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Huge midweek of schools rugby – Our Preview & Predictions

It seems that with each passing week the midweek schools rugby fixture list just gets stronger and stronger!

This week sees all four quarter finals of the Champions Trophy, a huge bulk of the NatWest Cup round three ties, as well as several big one off fixtures, all before one of the biggest weekends of the season – the St Joseph’s Festival weekend, followed by a well deserved half term for many.

Tuesday

Tuesday gets us off to a nice start, with two big games towards the South Coast, Portsmouth Grammar School v Seaford College and Hurstpierpoint v Eastbourne College. Seaford were the only one of the four to win on Saturday, so they will need to be weary of a Portsmouth backlash, while Hustpierpoint and Eastbourne will both be hoping for a recovery too.

Felsted play Royal Hospital School, while there are four big NatWest Cup ties, including a return for Bromsgrove after beating Millfield at the weekend. They play KES Lichfield and after Saturday’s result they Bromsgrove might well be eyeing the National stages of the competition already.

Wednesday

On Wednesday we have the first two Champions Trophy quarter finals. Millfield look to bounce back after back to back defeats, they host Eton College, who lost on Saturday to Wellington College, Millfield’s conquerors on Wednesday last week.

The other quarter final sees Marlborough College make the long trip up to Barnard Castle. Marlborough College lost to Clifton on Saturday in their 150th Anniversary game, while Barnard Castle ended Hymers’ unbeaten run with a 22-0 win, so Barnard Castle should go in with more confidence, but this is cup rugby, and anything can happen.

Elsewhere Caterham’s rearranged clash with Eltham takes place, while Yarm host Ripon and Shiplake College have their derby with neighbours Henley College. Up at Allianz Park Mill Hill and Merchant Taylors’ will take each other on in an exciting evening clash.

There are big games all over in the NatWest Cup on Wednesday, but one that really stands out is the return of last year’s semi finalists – who lost that epic semi final 7-3 to Dulwich College – they play Sir William Borlase’s in a fixture that should be very winnable. It is also the start of the 2014/15 campaign for 2010 and 2011 winners Whitgift, who face Hurstpierpoint.

Thursday

The final two Champions Trophy matches take place on Wednesday as Oakham welcome the mighty Epsom College to Doncaster Close in a game that will be broadcast live on the RFU website, with a 14.45 kick off. Epsom College will be favourites but Oakham have a Cup pedigree that few others can match.

The final quarter final sees RGS Guildford host the as yet unbeaten Grammar Schools at Leeds 1st XV. GSAL probably head into this as favourites but with a tough trip to get out of their system before things kick off, RGS will sense a real opportunity.

Besides the Champions Trophy, probably the biggest game on Thursday is Cheltenham College’s annual bash with Radley College, that promises to be a cracker, as does Berkhamsted’s trip to Haileybury, while Monkton Combe v Kingswood and Monmouth v Crawshay’s Welsh should be equally compulsive games.

Friday

Friday sees Sedbergh host Abingdon, who are fresh from a derby win against Radley. That will fill them with confidence, though probably nothing like the confidence that Sedbergh will have after their 75-17 thrashing of Durham on Saturday.

Do you agree with our midweek predictions? Let us know what you think via @FifteenRugbyXV or through the comment box below. As ever, you can send in your reports, photos, videos, or opinion pieces to promotions@fifteenrugby.com

Tuesday

Felsted v RHS

Hurstpierpoint v Eastbourne College

Portsmouth GS v Seaford College

Beaufort v Monmouth (NatWest Cup)

Bromsgrove v KES Lichfield (NatWest Cup)

Enfield GS v Berkhamsted (NatWest Cup)

Lutterworth v Nottingham High School (NatWest Cup)

Wednesday

Barnard Castle v Marlborough College (Champions Trophy)

Millfield v Eton College (Champions Trophy)

Caterham v Eltham College

Merchant Taylors’ v Mill Hill

Ripon GS v Yarm

Shiplake College v Henley College

Beechen Cliff v Yeovil (NatWest Cup)

Bishop Heber v Manchester GS (NatWest Cup)

Bloxham v Lord Williams’ (NatWest Cup)

Cabot v QEH (NatWest Cup)

Chesham GS v Hampton (NatWest Cup)

Churcher’s College v Bishop Wordsworth’s (NatWest Cup)

Cokethorpe v Stowe (NatWest Cup)

Colfe’s v Hayes (NatWest Cup)

Dame Alice Owen’s v Bedford Modern (NatWest Cup)

Graveney v Reigate GS (NatWest Cup)

Hereford Cathedral School v KES Stratford (NatWest Cup)

Hurstpierpoint v Whitgift (NatWest Cup)

Hymers College v Silcoates (NatWest Cup)

King Edward’s, Southampton v Lord Wandsworth College (NatWest Cup)

Langley Park v Skinners’ (NatWest Cup)

RGS High Wycombe v Sir William Borlase’s (NatWest Cup)

Shrewsbury v RGS Worcester (NatWest Cup)

St Ambrose College v Wilmslow High School (NatWest Cup)

St George’s Weybridge v Tiffin (NatWest Cup)

St Peter’s York v Ilkley GS (NatWest Cup)

Wrekin College v Ellesmere College (NatWest Cup)

Worth v City of London Freemen’s (NatWest Cup)

Thursday

Oakham v Epsom College (Champions Trophy) 14.45 LIVE www.englandrugby.com

RGS Guildford v Grammar School at Leeds (Champions Trophy)

Haileybury v Berkhamsted

Monkton Combe v Kingswood

Monmouth v Crawshay’s Welsh

Radley College v Cheltenham College

Friday

Sedbergh v Abingdon

Image via Eric Brand

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