After a bumper Friday of schools rugby with the U18 Academies having a week off, momentum was really building this week with a number of fixtures taking place on Wednesday and a few more on Friday evening.
There was also another England U20 v Scotland U20 fixture on Friday, again there was little info available as these games are being treated as training games ahead of the U20 Six Nations, for which the fixture list was revealed earlier this week, with adapted laws, differing squad sizes, and no caps awarded. Nevertheless, news has filtered through that England took the game five tries to two, backing up last week’s 40-21 effort.
It looks likely that England will face Wales next week and Scotland will continue training at Oriam before all sides head to Cardiff for the Six Nations, where all games will take place at the Cardiff Arms Park.
Wednesday School Fixtures
A lot of the ACE sides were in action on Wednesday, among them Harlequins’ new ACE side Gordon’s, who played Reed’s for the second week in a row, winning 47-10 but most importantly for both sides getting some good game time after so long without a break. Gordon’s are looking strong with their new status, and have a number of players in Harlequins Academy action this weekend, while Reed’s are building well ahead of their live streamed game against Felsted on Friday 28th May, right here on NextGenXV.
The ever impressive Hartpury College were also in action as they hosted Truro College at both 1st XV and 2ndXV level. In the first team game both sides were in fine spirits, enjoying their rugby after so long without. A classic encounter unfolded, leaning Hartpury’s way 45-39, but it was definitely rugby, and the joy of playing, that was the winner here.
Henley College and Stourport High School were both in action on Wednesday, too. Both sides gave a superb account of themselves, with Henley College just coming out on top, 25-17.
There was a close one in Yorkshire too as Bishop Burton College hosted Gosforth Academy, highlights of which you can see below. It ended 13-10 in Bishop Burton’s favour, and the game was a real celebration for both sides, with many players on either side finished their ACE careers. It is perhaps the greatest feature of this mini-season, players getting to pull on the shirt one last time.
That was certainly the idea at Bishop Wordsworth’s as they staged a fantastic event, with a Leavers XV taking on a Stayers XV, a fantastic idea that reflects the feelings across the nation in this month long 2020/21 season. Wirral Grammar were in similarly enthusiastic mood on Wednesday as they travelled to Manchester Grammar School for what was, concurrently, their first and penultimate fixture of the season.
There were some other brilliant games elsewhere, Moulton College and Samuel Whitbread Academy going head to head in a truly celebratory game, while Cardinal Newman Trailfinders were utterly sensational against Coventry College as their players flew out of the traps, clearly pumped after so long without being able to play the game we all love.
Friday School Fixtures
It is not quite such a busy Friday evening as last week, Academy League fixtures meaning that a number of schools simply do not have players available.
Two that are hampered by call-ups by both London Irish and Harlequins are Hampton and Wellington College, but these two superb sides will still go head to head on Friday evening in what ought to be a fantastic opportunity for a number of pupils to pull on a 1st XV shirt for perhaps the very first time. Both sides were also in action last week, Wellington College in a cracker with Whitgift in memory of old boy of both Seb Adeniran-Olule, while Hampton played in a real epic against Epsom College, highlights of which you can see below.
The same is true down in the South West where Millfield take on Beechen Cliff. Both sides will contribute heavily to Bath’s U18 side but that will only allow for more players to pull on the famous shirts of these two schools as they aim to put on a show at the famous Gareth Edwards pitch. Millfield will also be putting out another side on Friday, who will take on King’s College Taunton, who will be raring to go after a warm up fixture against Richard Huish last weekend. Millfield were also playing last weekend taking on Clifton College, check out the highlights below, in a cracking game of schoolboy rugby.
You can watch/listen to our full roundup of last Friday’s action here: