After a brilliant weekend of school rugby comes a busy midweek, with fixtures across Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, before we enter another packed Friday and Saturday of action.
The Schools Vase is the reason for the surge in midweek fixtures, it is the opening round of the Vase this week (the Cup, with its much thinner number of entrants, begins in a fortnight), and there are some cracking games ahead.
It will be the first national competition games since March 2020 when the Cup, Plate, Vase, and Bowl competitions were cancelled prior to the finals.
This year the competition will still follow that same format as pre-covid, with the first round losers in the Cup heading to the Plate, and those losing in round 1 of the Vase heading to the Bowl. However the Champions Trophy, which sat at the top of the Schools Cup tree at U18 level, is no longer in existence.
Just two games are scheduled to take place in North A this week, with Birkenhead host the Isle of Man’s King William’s College and Calday Grange Grammar hosting Wirral Grammar, both on Wednesday. The winners of those two fixtures will meet in the next round.
North B is fairly busy this week, and one of the picks of the games is going to be Ampleforth College v Pocklington, a real heavyweight clash in Vase terms. The winner will face either East Durham or Yarm.
Dame Allan’s meanwhile host Gateshead College, with the winner there facing either Emmanuel College or Durham, while it’s a Harrogate derby as Harrogate Grammar host Ashville College with either Ripon Grammar or St John Fisher awaiting the winner. The winner of Loughborough Grammar v Queen Mary’s Grammar, meanwhile, will have a Bye to Round 3.
Sandbach host Newcastle-under-Lyme, with the winner there playing either Fallibroome or The Grange, while St Ambrose College and Wilmslow High go head to head in a big clash, the winner facing either Bolton or Lymm High.
On Thursday Ratcliffe College host Trent College, with the winner there in action against either Carre’s Grammar or King’s Grantham.
The action begins in Midlands A on Tuesday with King’s Ely v St Ivo, with the winner facing either Hitchingbrooke or the in form Wellingborough.
On Wednesday things get busier, with Bishop’s Stortford College playing Saffron Walden for a chance to play either The Perse or Hills Road, who also meet on Wednesday.
Coventry College have a massive game v KES Stratford, and a tough opponent then awaits in either Princethorpe College or Leicester Grammar. KES Birmingham, meanwhile, host KES Camp Hill with either Lichfield of Bishop Vesey’s the prize there.
Old Swinford Hospital welcome KES Five Ways, either Arden Academy or Bablake lie in wait there, and then on Thursday things are rounded off with Culford v The Leys, Langley or Wymondham College await the winner there.
Midlands B also sees action on Tuesday as one of the dark horses, Ipswich, host a strong RGS Colchester side. The winners have a real boost too, heading straight to Round 3.
Wednesday then sees plenty of action, Aylesbury Grammar host Tring while Magdalen College host Royal Latin, the two winners there will meet in Round 2.
Elsewhere Bishop’s Stortford High host St Edmund’s College, with the winner facing either Dam Alice Owens or St Edmund’s local rivals, Richard Hale. Sandringham welcome Roundwood Park with a game against either Hitchin or Sir John Lawes the prize for the winner, while St Columba’s College host Verulam. Beaumont or Samuel Ryder will be the Round 2 opponents for the winner of that one.
London & South East A
London & South East A also starts on Tuesday, with Saint Cecilia’s v Carshalton, the winners play either Harris City Academy or Wallington County Grammar, who meet on Wednesday.
Elsewhere on Wednesday there is one of the ties of the round as St George’s College Weybridge and Reed’s go head to head in their massive local derby, with the winner facing either Farnborough or Gordon’s.
George Abbot host Godalming College, City of London Freemen’s or Glyn the reward for the winner, while Isleworth & Syon welcome Orelans Park, London Oratory or Wetherby are the opponents for the winners there. Tiffin are at home to Richard Challoner and the winner will play either Esher College or Grey Court, while Haberdashers’ travel to Rickmansworth, Mill Hill or QES Barnet being the reward for the winner there.
London & South East B
It’s a busy week in London & South West B, starting on Tuesday with King’s Canterbury v Marsh Academy. The winner will not have to wait long to find out their round 2 opponent, it will be the winner of Maidstone Grammar v St Lawrence College on Wednesday.
Beth’s Grammar host Sutton Valence on Wednesday, with Oakwood Park welcoming Gravesend Grammar, the winners of those two will then meet one another. It is a similar story with Sevenoaks v Skinners’ and Worth v Eastbourne College, two massive games, with the winners in each set to face each other next round.
Eltham College have impressed in recent years, they host Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar, with a game against either Robert Clark or Colfe’s the reward for the winner. Meanwhile another impressive side of late, Hayes, travel to Ravens Wood. Either Trinity or St Olave’s, two strong sides, await the winner.
In Essex Brentwood host Coopers’ Coborn, with either USP or Southend awaiting the winner, meanwhile Riddlesdown Collegiate head to St Dunstan’s College, with the winner playing either Dartford Grammar or Wilmington.
South West A
Things are a bit quieter in South West A, Downside welcome King’s Bruton on Tuesday and the winner will play either Gryphon or yeovil College.
Wednesday has three games, The Crypt host King’s Gloucester and the winner will face either Chosen Hill or St Peter’s Gloucester, while West Buckland host Wellington School with Exeter School or Torquay Boys Grammar the winner’s reward. Meanwhile Wycliffe College welcome Marling, with either Katharine Lady Berkeley’s or Malmesbury laying in wait.
