Schools Champions Trophy heads into the last 16

The last 16 of the Schools Champions Trophy kicks off today over the course of the next two days there are going to be eight fascinating fixtures.

The highlight looks like being Millfield v Tonbridge at 16.45 this afternoon, which is being streamed live by the RFU – you can watch it via this link: http://www.englandrugby.com/news/u18-champions-trophy-millfield-tonbridge-live/

It should be a fascinating game, both sides are playing well this year, Tonbridge have only lost to the outstanding Epsom College so far, while Millfield have won every game they have played and look incredibly formidable – a 67-7 victory over RGS High Wycombe being the real standout.

Epsom College are also on today, they welcome Blundell’s to town and will be determined to put on an equally impressive display to the one that saw them dismantle Bishop’s Stortford High School in the last round.

Blundell’s will be up for it though, and having beaten Colston’s in the last round they will be determined to inflict a first loss on Epsom College for over a year.

Kicking off the Champions Trophy action today though is another heavyweight clash between Bedford and Grammar School at Leeds. GSAL have been one of the pacesetters so far this season, averaging an outrageously high number of points per game and winning every game they have played.

Bedford have been in good nick too, despite having two losses to their name. Home advantage and a dry day will play perfectly into their hands as they try to move GSAL right across the pitch, it ought to be a good game.

With three games today, that leaves five for tomorrow. The standout fixture is probably Woodhouse Grove v Eton College, Woodhouse Grove are the holders of the Daily Mail Trophy but have lost twice already this season and needed a late, late, try v Uppingham to progress here. However that might just be the point, they have fight and they have guts, that is important in Cup rugby.

Eton are on a real roll this season, and despite losing to Tonbridge a couple of weekends ago, they frightened the life out of them and look ready to beat most sides. The only question is how will they react to the long trip.

Another standout 14.30 fixture tomorrow is Oakham v Bradford Grammar School – two giants of schoolboy rugby who, as we explained in our midweek preview, have both dominated the school game at varying times. That they have elected to jump from the NatWest Cup to this new Champions Trophy, given their history in that tournament, shows just what a powerful pull this elite competition has.

The same could be said of Barnard Castle, another side with legendary status. They face a long trip down to Reading Blue Coat on Wednesday. They will be favourites though, but will have to make sure that the long coach trip is way out of their system come kick off.

A more local game, probably the closest game to a local derby, will be Eastbourne College v RGS Guildford. These two kick off at 14.45 and should be well matched, making for an entertaining game.

Finally then to Eltham College, where having beaten Gordon’s School in the last round they are rewarded with a home tie against the excellent Marlborough College. Marlborough may have lost to Wellington College quite heavily but they made them work for it, and bounced back a few days later for a very disciplined win versus St Edward’s Oxford.

They will be favourites, however Eltham College have been having an excellent season and with an excitable home support they will fancy their chances of nicking a win.

It should be a fascinating couple of days of rugby, and the winners of each game will find themselves in the Quarter Final draw on Friday, which Fifteen Rugby will again cover live. Whoever wins these eight games, we know that the quarter finals will feature eight quality teams.

Champions Trophy last 16 fixtures:

Bedford v Grammar School at Leeds, Tuesday 14.30

Epsom College v Blundell’s, Tuesday 15.00

Millfield v Tonbridge, Tuesday 16.45 (Live at www.englandrugby.com)

Oakham v Bradford Grammar School, Wednesday 14.30

Reading Blue Coat v Barnard Castle, Wednesday 14.30

Eltham College v Marlborough College, Wednesday, 14.30

Eastbourne College v RGS Guildford, Wednesday 14.45

Woodhouse Grove v Eton College, Wednesday 15.00

Who do you think will progress to the quarter finals? And which match are you most interested to see/hear about? Let us know via @FifteenRugbyXV or comment below.

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