confirmed their participation but it is likely that there will be plenty of others from the region in that competition.

That said, Sherborne’s eyes will light up when they look at the draw. Their section is littered with byes and as such they know that their third round tie is away against Poole Grammar School before a fourth round tie against either Richard Huish or Kings of Wessex. NatWest Vase runners up Exeter College pose probably the biggest threat in the Sherborne half of the draw, though the likes of Downside can also play their part.

In the top half St Peter’s Gloucester will see this as a real opportunity to return to their former title winning glory of 2006, while Jonny Wilkinson’s old school, Lord Wandsworth College might also sense an opportunity.

The truth is thought that, assuming past from, this section of the draw is surely Sherborne’s to lose.

Favourites

That is exactly what Cup rugby is all about though. There may be favourites but on any given day, any side can be beaten. Confidence at this stage counts for nothing.

That said, it is always fun to pick your favourites ahead of the tournament. Picking them is notoriously tough at this stage; such are the number of variables in schoolboy rugby given the huge turnover of players between years.

However, here are our favourites for each section, plus a quick reason why:

North A – Stonyhurst College – Dark horses last year, the north is shorn of a few challengers this. A real opportunity for them.

North B – Lymm High School – Quarter finalists last year with their lower 6th providing the real impetus. A year older and wiser this year, they will look to take advantage.

Midlands A – Warwick – A really strong section but Warwick success at both U18 & U15 in the last two years proves the depth of resources they now have. It will not be easy but they just edge it, particularly as Stamford will be away.

Midlands B – Oundle – Lots of decent sides in here but we just have a slight feeling that Oundle might fancy it. Don’t be surprised to see one of the 4 big guns in the bottom half charge through though.

London & South East A – Whitgift – Tougher of the two London groups but not as bad as last year. Whitgift love this competition and are just our favourites in this group.

London & South East B – Dulwich College – This will all come down to Dulwich v John Fisher but with 3 championships under their belt, we’ll back Dulwich’s tournament know how. Harder than last year.

South West A – Sherborne – This is Sherborne’s to lose, that brings its own pressure though.

South West B – RGS High Wycombe – Very tough group to call. Sir Thomas Rich’s, Stowe, Hampton, and possibly Monmouth could all challenge. Absolute belter.

Who are your favourites for each section and the competition as a whole? Let us know via @FifteenRugbyXV or via the comment box below.

2014/15 U18 NatWest Schools Cup Draw

(Offical links: U18 draw, U15 draw)

2014/15 U18 NatWest School Cup Draw – North A

Round 2

Round 3

Rd 4

Rd 5

Rd 6

Rd 7

QEGS Ashbourne v Sale Grammar School

 

 

 

 

 

King’s School, Macclesfield v Stockport GS

St Ambrose College v Fallibroome Academy

v Wilsmslow High

Wilmslow High School v BYE Wilmslow High

Ermysted’s GS v St Adian’s C of E HS

 

 

Ripon Grammar v Settle College

St Bees v Austin Friars St Monica’s

 

West Lakes Academy v Trinity School

Cockermouth School v QEGS Penrith

v Emmanuel College

 

 

Emmanuel College v BYE

Yarm School v BYE 

Yarm v Carmel College

Carmel College v BYE 

Queen Elizabeth 6th form College v BYE

Queen Elizabeth 6th form College v East Durham College

 

East Durham College v BYE 

Stonyhurst College v BYE 

Stonyhurst College v

Bolton School v Rossall School

Keswick School v BYE 

Keswick v Hutton GS

 

 

 

Hutton Grammar School v BYE

Giggleswick School v BYE 

Giggleswick v

Bingley GS v Horsforth School

St Peter’s School, York v BYE 

St Peter’s, York v

 

Ilkley Grammar School v Rossett

Prince Henry’s Grammar School v BYE

Prince Henry’s v Ripley St Thomas

Ripley St Thomas C of E Academy v BYE

Newcastle School for Boys v St Cuthbert’s Catholic HS

v King’s Priory School

 

 

King’s Priory School, Tynemouth v BYE

St Thomas More Catholic School v BYE

St Thomas More v Gateshead College

Gateshead College v BYE Gateshead

St John’s Catholic Sch & 6th form College v Ponteland HS

v King Edward v VI, Morpeth

 

