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Schools Rugby Weekend Preview & Predictions

While the season may have ended for most schools last weekend, for many there is another game on Saturday, and it ought to be yet another superb weekend of schools rugby.

The final weekend of the regular season also makes this the final weekend of our Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition for the year, and you can still enter it via this link: Prediction Competition.

Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition Fixtures

As ever, it is with the prediction competition that we start, and with five hugely competitive fixtures.

Grammar School at Leeds v Wilmslow High School

The Champions Trophy finalists, Grammar School at Leeds, have lost just twice this season and will be determined to sign off for the term with another big victories. With the quality at their disposal, they are more than capable of that at any time.

Wilmslow are in superb form this season too though, having lost just four games all season. The North West side are also into the 6th round of the NatWest Cup, and produced a major upset by beating King’s Macclesfield. They know how to play against the good teams.

Prediction – Grammar School at Leeds

 

Kirkham Grammar School v Bradford Grammar School

Bradford Grammar have had a really good year and are on a five game unbeaten run since half term, but it is tough to imagine that continuing past Saturday as they come up against one of the very best teams in the country, Kirkham Grammar School.

Kirkham are unbeaten this season and truly are one of the top teams around, having beaten Sedbergh on Sedbergh turf, and made the long trip down South to beat Tonbridge.

They will be bitterly disappointed with themselves if they fail to make it an unbeaten term, and while Bradford are a tough nut to crack, Kirkham ought to complete the term as they would like.

Prediction – Kirkham Grammar School

 

Solihull v King’s Macclesfield

Solihull have not quite hit the heights of last season but have still gathered eleven victories, including their last five in a row, and will come into this game determined to sign off for the term in style and full of the confidence to do so.

They come up against a very good King’s Macclesfield side though, who have lost just twice all season, to Sedbergh, and to Wilmslow High in the Cup. Last weekend’s 11-8 defeat of Denstone College was a real show of strength from King’s and they will fancy their chances of an away win to round off the term.

Prediction – King’s Macclesfield, just.

 

St Benedict’s v Dulwich College

This will be a very interesting game. Last weekend Dulwich lost to Epsom College reasonably heavily having rested a few players with back to back Cup games either side of the fixture. With this game coming just three days after their latest Cup effort on Wednesday, it will be interesting to see what happens, four games in eleven days is a lot.

In St Benedict’s they face a side whose results would suggest that they are every bit as good as Epsom, St Benedict’s have lost just once all season, to Hampton, who also beat Dulwich College.

Dulwich are a top team too, they have lost just three times all season and have one of the toughest fixture lists around, which all suggests that this ought to be a massive tussle. Dulwich are probably just favourites for it, but a lot will depend on their recovery from Wednesday’s efforts.

Prediction – Dulwich College, just.

 

Trinity v Warwick

Another massive battle between two top teams. Fifteen Rugby had the pleasure of watching Trinity on Wednesday in their NatWest Cup defeat of Berkhamsted (Trinity v Berkhamsted – report), while a week ago we saw Warwick as they were knocked out by Bromsgrove (Bromsgrove v Warwick – report).

Since a 10-7 defeat to Dulwich College way back in September, Trinity are unbeaten this season, while Warwick have lost four times but to four of the best in the business, Millfield, Stowe, Sedbergh, and Bromsgrove – this is truly an enormous battle.

Warwick may just have the edge having not had an energy sapping like Trinity, however home advantage could swing things back Trinity’s way. A tough one to call.

Prediction – Warwick, just.

 

Five Previews

Woodhouse Grove have improved massively after a slow start to the season and will fancy their chances of ending on a high against a tough Harrogate Grammar School, having lost their Daily Mail Trophy crown to Wellington College last week, they will want to get a big win under their belts. Prediction – Woodhouse Grove.

 

Both Manchester Grammar and Lymm High had their fixtures cancelled last week so will be determined to get back into the swing of things and to finish the term on a high. Both have had decent seasons but Lymm, as ever, have looked especially good and are unbeaten since mid October. Prediction – Lymm High School.

 

Both Northampton School for Boys and London Oratory lost in midweek Cup fixtures, with Northampton being knocked out of the NatWest Cup and London Oratory from the NatWest Vase. Northampton School for Boys have generally had the stronger season, proving themselves against a number of tough opposition, but it will not be an easy game for them. Prediction – Northampton School for Boys.

 

Nottingham High School have had a tough season, while QEGS have been mixed but with a few very good results, including a brilliant 37-0 victory over Bristol Gramamr School last weekend. Nottingham are winless since half term, so QEGS will be favourites, but must bounce back from defeat to RGS Newcastle last week. Prediction – QEGS Wakefield.

 

Six wins and eleven defeats make this a tough year for St Ambrose, while Denstone College have been a very good team this year, proven by the number of players selected for the ISRFC Lambs Midlands XV last week. They are without a win since Malvern College early in November, but will fancy their chances of finishing the season in perfect fashion on Saturday. Prediction – Denstone College.

 

ISRFC Lambs

The ISRFC Lambs season begins in earnest this weekend, with both the North and South West regional sides taking part in fixtures. The North XV take on a Hymers College XV, while the South West XV take on a Caterham School XV.

A number of players in both sides will be playing against their school mates, adding an extra layer of intrigue to both games. The talent in the two Lambs XVs ought to make them favourites to win, but with this being their first games together, they will need to overcome that unfamiliarity.

You can see the two teams and the Lambs schedules here: Lambs North XV, Lambs South West XV.

U18 Academy League

The U18 Premiership resumes this weekend, the first round of the competition since the October half term, with fixtures taking place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Bristol have already released their squad to play Exeter, which is as follows:

Forwards:

Harvey, Watson, Appleton, Jacobs, Gompels, Mustoe, Cooksey, Ball, Callaghan, Ryan, Gannaway, Capon, Beck(c) .

Backs:

Fournier, Boyland, Hydleman, Hayward, Newey, Daly, Mayes, Caven, Owsley, Clements.

We will have more squads and preview of the weekend ahead as teams release their information.

Do you agree with our predictions for this weekend’s school rugby? Let us know via @FifteenRugbyXV – and don’t forget that you can send in reports, photos, videos, and any other content to promotions@fifteenrugby.com

 

Schools Rugby Weekend Fixtures (predictions in bold)

Daily Mail Trophy Prediction Competition:

Grammar School at Leeds v Wilmslow HS

Kirkham GS v Bradford GS

Solihull v King’s Macclesfield

St Benedict’s v Dulwich College

Trinity v Warwick

Five Previews:

Harrogate GS v Woodhouse Grove

Manchester GS v Lymm HS

Northampton School for Boys v London Oratory

Nottingham HS v QEGS Wakefield

St Ambrose College v Denstone College

ISRFC Lambs (Sunday):

ISRFC Lambs North XV v Hymers College XV

ISRFC Lambs South West XV v Caterham XV

Other Fixtures:

Bishop Vesey’s v Camp Hill

Colfe’s v Cranbrook

Glyn v Whitgift

Hampton v Falcon College (on Tour)

Merchant Taylors’ v St Paul’s

RGS Colchester v St Joseph’s College

Sandbach v Stockport GS

Shiplake College v Halliford

Sir Joseph Williamson’s v Skinners’

St Columba’s v Aylesbury GS

Wallington County GS v Wimbledon College

Watford GS v Bishop’s Stortford HS

Whitchurch HS v King Edward VI Southampton

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