This weekend sees the schools rugby fixtures kick off again following the Christmas break.
Many schools are still on holiday, while plenty more have finished their fifteen-a-side rugby for the term, however there are a few very exciting early fixtures this weekend before a much busier weekend next week.
Solihull started last term slowly but picked up some real momentum in the second half of term. They travel to a Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School side who secured some impressive results last term, suggesting an exciting game is in store.
Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar host John Fisher. Historically John Fisher are the stronger of the two, and will be confident of victory on Saturday, however Chislehurst and Sidcup enjoyed a good outing last term, while Fisher were perhaps just shy of some of the results they would have wanted, so they will need to be sharp on Saturday.
On the other side of London, Glyn host Tiffin. Ordinarily a reasonably well-contested game, Tiffin are surely the side to watch here after they secured some really outstanding result last term, which they will doubtless be looking to build on this term.
One of the most interesting fixtures of the weekend will be Judd v Campion. Judd have a NatWest Cup quarter final away to Bishop Wordsworth’s in a couple of weeks, and every fixture in advance will be vital in preparing for that. Campion will pose an interesting challenge to begin with. The East London side are a tough nut to crack, but Judd will need to make sure that they do secure that win in order to build the momentum.
There is a big West Midlands derby between KES Aston and former Schools Cup winners, KES Stratford. It ought to be a good game, though last term’s form suggest Stratford ought just to have the edge.
King Henry VIII Coventry host Repton, who are playing their first game of the season. Little is known about Repton, so early signs point to a King’s victory, but that is a long way from guaranteed.
King’s Macclesfield travel to Merchant Taylors’ on Saturday for what promises to be a good game of rugby, King’s almost broke into the top 50 in the Daily Mail Trophy last term and will be hoping to kick off 2017 with a good win, Merchant Taylors’ will put the pressure on.
RGS Newcastle, as so often last term, face Scottish opposition on Saturday as they travel to Stewart’s Melville. RGS secured a top 40 finish last term, and ought to be confident of a win on Saturday, particularly having beaten their opposition 18-10 back in September.
Finally to Brighton College, one of our School Team of the Year contenders. They travel to St Olave’s Grammar School, and having finished 9th in the Daily Mail Trophy table, reaching the final of the St Joseph’s Festival, and securing an unbeaten season last term, they will be very confident of victory. However, Brighton do have a huge game against Seaford College at Rosslyn Park in midweek, so they may look to rest a few players.
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Schools Rugby Weekend Fixtures (predictions in bold):
Bishop Vesey’s GS v Solihull
Chislehurst & Sidcup GS v John Fisher
Glyn v Tiffin
Judd v Campion
KES Aston v KES Stratford
King Henry VIII Coventry v Repton
Merchant Taylors’ v King’s Macclesfield
Stewart’s Melville v RGS Newcastle
St Olave’s GS v Brighton College