An exciting couple of days of schools rugby lie ahead, and while many may be keeping an eye on the Champions Trophy and Schools Cup there is some serious rugby elsewhere too.
With the cold weather now biting after an unseasonably comfortable opening few weeks of this second half of term, we could see some different styles start to come in. Certainly on Saturday we saw a huge number of games being decided by less than a score, so the excitement levels are definitely high at the moment.
Of course much of the attention will be on the knockout competitions, and you can see our previews of those via the links below, but with games such as Denstone College v St Joseph’s College, Bedford v Radley College, and Harrow v Wellington College, to name just a few, over the next couple of days, this non-knockout rugby is certainly high on the agenda this week.
Wednesday is a busy day across the country, and one of the most exciting games of the day is likely to be Denstone College v St Joseph’s College in the 4.30pm kick off at Bedford RFC. The two teams look incredibly well matched and have played some excellent rugby this season, a victory would give both huge confidence heading into the final few weeks of term.
Another massive game sees St Peter’s York, fresh from a good win against Barnard Castle on Saturday, travel to Amleforth College, who have not had their best season but will be raring to go in this huge midweek game.
Elsewhere Cokethorpe are in action at Burford, with Brentwood hosting West Hatch and Cardinal Newman welcoming Steyning Grammar. Meanwhile Duke of York’s are heading to Chatham & Clarendon with QES Kirkby Lonsdale in action at Keswick.
There is a massive game in the Scottish Schools Cup as Dollar Academy host St Aloysius’ College. Both have been in outstanding form this year, setting up an excellent semi final, with the winner set to face either Merchiston Castle or George Watson’s in the final, two of the biggest names in Scottish Schools Rugby.
There is a strong cross-border clash as Englishmen Ellesmere Colelge host Welshmen Rydal Penrhos, while over in Wales Llandovery College are in action at Pembrokeshire College.
Wednesday will also see Emmanuel College host Toby Flood’s old school, King’s Priory, while Shrewsbury travel to Oswestry and Rossall host Rishworth, the former school of George Ford, among others. Meanwhile Cardinal Vaughan make a short trip to Saint Cecilia’s, while Sandringham host Dame Alice Owens, and Dr Challoner’s Grammar travel to Sir William Borlase’s.
In the County Cup Hampton take on UCS, while over in the West Midlands Old Swinford Hospital host KES Five Ways. There is a really exciting derby game at Reading Abott RFC at 7pm on Wednesday, as Pangbourne College take on Shiplake College.
Judd are travelling to St Olave’s Grammar, while elsewhere Pocklington make the trip to Prince Henry’s and Pate’s Grammar are in action at home to Hereford Cathedral School. KES Aston meanwhile are hosted by Princethorpe College and Wallington County Grammar host Rutlish.
Thursday is a huge day, with some huge games going on. The second Scottish Schools Cup semi final takes place, Merchiston Castle host George Watson’s College. The two actually met a couple of weeks ago, with George Watson’s winning 29-22, so you can be sure that Merchiston Castle are going to be coming flying out ahead of this one. The winner will face either Dollar Academy or St Aloysius’, who meet on Wednesday.
Bedford, fresh from a draw with Oakham on Saturday, are hosting Radley College, who won their Oxford derby against Abingdon on Saturday. It is usually a cracking game and should be again.
Eslewhere Monkton Combe, after a good victory at the weekend, travel to Warminster, while Robert Smyth host Ratcliffe College, meanwhile a strong Bishop’s Stortford High School side are in action at Framlingham College.
There is a huge game in North West London as Harrow, who enjoyed a brilliant win over Kirkham Grammar last week, host Wellington College, who had a strong win over Denstone College. Much will likely depend on how Wellington College organise their playing resources given their Champions Trophy semi final against Bristol Grammar on Tuesday. It could well be a real cracker.
As could Cheltenham College v Sir Thomas Rich’s on Thursday evening at Cheltenham RFC. Both are playing good rugby this year and could put on a show. Not far down the road another strong side in the form of Dean Close host Monmouth in another game that should be a classic.
Eton College are also in action, hosting Merchant Taylors’, while KES Bath host Bryanstone, and Prior Park College travel to King’s Bruton in what should be a trio of excellent games.
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:
Schools Rugby Midweek Fixtures (predictions in bold):
Ampleforth College v St Peter’s, York
Brentwood v West Hatch
Burford v Cokethorpe
Cardinal Newman v Steyning GS
Chatham & Clarendon v Duke of York’s RMS
Denstone College v St Joseph’s College (Bedford, 4.30pm)
Dollar Academy v St Aloysius’ College (Scottish Schools Cup semi)
Ellesmere College v Rydal Penrhos
Emmanuel College v King’s Priory
Hampton v UCS (County Cup)
Keswick v QES Kirkby Lonsdale
Old Swinford Hospital v KES Five Ways
Oswestry v Shrewsbury
Pangbourne College v Shiplake College (Reading Abott RFC, 7pm)
Pate’s GS v Hereford Cathedral School
Pembrokeshire College v Llandovery College
Prince Henry’s GS v Pocklington
Princethorpe College v KES Aston
Rossall v Rishworth
Sandringham v Dame Alice Owens
Saint Cecilia’s v Cardinal Vaughan
Sir William Borlase’s GS v Dr Challoner’s GS
St Olave’s GS v Judd
Wallington CGS v Rutlish
Bedford v Radley College
Cheltenham College v Sir Thomas Rich’s (Cheltenham RFC, 7.30pm)
Dean Close v Monmouth
Framlingham College v Bishop’s Stortford HS
Harrow v Wellington College
Eton College v Merchant Taylors’
KES Bath v Bryanston
King’s Bruton v Prior Park College
Merchiston Castle v George Watson’s College (Scottish Schools Cup semi)
Robert Smyth Academy v Ratcliffe College
Warminster v Monkton Combe