Schools Rugby Weekend Preview: Saturday 3rd February

It is an exciting weekend of school rugby ahead, there is plenty of fifteen-a-side action, while the 7s season gathers more momentum with a couple of huge tournaments.

 

We will preview the big 7s tournaments elsewhere, while this piece will focus on the fifteen-a-side action, you can follow the links to those 7s tournaments here:

 

Shiplake 7s Preview

South Coast 7s Preview

 

Five to Watch

 

King’s Macclesfield v Solihull

 

This should be a cracking game of rugby, both sides are unbeaten in 2018 and enjoyed strong seasons last term. Since Christmas they have one common opponents, Sir Thomas Rich’s. Both sides won, but King’s Macclesfield did so by a more dominant margin, perhaps that might play to their advantage on Saturday. Either way, it looks like a great game of rugby.

 

Prediction: King’s Macclesfield

 

Loughborough Grammar v Old Swinford Hospital

 

Loughborough are yet to get off the mark in 2018, having lost two form two, while Old Swinford Hospital last week enjoyed a strong win over Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School. Nevertheless, there is a sense that this should be a close game and one to keep an eye on.

 

Prediction: Old Swinford Hospital

 

RGS High Wycombe v John Fisher

 

An absolute schoolboy classic between two sides that are almost always knocking around in the upper echelons. This year has been harder though, neither has probably had the season that they would have hoped for, however Fisher have won two from three since Christmas and ran reigning Schools Cup champions Warwick close. RGS also gave them a good game last week, so there are signs that this could be a really top end clash. It should be close, and should be a cracking game of schools rugby.

 

Prediction: RGS High Wycombe

 

Sir Thomas Rich’s v Warwick

 

Warwick are unbeaten in 2018 and are into the Schools Cup semi finals as they seek to defend their title. They have been playing some fine stuff, however they come up against a tough Sir Thomas Rich’s side on Saturday. Sir Thomas Rich’s may have lost a couple, but they have also beaten both Millfield and Llandovery College in January. They will provide a stern test, one that Warwick will want to pass with flying colours to keep their momentum up.

 

Prediction: Warwick

 

St Joseph’s College v Campion

 

This is always a top game of rugby, one that evokes memory of that fantastic Schools Cup encounter a few years ago when Campion threw in a huge upset with a gritty defeat of St Jo’s. Plenty of time ahs passed since then tough, indeed neither side may even remember it, but once again we are looking at two top sides. Campion have had a stunning season, but at home St Jo’s are such a tricky proposition for anyone, it should be well worth a watch.

 

Prediction: Campion

 

Around the Grounds

 

Friday

 

There is just one game on Friday as City of London Freemen’s and Glyn meet for what promises to be a keenly contested encounter that really could go either way.

 

Saturday

 

Caterham have a special game on Saturday as they host Argentine tourists Belgrano, which promises to be a spectacular occasion.

 

Elsewhere Dartford Grammar will be looking to continue their excellent form when they travel to Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar, while Latymer Upper will be making the trip to Cobham International.

 

St George’s Harpenden will be a tough challenge for Tiffin, who are looking to bounce back after defeat last week, while King Henry VIII Coventry are hosting Repton and Birkenhead welcome Oswestry.

 

In the Midlands Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School v Welbeck should be a close and passionate encounter, while in the South East Brentwood v Coopers’ Coborn ought to be a similar game.

 

In Scotland some of the giants of the game are in action, George Heriot’s travel to Glasgow Academy, while Stewart’s Melville host Edinburgh Academy. Dollar Academy meanwhile face a tricky trip to Wellington School, Ayr.

 

There is also an exciting 7s tournament on Saturday as Durham School host the Bain 7s. Yarm, RGS Newcastle, and Ampleforth College are among the visitors, though further details are yet to emerge, history says though that this is always a tournament to keep an eye on as the 7s season really kicks off.

 

Sunday

 

Continuing the 7s theme, there are two huge 7s tournaments going on further South on Sunday, the Shiplake 7s at Shiplake College and the South Coast 7s at Portsmouth Grammar School.

 

At Shiplake Bedford are looking to make it three wins in a row, but it is a strong field, including the likes of Haileybury, Cheltenham College, and the recent surprise winners of the Seaford 7s, Hurstpierpoint College. You can see the full preview for the tournament here: Shiplake 7s Preview.

 

The South Coast 7s at Portsmouth Grammar School looks incredibly strong, with the likes of Wellington College, Millfield, Dulwich College, Canford, Denstone College, and Brighton College all involved. It promises to be a serious indicator of form in the lead up to the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s. You can see the full preview for the tournament here: South Coast 7s Preview.

 

As always, if you have any videos, photos, or reports from the weekend’s rugby, please feel free to send them in via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby), Instagram (@fifteenrugbyxv), or through email (writers@fifteenrugby.com).

 

Schools Rugby Weekend Fixtures – Saturday 3rd February (predictions in bold):

 

Five to Watch

 

King’s Macclesfield v Solihull

Loughborough GS v Old Swinford Hospital

RGS High Wycombe v John Fisher

Sir Thomas Rich’s v Warwick

St Joseph’s College v Campion

 

Friday

 

City of London Freemen’s v Glyn

 

Saturday

 

Birkenhead v Oswestry

Bishop Vesey’s GS v Welbeck

Brentwood v Coopers’ Coborn

Caterham v Belgrano (Argentina)

Chislehurst & Sidcup GS v Dartford GS

Cobham International v Latymer Upper

Glasgow Academy v George Heriot’s

King Henry VIII, Coventry v Repton

Stewart’s Melville v Edinburgh Academy

St George’s Harpenden v Tiffin

Wellington School, Ayr v Dollar Academy

 

Durham School Bain 7s

 

Sunday

 

Shiplake 7s – Shiplake College

South Coast 7s – Portsmouth Grammar School

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