King Edward VI, Morpeth v BYE

Bede Academy v BYE

Bede Academy v

Dame Allan’s School v Duchess’s CHS

2014/15 U18 NatWest School Cup Draw – North B

Round 2

Round 3

Rd 4

Rd 5

Rd 6

Rd 7

King Edward VII School, Sheffield v Wath Comp

v Wolfreton

 

 

 

 

Wolfreton School v BYE 

St Joseph’s College, Stoke on Trent v BYE

St Joseph’s College v Wirral GS

Wirral Grammar School v BYE

Tadcaster Grammar v Harrogate Grammar

 

 

Pocklington School v Scarborough College

Malton & Norton Rugby Academy v BYE

Malton & Norton v Bishop Burton

Bishop Burton College v BYE 

Hymers College v BYE 

Hymers College v Silcoates

 

 

Silcoates School v BYE 

South Hunsley School & 6th form College v BYE

South Hunsley v John Leggott

John Leggott College v BYE 

AKS Arnold v BYE 

AKS Arnold v Thomas Rotherham

 

Thomas Rotherham School v BYE

Crossley Heath School v BYE 

Crossley Heath v Runshaw College

Runshaw College v BYE 

Ashville College v BYE 

 

 

 

 

Hartlepool 6th form College v Driffield School

Brikdale School v Worksop College

 

Ampleforth College v Rishworth School

Highfields School v Mount St Mary’s College

 

 

Lady Manners School v Hall Cross Academy

Sandbach School v Bishop Heber High School

v Manchester GS

Manchester Grammar School v BYE

Sir John Deane’s College v Helsby High School

v Lymm High School

 

 

Lymm High School v BYE 

Cardinal Heenan Catholic HS v Merchant Taylor’s Boys

 

St Edward’s College, Liverpool v Birkenhead

Rydal Penrhos v Calday Grange GS

v King William’s College

 

King William’s College (IOM) v BYE

St Anselm’s College v Liverpool College

 

Altrincham GS v Audenshaw School

2014/15 U18 NatWest School Cup Draw – Midlands A

Round 2

Round 3

Rd 4

Rd 5

Rd 6

Rd 7

King Edward VI, Lichfield v King Edward VI Camp Hill

v Bromsgrove

 

 

 

 

Bromsgrove School v BYE 

Barr Beacon School v King Henry VIII, Coventry

v Solihull

Solihull School v BYE 

Bishop Vesey GS v North Leamington

 

 

Shire Oak Academy v Kenilworth School

King Edward VI, Aston v Queen Mary’s Grammar

v Warwick

Warwick School v BYE 

Cottlesloe v Bishop’s Stortford College

v St George’s, Harpenden

 

 

St George’s School, Harpenden v BYE

Dame Alice Owen’s School v Sandringham

v Bedford Modern

Bedford Modern School v BYE

Richard Hale School v BYE 

Richard Hale v

 

St Columba’s College v Sir John Lawes

Bloxham School v Royal Latin School

v Lord Williams’s School

Lord Williams’s School, Thame v BYE

Roundwood Park v Hitchin Boys School

 

 

 

 

Waddesdon C of E v Burham Grammar

Beaumont School v BYE 

Beaumont v Tring

Tring School v BYE

Silverstone UTC v Sir Christopher Hatton School

v Princethorpe College

 

Princethorpe College v BYE 

Wooton Upper v Sharnbrook Upper

v The Leys

The Leys School v BYE 

Bourne GS v The King’s School, Peterborough

v Loughborough Grammar

 

 

Loughborough Grammar v BYE

De Lisle College v Lutterworth College

v Nottingham High School

Notthingham High School v BYE

Hinchingbrooke School v Carre’s Grammar School

v Prince William School

 

Prince William School, Oundle v BYE

Spalding Grammar School v BYE

Spalding GS v Stamford

Stamford School v BYE 

2014/15 U18 NatWest School Cup Draw – Midlands B

Round 2

Round 3

Rd 4

Rd 5

Rd 6

Rd 7

De Aston School v St George’s Academy

v King’s Grantham

 

 

 

 

The King’s School, Grantham v BYE

The Priory Academy LSST v Lincoln Minster

v Gresham’s

Gresham’s School v BYE 

College of West Anglia v Wymondham College

v Langley

 

Langley School v BYE 

King Edward VII, King’s Lynn v Easton & Otley College

v Norwich School

Norwich School v BYE

Hills Road 6th form College v Bishop Stopford School

v Oundle

 

