With the 7s season finally kicking into full gear, Uppingham will host one of the big 7s tournaments this weekend.
Twelve schools will gather in Rutland for the tournament, including some of the biggest names on the schools rugby circuit, sides that we can expect to have an impact at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s later this month.
The twelve teams at Uppingham will be split into three groups of four, the winners of those groups and the best runner up will then move to the Cup semi finals. The Plate semi finals, meanwhile, will consist of the next two runners up and the best two third placed sides. The remaining third placed side and the three sides finishing bottom of the pools will play in the Bowl semi finals.
Denstone College are the reigning champions, they beat Stamford 19-12 in the final last year and the Staffordshire side will surely have big ambitions again this year, including a strong showing at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s and training days with the likes of Sedbergh will have them right on peak form. They are drawn in Group 3, where for company they have Bedford, perennial winners on this type of circuit, The Perse, and a strong Mount St Mary’s College outfit.
Stamford meanwhile are in Group 1 and after winning the tittle at the Nottingham High School 7s on Wednesday they will be arriving at Uppingham full of confidence. Their group will not be easy though for alongside them are the hosts, Uppingham, who enjoyed their best fifteen-a-side season in a decade and will be eyeing up similar performances in the shortened format. Uppingham won the Bowl last year, beating Framlingham College 29-14, but will be looking for more this year. Framlingham are actually in this group as well, as are one of Uppingham and Stamford’s biggest rivals, Oundle.
Group 2 meanwhile looks stacked, Bromsgrove won the KES Stratford Shakespeare Invitational 7s on Wednesday and will be hungry for more after impressing all onlookers there. Up against them though are some serious heavyweights, not least Champions Trophy finalists Rugby School, who will look to translate that form to the 7s field. The Leys are a rapidly rising force too, while the ever strong Oakham make the short ten minute journey across Rutland to the home of their nearest and oldest rivals and would love nothing more than to leave Uppingham with the silverware. They won the Plate in 2018 but will doubtless be eager to go one better.
Whatever the outcome though, the strength of the field suggests an epic Sunday on School 7s at Uppingham.
Uppingham 7s Draw:
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3|
|Stamford||Rugby||Mount St Mary’s|
|Uppingham||The Leys||The Perse|