The NatWest Champions Trophy officially kicks off this midweek, along with the NatWest Cup, NatWest Vase, and a number of other school fixtures.
In this week’s preview we focus on the Champions Trophy, which has become on of the most entertaining and followed tournaments on the school calendar.
Though the tournament does not officially start until Tuesday, two games have already been played, with Monmouth and Eton College both progressing. Monmouth beat Radley College 21-13, while Eton College drew 17-17 at Dulwich College but progressed on try count.
It was a typically exciting way for the Champions Trophy to start, and those two join Bedford, Blundell’s, Clifton College, Epsom College, and Millfield in the last 16 after those five schools received byes.
That leaves eight fixtures in the last 32 round this week, with four taking place on Tuesday, two on Wednesday, one on Thursday, and one on Saturday.
2014 finalists Grammar School at Leeds are at home against an Uppingham side on Tuesday who are reeling after a tough defeat at home to their local rivals Oakham. Oakham themselves are also in action on Tuesday, they host a formidable looking Berkhamsted side.
One of the stars of the early part of last year’s tournament were Sherborne. They begin their campaign away at Bristol Grammar on Tuesday, with Marlborough College’s trip to Canford rounding off the days action.
On Wednesday St John’s Leatherhead look to bounce back from that thrilling 11-10 loss to Brighton College on Saturday as they travel to Cranbrook, while there is a huge game kicking off at 4pm as Tonbridge host Hampton.
On Thursday it is the turn of Kingswood to host as they welcome Bryanston, before the round is finished off on Saturday by RGS Guildford’s trip to St Paul’s School.
Champions Trophy 1st Round Fixtures:
Bristol GS v Sherborne – Tuesday 27th September, 15.30
Canford v Marlborough College – Tuesday 27th September, 14.30
Cranbrook v St John’s Leatherhead – Wednesday 28th September, 14.30
Grammar School at Leeds v Uppingham – Tuesday 27th September, 15.00
Kingswood v Bryanston – Thursday 29th September, 14.30
Oakham v Berkhamsted – Tuesday 27th September, 15.00
St Paul’s v RGS Guildford – Saturday 1st October, 15.00
Tonbridge v Hampton – Wednesday 28th September, 16.00
Bedford, Blundell’s, Clifton College, Epsom College, Millfield
Monmouth 21-13 Radley College
Dulwich College 17-17 Eton College (Eton through on try count)
There is plenty of non Champions Trophy action going on too, with the NatWest Cup also in full flow. Back to back champions, Bromsgrove, begin their campaign away at RGS Worcester as they look to liven up after a start that has seen them lose three in a row. One suspects that Bromsgrove will be right back in form in this competition though.
Lymm High School are traditionally strong in the Cup and host King’s Macclesfield on Monday, while Ampleforth v Pocklington on Wednesday looks like a strong fixture.
King’s Worcester v Solihull looks like a 5th or 6th round game rather than an opening round fixture, but that is what it is, and one of these two sides will be in the Plate competition after this round.
Warwick, with a team of U15 winners and finalists, kick off their campaign with a tricky away trip at Leicester Grammar. RGS High Wycombe, always a threat, start at home to Magdalen College. John Fisher ought to do well against Richmond Upon Thames College, home of the Media Accreditation centre at the Rugby World Cup.
Stowe v Bedford Modern again looks like a very tough first round fixture, as does Whitgift v Caterham, both on Wednesday, and there are two belters further north, Woodhouse Grove v Mount St Mary’s, and St Peter’s York v Hymers College. On Thursday, meanwhile, Downside will host Dauntsey’s.
There are a couple of tour games again this week, with Craighouse continuing their superb tour of the UK with a stop at Hurstpierpoint College on Tuesday, Wellington School host Newlands on the same day.
There are also some exciting floodlit games, including Cheltenham College v Clifton College on Tuesday, and New Hall v St Joseph’s on Wednesday.
All in all it should be a superb week of schools rugby!
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Lymm HS v King’s Macclesfield (NatWest Cup)
Cheltenham College v Clifton College – Evening Kick Off
Hurstpierpoint College v Craighouse (Chile)
Sevenoaks v Bishop Stortford College
Wellington School v Newlands (Argentina)
Ampleforth College v Pocklington (NatWest Cup)
Aylesbury GS v St Columba’s College (NatWest Cup)
Barnard Castle v Giggleswick (NatWest Cup)
Bishop Vesey’s v QEGS Ashbourne (NatWest Cup)
Bradford GS v Manchester GS (NatWest Cup)
Calday Grange v Stockport GS (NatWest Cup)
Chislehurst & Sidcup GS v Colfe’s (NatWest Cup)
Christ’s Hospital v Reigate GS (NatWest Cup)
Eltham College v Harris Academy (NatWest Cup)
Exeter Schools v King’s College, Taunton (NatWest Cup)
Farnborough v Pangbourne College (NatWest Cup)
KES Southampton v Bishop Wordsworth’s (NatWest Cup)
King Edward’s, Morpeth v Dame Allan’s (NatWest Cup)
King’s Worcester v Solihull (NatWest Cup)
Leicester GS v Warwick (NatWest Cup)
London Oratory v St Benedict’s
Loughborough v Nottingham HS (NatWest Cup)
Mill Hill v Campion (NatWest Cup)
New Hall v St Joseph’s College – Late Kick Off
Plymouth College v Truro School (NatWest Cup)
Portsmouth GS v Worthing College (NatWest Cup)
Princethorpe College v Northampton School for Boys (NatWest Cup)
RGS High Wycombe v Magdalen College (NatWest Cup)
RGS Worcester v Bromsgrove (NatWest Cup)
Richmond Upon Thames College v John Fisher (NatWest Cup)
Sandbach v Newcastle-Under-Lyme (NatWest Cup)
Simon Langton v St Dunstan’s (NatWest Cup)
Sir Thomas Rich’s v Cirencester College (NatWest Cup)
Skinners’ v Sussex Downs (NatWest Cup)
St Ambrose College v Cheadle Hulme (NatWest Cup)
St Peter’s, York v Hymers College (NatWest Cup)
Stowe v Bedford Modern (NatWest Cup)
Wallington CGS v Tiffin
Whitgift v Caterham (NatWest Cup)
Wimbledon College v St Benedict’s (NatWest Cup)
Wisbech GS v Spalding GS
Woodhouse Grove v Mount St Mary’s (NatWest Cup)
Clayesmore v King’s Bruton
Downside v Dauntsey’s (NatWest Cup)
Eton College v Radley College
Warminster v Sexey’s
To see a full list of fixtures in the NatWest Cup and NatWest Vase, please follow this link: NatWest School Competitions Fixtures.