The annual Solihull 7s takes place on Wednesday afternoon, split across Solihull School and Old Silhillians RFC.
Thirty different school will meet in one of the biggest pre-Rosslyn Park tournaments of the season. The thirty sides will be split into six groups of five teams each.
The top side from each Group will progress into two phase 2 Cup groups, with the winner of each of those Groups heading to the Cup final. The same will apply to those finishing second in the original Groups, they will head to the two phase 2 Plate groups, the winners of each will then compete in the Plate final, while those finishing third in the original groups will do the same, but in competition for the Bowl.
The hosts, Solihull, are in Group A. They last won the tournament back in 2014, but were Plate winners two years ago. They will fancy their chances of a heading to the Cup groups this year though, but must get past The Crypt, Pate’s Grammar, Nottingham High School, and last year’s Bowl winners, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, first.
Over in Group B things look wide open. Solihull’s local rivals Solihull 6th for College are in amongst things alongside Wrekin College, KES Aston, Kenilworth, and Bablake.
Things look fierce in Group C, where 2015 and 2016 Schools Cup champions Bromsgrove lurk. They will be a big threat, as will AASE side Ivybridge Community College, 2015 Plate winners Bedford Modern, and Newcastle-Under-Lyme, who have been quietly performing well. Keep a real eye out for Coleg Llandrillo too, who lost narrowly, 19-15, to RGS High Wycombe in last year’s final and will be eager to go one better. A real group of death.
Group D contains the reigning champions, RGS High Wycombe, who will be keen to repeat that feat. It looks like another tricky group too, containing 2013 Plate champions and former Schools Cup winners St Peter’s Gloucester, as well as three really tough sides in Bloxham, Ellesmere College, and Old Swinford Hospital.
Group E looks likely to be a battle royale between two schoolboy heavyweights in Monmouth and Stamford, but look out for KES Stratford, who can always cause problems, as well as Akeley Wood and Welshmen Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg.
Group F contains the dangerous 2015 and 2016 champions Warwick, however with a huge U18 Schools Cup semi final to prepare for on Saturday it is unlikely that they will be sending their strongest side. That opens the door to the Cup groups to a hugely competitive group alongside them, with Aberdare, Leicester Grammar, Loughborough Grammar, and Sandbach all competing hard.
Solihull 7s Groups:
|Group A||Group B||Group C|
|Bishop Vesey’s GS||Bablake||Bedford Modern|
|Pate’s GS||KES Aston||Coleg Llandrillo|
|Solihull||Solihull 6th form College||Ivybridge CC|
|The Crypt||Wrekin College||Newcastle-Under-Lyme|
|Group D||Group E||Group F|
|Ellesmere College||KES Stratford||Leicester GS|
|Old Swinford Hospital||Monmouth||Loughborough GS|
|RGS High Wycombe||Stamford||Sandbach|
|St Peter’s, Gloucester||Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg||Warwick|