U18 Schools Cup Draw: Could Whitgift go back to back as in 2010 & 2011?

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Coach Logic

The draw for the 2019/20 U18 Schools Cup has taken place, with the opening round of games set to take place on the week beginning on the 23rd September.


Reigning champions Whitgift will begin their defence at home against St Olave’s Grammar School in a tricky London & South East B section that also includesthe likes of Trinity, Whitgift’s local rivals, Sevenoaks, Judd, and a blockbuster opening round tie in the form of Campion v Eltham College two sides that could both have gone deep into the tournament.


(Follow these links for the other draws: Champions Trophy, U18 Vase, U15 Cup, U15 Vase)


In last year’s final Whitgift beat the back to back champions, Warwick. Warwick are back for more this year in the fiendishly difficult Midlands A section, and they are faced with arguably the tie of the opening round as they face the Schools Plate champions, Bloxham. It is a section full of strong first round clashes, and includes former back to back champions Bromsgrove, who host Kings Worcester, former finalists Old Swinford Hospital, who travel to Wrekin, plus the likes of Solihill, Trent College, Lymm High School, and Mount St Mary’s v Worksop.


In the sister section, Midlands B reside the Vase champions, Samuel Whitbread Academy. The Northamptonshire side were sensational in that tournament last year but have a tricky start in to Cup life, an away trip to Bedford Modern, where former Northampton Saints Academy manager Simon Sinclair now resides, a man that knows them well. It is a tricky section all round, with big names from schools rugby throughout, including Oundle, Felsted, Norwich, and St Joseph’s College to name but a few, plus a massive clash as Stowe travel to Northampton School for Boys, whose recent record in this tournament is outstanding.


Dauntsey’s were the side that Samuel Whitbread beat in that Vase final, and they are also promoted to the Cup. They have a tough start to Cup life too, hosting a Marlborough College side that reached the semi finals last year in South West B. The South West sections see a welcome re-population after some rather barren years in terms of early round games. South West B will also see big games such as Canford v Bishop Wordsworth’s, while the likes of Abingdon, RGS High Wycombe, and Seaford College are also in the section.


Likewise in South West A, where Dean Close v Sir Thomas Rich’s looks like one of the games of the opening round, Sherborne v Downside holds plenty of promise too, as does Bristol Grammar v Colston’s.


U18 Schools Cup Round Dates:


Round 1 – w/c 23rd September

Round 2 – w/c 7th October

Round 3 – w/c 4th November

Round 4 – w/c 18th November

Quarter Finals – w/c 2nd December

Semi Finals – w/c 2nd March 2020

Final – Wednesday 18th March 2020


U18 Schools Plate Round Dates (for those knocked out in R1 of Cup):


Round 1 – w/c 7th October

Round 2 – w/c 4th November

Round 3 – w/c 18th November

Quarter Finals – w/c 2nd December

Semi Finals – w/c 2nd March 2020

Final – Wednesday 18th March 2020


London & South East A contains the champions great local rivals, John Fisher. Their tournament starts in tricky fashion at home to Reed’s, while elsewhere in the section lie former champions St Benedict’s, as well as the great Wimbledon rivals, Wimbledon College and KCS Wimbledon, KCS who play St George’s College Weybridge in a big opening match-up.


In recent years the two northern sections have been among the most competitive of the eight sections in the Schools Cup and competition looks strong again this year. North A sees perennial challenges QEGS Wakefield drawn away at Giggleswick, and also includes powerhouses such as Stonyhurst College, Lancaster RGS, Bradford Grammar, and King’s Macclesfield. In reality though, it is a section full of touch and go match-ups.


Similarly in North B, with RGS Newcastle, Durham, Barnard Castle, and St Peter’s York making up just a few names in a section packed with legendary rugby schools. St Peter’s v Grammar School at Leeds should be a cracking opening tie, and look out too for Woodhouse Grove v Prince Henry’s and Hymers v Pocklington.


All in all it looks like one of the most competitive Schools Cup draws for a while, but crucially that is because it is an almost complete draw for the first time in what seems like years. Only three sides have first round bye and there are just five ‘Bye v Bye’ first round games (i.e. draws that would give a first round winner a second round bye), way down on recent years where between just the two South West sections similar figures would be reached.


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Hopefully it will make for an even more compelling tournament that we are used to, culminating in the final on Wednesday 18th March 2020. The final will again be one of just two rounds after Christmas, with the semi finals taking place in early march. All other rounds will be done and dusted prior to Christmas, with the quarter final scheduled for the week of the 2nd December.


As has been the case for the last few years, those losing in the first round will head to the Plate competition, which will see its first round kick off on the week beginning on the 7th October, the same week as the second round of the Cup.


U18 Schools Cup Draw:


North A


Stonyhurst College v Stockport GS

Lancaster RGS v Ermysted’s GS

Giggleswick v QEGS Wakefield

Cheadle Hulme v Bradford GS

Silcoates v Manchester GS

Wilmslow HS v Merchant Taylors’, Crosby

King’s Macclesfield v Calday Grange GS

Wirral GS v St Mary’s College


North B


RGS Newcastle v Dame Allan’s

Emmanuel College v Durham

East Durham College v Hartlepool 6th form College

Barnard Castle v Carmel College

St Peter’s, York v Grammar School at Leeds


Woodhouse Grove v Prince Henry’s GS

Hymers College v Pocklington


Midlands A


Lymm HS v BYE

Sir John Dean’s v Ellesmere College

Wrekin College v Old Swinford Hospital

Bromsgrove v King’s Worcester

Mount St Mary’s College v Worksop College

Trent College v Loughborough GS

Bishop Vesey’s GS v Solihull

Warwick v Bloxham


Midlands B


Northampton SfB v Stowe

Bishop Stopford v Oundle

Bedford Modern v Samuel Whitbread Academy

Bishop’s Stortford College v The Perse

Bishop’s Stortford HS v Felsted


Royal Hospital School v St Joseph’s College

Norwich v BYE


London & South East A


Watford GS v Mill Hill

UCS v St Benedict’s

KCS Wimbledon v St George’s College, Weybridge


Tiffin v Emanuel

Wimbledon College v ACS Cobham International

John Fisher v Reed’s

City of London Freemen’s v Christ’s Hospital


London & South East B


Campion v Eltham College

Seevic College v Colfe’s

Whitgift v St Olave’s GS

Trinity v Langley Park

Ravens Wood v Richard Challoner

Judd v BYE

Cardinal Newman v Simon Langton GS

Sevenoaks v BYE


South West A


Dean Close v Sir Thomas Rich’s


Sherborne v Downside

Kingswood v QEH

Bridgwater & Taunton College v Taunton

King’s College, Taunton v Richard Huish

Exeter v Ivybridge Community College

Bristol GS v Colston’s


South West B


Dauntsey’s v Marlborough College

Abingdon v Reading Blue Coat

Pangbourne College v RGS High Wycombe

Dr Challoner’s GS v The Crypt

Lord Wandsworth College v Portsmouth GS

Seaford College v East Sussex College

Canford v Bishop Wordsworth’s


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