As the term starts to draw to a close, indeed it has already in a rugby sense for some, this midweek is slightly quieter than usual.
Quieter, perhaps, but with some massive games and some absolutely crucial Cup ties too. This is a midweek of schools rugby not to be missed.
The action starts on Tuesday, though Bishop Wordsworth’s did win a friendly over Australian touring side Ipswich Grammar, 52-15. On Tuesday Canford face Seaford College in a massive Daily Mail Trophy encounter. A win could help Canford edge towards a place in the Top 10 at the end of the season, but Seaford will be no pushovers and will be desperate for a good result themselves.
Much of the focus on Wednesday will be on the two NatWest Cup quarter finals. Warwick host last year’s finalists, QEGS Wakefield, in what is a repeat of three U15 finals in a row from 2013, 2014, and 2015, of which both sides current 1st XVs are made up of the players from.
The back to back champions are also in action. Bromsgrove host Sir Thomas Rich’s in what should be another classic. Bromsgrove are in strong form and desperately want that third title, while Sir Thomas Rich’s gave Clifton, one of the best in the country a really close game on Saturday.
St George’s College Weybridge host Sevenoaks in a rescheduled Vase game after last week’s was postponed, while in the Bowl Bridgwater travel to Wycliffe College and Gordon’s host Sandringham.
Outside of the Cup there is one of the biggest games in schoolboy rugby as Sedbergh host Millfield. These are two of the most famous rugby schools in the country and this game is a particularly important one with both sides in need of a win to make sure that they secure high finishes in the Daily Mail Trophy table.
There are a couple of games between school sides and AASE Colleges as St Joseph’s College face fellow Northampton Saints satellite Moulton College and QES Kirkby Lonsdale face Myerscough College.
Kirkham Grammar School are flying high in the Daily Mail Trophy and will hope to extend their number of points away at Cokethorpe on Wednesday, however they are unlikely to climb too much higher due to the low opposition bonus that they will receive.
One of the biggest games of the day will be Berkhamsted against the newly crowned Champions Trophy champions, Tonbridge. On form Tonbridge will win, the question for them will be if they can get back up again after the emotional high of Saturday.
Elsewhere Ampleforth College host Hill House and QEGS Penrith travel to Austin Friars, while Bablake welcome KES Five Ways.
Bishop Heber host Fallibroome, while Hayes face a tricky game away at the Blackheath Academy.
There is an Anglo-Welsh clash in the form of Christ College Brecon v The Oratory, and an Anglo-Scots clash as Durham welcome Edinburgh Academy.
Bishop’s Stortford College welcome Norwich, who beat NatWest Cup semi finalists Felsted on Saturday. Eltham College will want to bounce back from defeat to St John’s on Friday night as they host St Olave’s, while The Crypt welcome Katharine Lady Berkeley’s.
Saturday was a tough day for Oakham as they fell heavily to Warwick, they will look to recover fast with a strong win over Langley on Wednesday, while Trinity will hope to do the same against Skinners’ after their loss to Epsom College meanwhile while Oakwood Park travel to St Dunstan’s.
There is also action in the Hertfordshire County Cup as Haileybury and St Albans meet at Allianz Park for what is sure to be a spectacular occasion.
Thursday is much quieter but there are a couple of cracking fixtures. Rugby School are unbeaten this season and climbing high in the Daily Mail Trophy. They play their last game on Thursday, a tough one at home to King’s Macclesfield, and will be desperate to win and secure an unbeaten season and a high final place in the table.
Thursday also sees Pangbourne College make the trip to St Edward’s Oxford for what should be another excellent game of rugby.
There is plenty of action on Friday, Kirkham Grammar School are in action for the second time in the week as they face AASE high flyers Beechen Cliff.
Windsor Boys and Emanuel meet for what should be a close game, while Worksop College and King William’s College are also in action.
UCS have been in stunning form this season and will look to yet another fantastic result as they meet Mill Hill.
There is a big game elsewhere in London too as KCS Wimbledon host Reed’s. Reed’s had a good win over Shiplake on Saturday, while KCS lost to RGS Guildford and will be looking to bounce back.
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Schools Rugby Midweek Fixtures (predictions in bold):
Canford v Seaford College
Ampleforth College v Hill House
Austin Friars v QEGS Penrith
Bablake v KES Five Ways
Berkhamsted v Tonbridge
Bishop Heber v Fallibroome
Bishop’s Stortford College v Norwich
Blackheath Academy v Hayes
Bromsgrove v Sir Thomas Rich’s – NatWest Cup
Christ College Brecon v The Oratory
Cokethorpe v Kirkham GS
Crypt v Katharine Lady Berkeley’s
Durham v Edinburgh Academy
Myerscough College v QES Kirkby Lonsdale
Eltham College v St Olave’s GS
Gordon’s v Sandringham (NatWest Bowl)
Haileybury v St Albans
Oakham v Langley
Sedbergh v Millfield
St Dunstan’s v Oakwood Park
St George’s College, Weybridge v Sevenoaks (NatWest Vase)
St Joseph’s College v Moulton College
Trinity v Skinners’
Warwick v QEGS Wakefield – NatWest Cup
Wycliffe College v Bridgwater (NatWest Bowl)
Rugby v King’s Macclesfield
St Edward’s, Oxford v Pangbourne College
Beechen Cliff v Kirkham GS
Emanuel v Windsor Boys
KCS Wimbledon v Reed’s
Mill Hill v UCS
Worksop College v King William’s College