One of the top 7s tournaments of the season takes place this Sunday, the Marches 7s.
Featuring 32 teams, the Marches 7s is one of the biggest and most competitive tournaments of the season, and one of the key indicators on the trail towards the HSBC Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s.
The thirty-two sides are split into eight groups of four, with the top side in each group progressing to the Cup quarter finals, second place to the Plate quarter finals, and third to the Bowl quarter finals.
Millfield were victorious last year, beating Worth 35-0 in the final, and they are situated in Group D alongside Bishop’s Stortford High School, Dean Close, and Monmouth.
This year looks like being a very competitive year though, particularly with Wellington College now joining the party. They won every tournament they entered last year, and look like a top side again this. They are in a tricky Group H though alongside AASE side Worcester 6th form College, Welsh giants Cowbridge Comprehensive, and Malvern College, and are without three players who are on England U18 duty.
The hosts, Hereford Cathedral School, are in Group A alongside Christ College Brecon, KES Bath, and Pate’s Grammar, while their 2nd VII have a tricky task head in Group B, where they will face the mighty Hartpury College, as well as Adams Grammar and Solihull.
2013 Champions, King’s Worcester, are in Group C alongside last year’s Plate Champions, Blundell’s, and the Bowl holders, Old Swinford Hospital, with the excellent Sir Thomas Rich’s rounding off a very tricky group.
In Group E Banard Castle, who lost last year’s Plate final, are joined by Harrow, Plymouth College, and Wycliffe College, while over in Group F there is a real Welsh theme with both Llandovery College, a top rugby school, and Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg included. They will face KES Stratford, and a Cheltenham College side who have had James Hook helping them to prepare.
That Welsh theme continues in Group G where Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf and the mighty Coleg Sir Gar are both drawn alongside RGS Worcester and Shrewsbury.
Always a tournament to watch, this year the Marches 7s is perhaps more important than ever. The season is unusually truncated this year, so performances in these early tournaments really count as Rosslyn Park is only three weeks away.
|2016 Marches 7s Draw – Sunday 28th February|
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Christ College, Brecon||Adams Grammar School||Blundell’s||Bishop’s Stortford High School|
|Hereford Cathedral School||Hartpury College||Old Swinford Hospital||Dean Close|
|KES Bath||Hereford Cathedral 2nd VII||Sir Thomas Rich’s||Millfield|
|Pate’s Grammar School||Soilhull||King’s School, Worcester||Monmouth|
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|Barnard Castle||Cheltenham College||Coleg Sir Gar||Cowbridge Comprehensive|
|Harrow||KES Stratford||RGS Worcester||Worcester 6th form College|
|Plymouth College||Llandovery College||Shrewsbury||Wellington College|
|Wycliffe College||Ysgol Gyfun Bro Morgannwg||Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf||Malvern College|