South West B
South West B also sees the bulk of the action on Wednesday with some big games. Churcher’s College v Portsmouth Grammar and Lord Wandsworth College v Peter Symonds’ College probably the two biggest, and the winners of each will meet in Round 2.
There are no such worries for the winners of Ryde with Upper Chine v KES Southampton, the winners there have a bye to Round 3. Elsewhere John Hampden host Windsor Boys, either Forest or Sir William Borlase’s will be the reward for victory there, while Reading Blue Coat welcome St James, with a game against Lord Williams’ or The Oratory the reward there.
The action concludes on Thursday with St Laurence v Monkton Combe, and the winner of that one will face either Sheldon or Dauntsey’s.
There is a massive game in Scotland on Tuesday as two of the most famous schools in the country go head to head Loretto and Fettes College, it’s sure to be a huge occasion.
Wednesday is reasonably busy outside of the Vase. There is a huge game in Wales as giants Christ College and Gower College go head to head.
Over in England one of the biggest games will be Nottingham High v Bishop Vesey’s Grammar, with Nottingham looking to bounce back from derby defeat on Saturday. Elsewhere Rishworth host Bury Grammar and Kingham Hill welcome Burford.
Caterham travel to Wilson’s for a friendly, while Fulham Boys look to bounce back v Ewell Castle, and Royal Alexandra & Albert welcome Reigate College.
Thursday has just one game and it will be a tough one for King’s Bruton as they look to bounce back sharply from their Vase game on Tuesday to face Clayesmore on Thursday, in what should be a competitive game.
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Schools Rugby Midweek Fixtures
Tuesday 14th September
Downside v King’s Bruton (Schools Vase) SW A
Ipswich v RGS Colchester (Schools Vase) Midlands B
King’s Canterbury v Marsh Academy (Schools Vase) LSE B
King’s Ely v St Ivo (Schools Vase) Midlands A
Loretto v Fettes College
Saint Cecilia’s v Carshalton (Schools Vase) LSE A
Wednesday 15th September
Ampleforth College v Pocklington (Schools Vase) North B
Aylesbury Grammar v Tring (Schools Vase) Midlands B
Beth’s Grammar v Sutton Valence (Schools Vase) LSE B
Bishop’s Stortford High v St Edmund’s College, Ware (Schools Vase) Midlands B
Birkenhead v King William’s College (Schools Vase) North A
Bishop’s Stortford College v Saffron Walden CHS (Schools Vase) Midlands A
Brentwood v Coopers’ Coborn (Schools Vase) LSE B
Calday Grange Grammar v Wirral Grammar (Schools Vase) North A
Christ College v Gower College
Churcher’s College v Portsmouth Grammar (Schools Vase) SW B
Coventry College v KES Stratford (Schools Vase) Midlands A
Dame Allan’s v Gateshead College (Schools Vase) North B
Eltham College v Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar (Schools Vase) LSE B
Ewell Castle v Fulham Boys
George Abbot v Godalming College (Schools Vase) LSE A
Harrogate Grammar v Ashville College (Schools Vase) North B
Isleworth & Syon v Orleans Park (Schools Vase) LSE A
John Hampden Grammar v Windsor Boys (Schools Vase) SW B
KES Birmingham v KES Camp Hill (Schools Vase) Midlands A
Kingham Hill v Burford (Friendly)
Lord Wandsworth College v Peter Symonds’ College (Schools Vase) SW B
Loughborough Grammar v Queen Mary’s Grammar (Schools Vase) North B
Magdalen College v Royal Latin (Schools Vase) Midlands B
Maidstone Grammar v St Lawrence College (Schools Vase) LSE B
Nottingham High v Bishop Vesey’s Grammar
Oakwood Park v Gravesend Grammar (Schools Vase) LSE B
Old Swinford Hospital v KES Five Ways (Schools Vase) Midlands A
Ravens Wood v Hayes (Schools Vase) LSE B
Reading Blue Coat v St James (Schools Vase) SW B
Rishworth v Bury Grammar
Rickmansworth v Haberdashers’ (Schools Vase) LSE A
Royal Alexandra & Albert v Reigate College
Ryde with Upper Chine v KES Southampton (Schools Vase) SW B
Sandbach v Newcastle-under-Lyme (Schools Vase) North B
Sandringham v Roundwood Park (Schools Vase) Midlands B
Sevenoaks v Skinners’ (Schools Vase) LSE B
St Ambrose College v Wilmslow High (Schools Vase) North B
St Columba’s College v Verulam (Schools Vase) Midlands B
St Dunstan’s College v Riddlesdown Collegiate (Schools Vase) LSE B
St George’s College, Weybridge v Reed’s (Schools Vase) LSE A
The Crypt v King’s Gloucester (Schools Vase) SW A
The Perse v Hills Road (Schools Vase) Midlands A
Tiffin v Richard Challoner (Schools Vase) LSE A
Wallington County Grammar v Harris City Academy (Schools Vase) LSE A
West Buckland v Wellington School (Schools Vase) SW A
Wilson’s v Caterham (Friendly)
Worth v Eastbourne College (Schools Vase) LSE B
Wycliffe College v Marling (Schools Vase) SW A
Thursday 16th September
Culford v The Leys (Schools Vase) Midlands A
King’s Bruton v Clayesmore
Ratcliffe College v Trent College (Schools Vase) North B
St Laurence v Monkton Combe (Schools Vase) SW B