 

Oundle v BYE 

Comberton Village College v Longsands Academy

 

St Ivo School v The Perse School

Beauchamp College v Wyggeston & QE I College

 

 

Welbeck College v Leicester Grammar School

John Cleveland College v BYE 

John Cleveland College v Trent College

Trent College v BYE 

Hereford Cathedral School v Tewkesbury

 

 

 

 

King Edward VI, Stratford-Up-Avon v Prince Henry’s HS

The Chase School v Hereford 6th form College

v King’s Worcester

The King’s School, Worcester v BYE

Hagley Catholic HS v King Edward VI Five Ways

v Old Swinford Hospital

 

Old Swinford Hospital v BYE OSH

Windsor HS & 6th form v Lawrence Sheriff

v King Edward’s School Birmingham

King Edward’s School, Birmingham v BYE

Shrewsbury School v The JCB Academy

v RGS Worcester

 

 

RGS Worcester v BYE 

Wrekin College v Stafford Collegiate

Newcastle Under Lyme School v Ellesmere College

Stafford GS v Newcastle Under Lyme College

v Adams GS

 

Adams Grammar School v BYE

Campion, Bugbrooke v Northampton Sch for Boys

 

King Edward VI College, Nuneaton v Bablake School

2014/15 U18 NatWest School Cup Draw – London & South East A

Round 2

Round 3

Rd 4

Rd 5

Rd 6

Rd 7

Dartford GS v St Dunstan’s College

 

 

 

 

 

Gravesend GS v St Olave’s Grammar School

Colfe’s School v Sir Joseph Williamson’s

 

Hayes School v Raynes Park High School

Bennett Memorial Diocesan v Langley Park

v Skinners’

 

The Skinners’ School v BYE 

Cardinal Newman v Sussex Downs College

 

St Philip Howard v Brighton Hove & Sussex 6th form Col

Brentwood v King Edward VI, Bury St Edmunds

v St Joseph’s College

 

 

St Joseph’s College v BYE

Anglo European School v Felsted School

 

Westcliff High School for Boys v Seevic College

Northgate HS v Thomas Mills HS

 

 

Davenant Foundation School v The King John School

West Hatch High School v Robert Clack School

v Campion

The Campion School, Hornchurch v BYE

The Heathland School v BYE 

Heathland v

 

 

 

KCS Wimbledon v Strode’s College

Wimbledon College v BYE 

Wimbledon College v St Bede’s

St Bede’s School, Redhill v BYE

University College School v BYE

University College School v

 

Mill Hill v Drayton Manor High School

St Benedict’s School, Ealing v BYE

St Benedict’s School v

Vyners School v London Oratory

Carshalton Boys Sports Coll v St Cecilia’s, Wandsworth

 

 

 

Bishop Justus C of E School v Wilmington GS for Boys

Hurstpierpoint College v Wilson’s School

v Whitgift

Whitgift v BYE 

Worth School v BYE worthvbye

Worth v City of London Freemen’s

 

City of London Freemen’s School v BYE

Christ’s Hospital School v Worthing College

v Seaford College

Seaford College v BYE 

2014/15 U18 NatWest School Cup Draw – London & South East B

Round 2

Round 3

Rd 4

Rd 5

Rd 6

Rd 7

Tiffin School v BYE 

Tiffin v

 

 

 

 

George Abbot School v St George’s, Weybridge

Buckswood School v BYE 

Buckswood v

The College of Richard Collier v Steyning GS

Graveney School v Esher College

 

 

Reigate Grammer School v Salesian School

Reigate College v Howard of Effingham

v Trinity

Trinity School, Croydon v BYE

Leventhorpe v Verulam School

 

 

 

Parmiter’s School v St Edmunds College, Ware

Gunnersbury Catholic School v Enfield GS

v Berkhamsted

Berkhamsted School v BYE 

St Clement Dane’s School v BYE

St Clement Dane’s v

 

Palmer’s College v St Ignatius College

Cardinal Vaughan’s Memorial School v BYE

Cardinal Vaughan v Twyford

Twyford C of E High School v BYE

Great Baddow High School v New Hall School

 

 

 

 

King Edward VI, Chelmsford v Colchester VI form

Beths Grammar School v Ravens Wood

v Dulwich College

Dulwich College v BYE 

Glyn School v John Fisher School

 

 

