U18 Schools Cup: Round 1 Preview

The 2018 U18 Schools Cup kicks off this week with plenty of games to get our teeth stuck into.


As last year, with the Vase competition separate right from the start, the U18 Schools Cup draw is slightly thinner than in years gone by, though in terms of quality there is plenty to shout about.


Reigning champions Warwick are in the Midlands B section, while throughout the other sections are past champions such as Bradford Grammar, Colston’s, Campion, St Peter’s Gloucester, and Whitgift, along with legendary Cup sides such as Barnard Castle, RGS High Wycombe, and last year’s runners-up QEGS Wakefield.


North A


Round 1
Ripley St Thomas v Lancaster RGS
Netherhall v Stonyhurst College
Wilmslow High School v Rydal Penrhos
Cheadle Hulme v St Ambrose College
Sir John Deane’s v Wirral Grammar School
Calday Grange Grammar v Manchester Grammar
Lymm High School v Merchant Taylors’, Crosby
Altrincham Grammar v St Mary’s College, Crosby


Two games a confirmed for Wednesday in North A, Calday Grange Grammar hosting Manchester Grammar, and Rydal Penrhos’ trip to Wilmslow High.


Elsewhere there are some big sides involved, Lancaster RGS travel to Ripley St Thomas, Stonyhurst College to Netherhall, St Ambrose College to Cheale Hulme, and Wirral Grammar to Sir John Deane’s. Meanwhile Lymm High School host Merchant Taylors’ and Altrincham Grammar welcome St Mary’s College.


North B


Round 1
East Durham College v RGS Newcastle
Barnard Castle v Yarm
Hartlepool 6th form College v Durham
St Peter’s, York v Carmel College
Bradford Grammar v Stockport Grammar
Ermysted’s Grammar v King’s Macclesfield
QEGS Wakefield v Hymers College
Rodillian Academy v Woodhouse Grove


North B is confirmed to be a little busier than North A this Wednesday, with two time finalists RGS Newcastle at East Durham College and three time finalists Barnard Castle hosting Yarm.


Durham, another former finalist, travel to Hartlepool 6th form College, while back to back winners in 1992 and 1993, Bradford Grammar School, are away at Stockport Grammar. King’s Macclesfield, meanwhile are at Ermysted’s Grammar, while back to back finalists in 2017 and 2018, and finalists in 1995, 1996, and 2000 too, QEGS Wakefield, host Hymers College.


There are also fixtures with to be confirmed kick off dates, with Woodhouse Grove travelling to Rodillian Academy, and St Peter’s, York, hosting Carmel College, surely making North B the most loaded section of the entire draw.


Midlands A


Round 1
Gresham’s v Langley
St Joseph’s College 22-22 Norwich
Felsted v Royal Hospital School
New Hall v Saffron Walden
Bedford Modern v The Perse
Oundle v The Leys
Northampton School for Boys v Bye
Rugby v Bloxham


Midlands A already has two sides through to the second round, one being Northampton School for Boys, thanks to a first round bye for the 2013 finalists. They will face either Rugby or Bloxham, who meet on Wednesday and are in terrific form.


Norwich are also through after a tense and thrilling 22-22 draw at St Joseph’s College on Saturday afternoon that saw them just squeak through as the away side. They will now face either Gresham’s or Langley in the second round, who meet on Tuesday.


Oundle are also in action on Tuesday, hosting The Leys, while there will be a special atmosphere in the final game on Tuesday in the section as New Hall and Saffron Walden meet at Saracens’ Allianz Park. Bedford Modern and The Perse round out the opening games when they meet on Wednesday.


Midlands B


Round 1
KES Birmingham v Sandbach
KES Camp Hill v Bromsgrove
Solihull v RGS Worcester
Warwick v Old Swinford Hospital
Uppingham v Loughborough Grammar
Stamford v Bye
Mount St Mary’s College v Trent College
Hill House v Nottingham High School


Stamford are already through to the second round thanks to a first round Bye, they will either meet local rivals Uppingham or Loughborough Grammar School, those two meet on Tuesday.


On Wednesday, meanwhile, the back to back Champions, Warwick, take to the stage as they face 2012 finalists, Old Swinford Hospital, the winner there meets either Solihull or RGS Worcester, who also meet on Wednesday.


