After a long Christmas break, the schools rugby season resumes this weekend with some fascinating fixtures.
With U18 Premiership action and further ISRFC Lambs trial games also taking place this weekend, it is certainly set to be a busy one, but the return of school fixtures is definitely worth some excitement too.
There are some superb looking fixtures taking place, unfortunately one of the biggest, Hampton v St Joseph’s, has had to be cancelled.
They were not the only top sides from last term to be returning to the field this weekend though. Kirkham Grammar School, who went unbeaten last term, finishing second in the Daily Mail Trophy table, host a strong King’s Macclesfield side.
This ought to be a game to really get the pulse going, it may only be the school’s ‘A’ XVs rather than 1st XVs due to U18 Academy commitments, but both schools have plenty of quality. King’s are a good side, but Kirkham are angry after missing out on the Trophy title last term and it would be no surprise to see them come flying out of the traps on Saturday with an outstanding performance, even without that top layer of players.
QEGS Wakefield are another side who went through last term unbeaten, they travel to Harrogate Grammar School on Saturday as they crank up preparations ahead of a huge NatWest Cup tie against RGS Lancaster.
RGS Lancaster themselves are in action at home to St Ambrose College as they too gear themselves up for that huge tie.
One NatWest Cup tie is actually taking place this weekend, the last 32 tie from South West A between Stowe and Portsmouth Grammar. Stowe ought to be favourites, but they will need a top performance to get past a good Portsmouth Grammar side.
The winner will face RGS High Wycombe, and the Cup legends themselves are in action this weekend, travelling to Judd on Saturday.
Another side facing a huge Cup tie soon are Warwick, against Oundle, the West Midlanders warm up this weekend with an away game against local rivals, and 2012 Cup finalists, Old Swinford Hospital.
A number of other huge schools rugby clashes take place this weekend too, with RGS Newcastle travelling to a struggling Hymers College, John Fisher hosting a Chislehurst & Sidcup side who enjoyed a great Christmas term, St Benedict’s hosting New Hall, and Whitgift gearing up for their last 16 tie in the NatWest Cup with a home game against Ravens Wood.
It’s great to have school fixtures back on the card, and don’t forget to let us know how your team gets on – you can also send in any photos, match reports, or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org – we would love to feature your team.
Schools Rugby Weekend Fixtures (predictions in bold):
Crossley Heath v Altrincham GS
Hampton v St Joseph’s College – Cancelled
Harrogate GS v QEGS Wakefield
Hymers College v RGS Newcastle – Cancelled
John Fisher v Chislehurst & Sidcup GS
John Cleveland College v Bablake
Judd v RGS High Wycombe
KES Aston v KES Stratford
Kirkham GS ‘A’ v King’s Macclesfield ‘A’ – Cancelled
Manchester GS v Bolton
Nottingham HS v Carre’s GS
Old Swinford Hospital v Warwick
RGS Lancaster v St Ambrose College – Cancelled
St Benedict’s v New Hall
Soilhull v Bishop Vesey’s GS
St Olave’s GS v London Oratory
Stowe v Portsmouth GS (NatWest Cup)
Tiffin v Glyn
Wallington CGS v Gravesend GS
Whitgift v Ravens Wood
Woodhouse Grove v Mount St Mary’s