The Colts tournament at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s is considered by many to be the most challenging of all.
With there being no Vase tournament at Colts level, unlike U18 level, it means that all sides a lumped into one tournament, making it fiercely difficult and entertaining.
Wellington College won the title last year, with Will Sinfield’s kicks off proving a thing of beauty and a real weapon throughout. Their status as Champions puts them in Group A alongside Rutlish, Brunts Academy, Uffculme, and Prior Park College.
Group B has an international flavour to it with Cwm Rhymni from Wales, and four English side. Group C looks very competitive, Harrow will be the side to beat but the likes of Durham and 2016 runners up New Hall will be tough opponents.
Group D also looks close. It contains school giants in Epsom College but Seaford College, Solihull, Sutton Valence and Weston College will be some seriously tasty opposition.
Group E will be competitive, but Rugby are the standout name, meanwhile in Group F Whitgift are always a tough outfit, so to Stowe and the Oratory, while Glantaf are one of Wales’ best, while Trinity are a huge beast and local rivals to Whitgift.
Group G is full of big names in school rugby, not least Sherborne, Pocklington, and Monmouth. Over in Group H the outstanding Brighton College, champions in 2016 reside. They will be feeling confident but will face plenty of tough opposition form both English and Welsh opposition.
In Group I the big clash between RGS Newcastle and Woodhouse Grove is likely to be pivotal, but in Ipswich, Pangbourne College, and Thomas Hardye, whose U15s fifteen-a-side team was outstanding last year, they face stern opposition.
Group J is another with some big names and close looking competition, with Bedford Modern, Colston’s, and KCS Wimbledon probably the three main contenders. Abingdon will be looking to progress from Group K, but with just the winner from each group going through, they will need to be one their game, not least against Llandovery College. Beirut International College add an exciting international flavour to the group.
Clifton College are the headline act in a very competitive looking Group L, where Plymouth College in particular will mount a real challenge.
Group M will be fierce, with Mill Hill, Judd, and King’s Canterbury all competing against two big Welsh sides in Bryn Tawe and Whitchurch High School. So too will Group N, which will feature a huge derby match between Oundle and Uppingham and also includes King’s College Taunton and Berkhamsted, as well a Y Pant Comprehensive from Wales.
Group O seems equally tough, with RGS High Wycombe, Denstone College, and RGS Guildford the big three, but Wycliffe College and Birkdale also capable of impressive results. Group P contains two huge names in Warwick, who have been perpetual finalists in the U15 Schools Cup, and the 2005 Colts champions, Sedbergh. Their fixture will be one of the most hotly anticipated of the entire group stage.
Over in Group Q Marlborough College are probably just about favourites in what looks like a very tight group, while in Group R John Fisher, Kirkham Grammar, and Teddies Oxford and going to enjoy three fantastic games of 7s between each other, with any luck.
Bedford are yet to win a Colts title but they will really want to have a good challenge. They have a tricky group though, with one of the stars of the past at Rosslyn Park, Ellesmere College, plus Ivybridge Community College, who have impressed at Colts level before, and whose record in the U15 Schools Cup over the last few years is impressive. They could do very well, they won the U14 tournament in 2016, and that group are now this year’s Colts, so expect them to go very far indeed.
Group T looks open and exciting, with Bishop Wordsworth’s and Caterham join by Cunall Manor, and Aberdare from Wales, plus Belgium’s Waterloo Schools.
Cheltenham College, one of the dominant sides in the U18 Vase in the last 90s and early 00s, are in Group U, with strong competition in Bristol Grammar, Bryteg, Cathedral School Llandaff, and Bishop’s Stortford College. Group V should be a competitive one too, Eton Colege, Birkdale, King’s Macclesfield, Wisbech Grammar, and Worth all reside there.
Group W will not be any easier, Bromsgrove are probably top seeds but Bryanston, Simon Langton, UCS and St George’s Weybridge are tough competition. Much like Group X, where Blundell’s are favourites but will be given a tough old time by Campion Hymers College, London Oratory, and Gwyr.
The tough groups keep on coming thick and fast, with Rydal Penrhos, St Benedict’s, Portsmouth Grammar, Truro, and St Paul’s making up a tough Group Y, and it does not get much easier in Group Z with Canford, Coopers’ Coborn, KES Bath, Royal Hospital School, and Orleans Park.
Oakham and Hampton are the two big guns in Group AA but again not by miles, Loughborough Grammar and Shiplake College will be tough, so too last year’s U14 champions, Wimbledon College.
