The 2018 Edwin Doran Surrey Schools Senior 7s takes place on Wednesday, with 52 teams heading to the Richmond Athletic Ground.
The Edwin Doran Surrey Schools Senior 7s is seen as the biggest tournament on the road to the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s, one of the strongest indicators of 7s form ahead of that huge competition, and a vital one this year due to the paucity of tournaments as a result of the weather.
The 52 sides are split into thirteen groups of four, with the winners of each group plus the best three runners-up all progressing to the Cup last 16 round.
The remaining 8 best placed Surrey affiliated schools take place in the Surrey Plate, for Surrey schools only, starting with the quarter final round.
Last year was one of the most dramatic Surrey 7s in years as Hampton sensationally charged through the tournament to win it, beating Beechen Cliff in the final.
That victory sees them drawn in Group A this year, a tricky group alongside Stowe, Reed’s, and UCS. The side they beat in that final, Beechen Cliff, are at the other end of the draw, Group M. Harris City Academy, and St John’s Leatherhead are their rivals in that group, along with the 2016 champions Harrow, a group of death if ever there was one.
That is the nature of the Surrey 7s, each group is incredibly competitive, and as it is played over a single day it is not just a feat of competition, it is a feat of endurance too to win it.
Back to back Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s champions Cranleigh are in Group B, alongside Berkhamsted, Gordon’s, and Weston College. Should Cranleigh and Hampton both win their groups, there would be a bumper last 16 tie, with the 2017 Surrey 7s champions facing the 2017 Rosslyn Park champions. In contrast though, the winners of Beechen Cliff’s Group M will face the third best runner up.
Group C hosts one of the most successful sides in school 7s and Surrey 7s history, Millfield. They are joined by St Benedict’s, RGS Guildford, and, George Abbot School.
The winner of Group C will face the winner of Group D in the last 16, a group that contains London Oratory, Wimbledon College, and two AASE sides, Truro College and Oaklands College.
There is another AASE side in Group E, Henley College, as well as the 2017 Champions Trophy winners, Dulwich College. Completing the group are Downside and Tiffin, with the winners taking on Group F’s winners. That group sees last year’s Surrey Plate winners, Caterham, as well as Hurstpierpoint College, Coopers Coborn, and AASE side St Paul’s Catholic College.
The reigning St Joseph’s Festival champions, Brighton College, are in Group G. It looks a tricky one, with Eton College for company, as well as KCS Wimbledon and the Hampton 2nd VII. The winners there will take on the best runners up in the last 16.
Epsom College and Rugby are the two big guns in Group H, but keep an eye on Emanuel and the St Paul’s Catholic College 2nd VII. The winners will take on the second best runner up in the last 16 round.
Over to Group I, where former champions and U18 Schools Cup semi finalists Whitgift lurk. Joining them are Pangbourne College, and Seaford College. Also in the group are Kirkham Grammar School, a late call up to the tournament after a last minute drop out, but the north western side could well turn out to be one of the favourites, certainly they can boast some of the top talent in all of schoolboy rugby.
The Group I winners will face the Group J winners in the next round, which contains St Joseph’s College, Moulton College, Christ’s Hospital, and Anthony Watson’s former school, St George’s College Weybridge.
Group K contains a couple of sides that have made a real impact on this tournament in the past, SGS Filton College and John Fisher, as well as Easbourne College and the Caterham 2nd VII.
The winners will likely face a hugely tough last 16 game against the winners of Group L, where former Champions Wellington College are surely the favourites. Joining them are Sevenoaks, Wallington County Grammar School, and the Brighton College 2nd VII.
The tournament kicks off at 10am on Wednesday 7th March, with the final group game scheduled for 1.40pm. The Surrey Plate final will take place at 4.40pm, while the Edwin Doran Sports Tours Surrey U18 7s Cup final will kick off at 5.05pm.
2018 Edwin Doran Surrey Schools Senior 7s Draw:
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Stowe||Cranleigh*||George Abbot School||Truro College|
|Reed’s*||Weston College||RGS Guildford*||Oaklands College|
|University College School||Gordon’s*||St Benedict’s||London Oratory|
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|Downside||Hurstpierpoint College||Eton College||Emanuel*|
|Henley College||Coopers Company & Coborn||Brighton College||Rugby|
|Dulwich College*||St Paul’s Catholic College*||KCS Wimbledon*||Epsom College*|
|Tiffin*||Caterham*||Hampton 2nd VII*||St Paul’s Catholic College 2nd VII*|
|Group I||Group J||Group K||Group L|
|Seaford College||Moulton College||Eastbourne College||Wellington College|
|Pangbourne College||St Joseph’s College||Caterham 2nd VII*||Sevenoaks|
|Whitgift*||Christ’s Hospital||SGS Filton College||Brighton College 2nd VII|
|Kirkham Grammar||St George’s, Weybridge*||John Fisher*||Wallington County GS*|
|Beechen Cliff School|
|Harrow School 1st XV|
|Harris City Academy*|
|St John’s, Leatherhead*|