There are plenty of recent champions in this section, with 2015 and 2016 champions Bromsgrove also included after their spell in the Champions Trophy last year. They travel to KES Camp Hill on Wednesday, with the winner facing either KES Birmingham or Sandbach. Mount St Mary’s reached the 1992 final, they host Trent College on Wednesday, the winner of that faces either Hill House or Nottingham High School.


London & South East A


Round 1
Campion v Seevic
Bye v Bye
Haberdashers’ v UCS
Dr Challoner’s Grammar v Bye
Sir Joseph Williamson’s v Eltham College
Trinity v Skinners’
Langley Park v Judd
Whitgift v Colfe’s


London & South East A is unusually thin, the winner of Campion, former champions and runners up, v Seevic on Wednesday will be straight into the third round, while Dr Challoner’s Grammar are already in the second round, where they will face the winners of Haberdashers’ or UCS.


2010 and 2011 winners Whitgift, who were semi-finalists last year, host Colfe’s, the winners face either Langley Park or Judd, who have had good runs in the last couple of years. Both games take place on Wednesday.


Also on Wednesday is Skinners’ trip to Trinity, while Sir Joseph Williamson’s host the very much in form Eltham College.


London & South East B


Round 1
Richard Collyer v Sussex Downs College
Christ’s Hospital v Seaford College
Lord Wandsworth College v Churcher’s College
George Abott v Caterham
Emanuel v Wimbledon College
John Fisher v London Oratory
KCS Wimbledon v Howard of Effingham
Bye v Bye


The date for KCS Wimbledon v Howard of Effingham has yet to be decided, but the winner will be straight into the third round thanks to a second round bye.


Wednesday sees Caterham, who drop out of the Champions Trophy this year, travel to George Aboutt, while Lord Wandsworth College host Churcher’s College. The winners of those two meet in the next round.


Emanuel and Wimbledon College meet on Wednesday, with a second round game against either John Fisher or London Oratory at stake, while a good Seaford college side travels to Christ’s Hospital, hoping to meet either Richard Collyer of Sussex Downs College in Round 2.


South West A


Round 1
Ivyrbridge Community College v Truro School
King’s College, Taunton v Exeter School
Richard Huish College v Taunton School
Bye v Bye
Canford v Bye
KES Southampton v Portsmouth Grammar
Bishop Wordsworth’s v Sherborne
Bye v Bye


South West A is an odd mix of being awash with both byes and quality. Canford are straight into the second round thanks to a bye and they will be facing the winner of Wednesday’s game between KES Southampton and Portsmouth Grammar in that game.


Bishop Wordsworth’s v Sherborne is quite possibly the tie of the entire first round, taking place on Wednesday it is a brutal first round draw but for the winners it will be worth is as a bye straight into the third round awaits. The same is true for the winner of Richard Huish College v Taunton.


Two games that will result in a second round head to head are Exeter School’s trip to King’s College Taunton on Wednesday and Ivybridge Community College’s game at home to Truro School.


South West B


Round 1
Bye v Bye
Sir Thomas Rich’s v St Peter’s, Gloucester
Abingdon v Dean Close
RGS High Wycombe v Bye
Corsham v Cokethorpe
Marlborough College v Bye
Weston College v Downside
Colston’s v Bye


South West B is similar to South West A in many ways, with plenty of quality but also plenty of byes. Three sides go straight to the second round, RGS High Wycombe, Marlborough College, and Cup legends Colston’s, while the winner of Sir Thomas Rich’s v St Peter’s Gloucester will head straight to the third round.


Abingdon v Dean Close is a mammoth fixture on Wednesday, and a second round tie against RGS High Wycombe is the prize for the winner, a brutal early run.


Corsham and Cokethorpe play out for the chance to face Marlborough College, while Colston’s opponents will be either Weston College or Downside, who meet on Wednesday to decide that one.


A reminder that we welcome any photos, videos, and reports from your school’s games – the more the merrier! You can send them in to us via any of the methods below:

Twitter: @FifteenRugbyXV

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby

Instagram: @fifteenrugbyxv

Email: writers@fifteenrugby.com

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