Simon Langton GS for Boys v St John’s Catholic Comp

The Harvey Grammar School v Borden Grammar School

v Dover GS for Boys

Dover Grammar School for Boys v BYE

Folkestone Academy v Oakwood Park GS

v Duke of York’s RMS

 

 

Duke of York’s Royal Military School v BYE

Chatham & Clarendon GS v BYE

Chatham & Cladendon GS v

Sir Roger Manwood’s School v Chislehurst & Sidcup GS

The Judd School v BYE 

Judd v

 

Darriwck Wood School v Tunbridge Wells GS for Boys

Kent College, Canterbury v BYE

Kent College v Maidston GS

Maidstone Grammar School v BYE

2014/15 U18 NatWest School Cup Draw – South West A

Round 2

Round 3

Rd 4

Rd 5

Rd 6

Rd 7

Corsham School v Malmesbury School

v Daunstey’s

 

 

 

 

Daunstey’s School v BYE 

Sheldon School v St Laurence School

v Bournemouth School

Bournemouth School v BYE 

St Peter’s, Bournemouth v King Edward VI S’ton

v Lord Wandsworth College

 

Lord Wandsworth College v BYE

Corfe Hills School v The Blandford School

v Milton Abbey

Milton Abbey School v BYE 

The Cotswold School v Newent Community School

v St Peter’s, Gloucester

 

 

St Peter’s High School, Gloucester v BYE

Wyedean School v Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School

 

Marling School v The Crypt School

Wellsway School v Ashton Park School

 

 

North Bristol Post 16 Centre v Gordano School

Cabot Learning Federation v Churchill Academy

 

The Castle School, Thornbury v QEH Bristol

Poole Grammar School, Dorset v BYE

Poole GS v Sherborne

 

 

 

Sherborne School v BYE 

Richard Huish College v BYE 

Richard Huish v Kings of Wessex

The Kings of Wessex Academy v BYE

West Buckland School v BYE 

West Buckland v Blue School

 

The Blue School v BYE 

Downside School v BYE 

Downside v Exeter School

Exeter School v BYE 

Churston Ferrers Grammar School v BYE

Chirston Ferrers v Exeter College

 

 

Exeter College v BYE

Devonport High School for Boys v BYE

Devonport HS v Torquay BGS

Torquay Boys Grammar School v BYE

Truro School v BYE

Truro School v

 

Redruth v Helston Community College

Bodmin College v BYE

Bodmin College v

Callington CCv Kingsbridge CC

2014/15 U18 NatWest School Cup Draw – South West B

Round 2

Round 3

Rd 4

Rd 5

Rd 6

Rd 7

The Gryphon School v The Thomas Hardye School

 

 

 

 

 

Gillingham School v Woodroffe School

Frome College v Beechen Cliff School

 

Yeovil College v Sexey’s School

Brockenhurst College v Hampshire Collegiate School

v Portsmouth Grammar School

 

Portsmouth Grammar School v BYE

Totton College v Havant College

v Oaklands CS

Oaklands Catholic School v BYE

Chew Valley School v BYE 

Chew Valley v Backwell

 

 

Backwell School v BYE 

Beaufort Cooperative Academy v Farmor’s School

 

Monmouth School v Wycliffe College

Cleeve School v Chosen Hill School

v Sir Thomas Rich’s

 

Sir Thomas Rich’s School v BYE

St Paul’s Catholic School, Milton Keynes v Cokethorpe

v Stowe

Stowe School v BYE 

RGS High Wycombe v BYE

RGS High Wycombe v Sir William Borlase

 

 

 

Sir William Borlase’s GS v BYE

Upton Court Grammar School v BYE

Upton Court v Dr Challoner’s

Dr Challoner’s Grammar School v BYE

Berkshire Agriculture Coll v Desborough College

v Windsor Boys School

 

The Windsor Boys School v BYE

Kennett School v Leighton Park School

v Aylesbury GS

Aylesbury Grammar School v BYE

St Bartholomew’s School v John Hampden Grammar

v Pangbourne College

 

 

Pangbourne College v BYE

Chesham Grammar School v Akeley Wood School

v Hampton School

Hampton School v BYE

St John’s College, Portsmouth v Alton College

v Peter Symonds

 

Peter Symonds College v BYE

Churcher’s College v Farnborough 6th form Coll

v Bishop Wordsworth’s

Bishop Wordsworth’s School v BYE

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