Dulwich College will want to really demonstrate their quality in Group BB, while in Group CC things are wide open. St Peter’s York and Barnard Castle should have a cracking all North encounter, with St John’s Leatherhead big contenders too, plus City of London Freemen’s and late entries Worksop College. 2012 Champions St Joseph’s College are the headline act in Group DD.
Last year’s Colts final between Wellington College and Millfield was one of the games of the tournament – across all age-groups. Wellington just edged it coming back thrillingly, but Millfield were excellent. They are in Group EE and will be keen to put everything into going one better. The Colts competition is closed of with Group FF, where Tonbridge are probably top dogs but Dean Close, Bryn Celynog, and Queen Ethelburga’s will challenge hard, plus the European School from Rheinmain.
Without doubt, the Colts tournament is one of the major ones to keep an eye on through the week, and as it is the only competition active on Tuesday 20th, it always gains plenty of followers along the touchlines.
You can see our previews of the other competitions through the tournament here:
Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s Previews
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Wellington College||Colfe’s||Durham||Epsom College|
|Rutlish||Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni||Harrow||Seaford College|
|The Brunts Academy||Beaufort||New Hall||Solihull|
|Uffculme||Stanwell||Sutton Valence||St Columba’s College|
|Prior Park College||Lancaster, RGS||Weston College||Ysgol Gyfun Bro Edern|
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|Christ’s Hospital||Trinity||Gordon’s||Brighton College|
|RGS Worcester||Stowe||KES Birmingham||Cowbridge|
|Mount St Mary’s College||The Oratory||Monmouth||Merchant Taylors’|
|Rossall||Whitgift||Pocklington||Welland Park Academy|
|Rugby||Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf||Sherborne||Ysgol Sir Thomas Picton|
|Group I||Group J||Group K||Group L|
|Ipswich||Bedford Modern School||Abingdon||Clayesmore|
|Pangbourne College||Newbridge||Bristol Free School||Clifton College|
|RGS Newcastle||Colston’s||International College, Beirut||Maidstone GS|
|Thomas Hardye||Ibstock Place||Llandovery College||Plymouth College|
|Woodhouse Grove||KCS Wimbledon||Ysgol David Hughes||Yarm|
|Group M||Group N||Group O||Group P|
|Mill Hill||Berkhamsted||Birkdale||QES Kirkby Lonsdale|
|Judd||King’s College, Taunton||Denstone College||Sedbergh|
|King’s School, Canterbury||Oundle||RGS Guildford||Sevenoaks|
|Whitchurch HS||Uppingham||RGS High Wycombe||Wallington CGS|
|Ysgol Gyfun Bryn Tawe||Y Pant Comprehensive||Wycliffe College||Warwick|
|Group Q||Group R||Group S||Group T|
|Cardiff HS||Devonport HS||Ellesmere College||Aberdare|
|Duke of York’s RMS||John Fisher||Bedford||Bishop Wordworth’s|
|Leicester GS||Kirkham GS||Heathfield Community Sch||Caterham|
|Marlborough College||King’s Worcester||Ivybridge||Waterloo Schools, Belgium|
|Ysgol Y Preseli||St Edward’s, Oxford||Shrewsbury||Cundall Manor|
|Group U||Group V||Group W||Group X|
|Bristol Grammar School||Birkdale HS||Bromsgrove||Blundell’s|
|Cathedral School, Llandaff||Eton College||Simon Langton GS||Hymers College|
|Cheltenham College||Wisbech GS||UCS||London Oratory|
|Bishop’s Stortford College||Worth||St George’s, Weybridge||Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr|
|Group Y||Group Z||Group AA||Group BB|
|Rydal Penrhos School||Canford||Hampton||Dulwich College|
|St Benedict’s||Coopers’ Coborn||Loughborough Grammar School||QEH|
|Portsmouth Grammar School||KES Bath||Oakham||King John School|
|St Paul’s||Royal Hospital School||Shiplake College||Torquay Boys GS|
|Truro School||Orleans Park||Wimbledon College||Caerleon Comprehensive|
|Group CC||Group DD||Group EE||Group FF|
|Barnard Castle||Cwmtawe||Emanuel||Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive|
|City of London Freemen’s||Lord Wandsworth College||Millfield||Dean Close|
|Worksop College||King’s Ely||Reigate GS||European School, Rheinmain|
|St John’s, Leatherhead||St John Baptist||St Olave’s HS||Queen Ethelburga’s|
|St Peter’s, York||St Joseph’s College||Wilmington Grammar School||Tonbridge|