Schools Rugby: Weekend Preview – Saturday 18th September

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After a brilliant opening weekend of school rugby we look set for another classic this weekend with some of the most recognisable fixtures in global school rugby taking place around the UK.

Among the excitement will be two live streams here on NextGenXV, with Seaford College v RGS High Wycombe on Friday night kicking things off before a trip to Woodhouse Grove for their game against Barnard Castle. Two massive games of school rugby among a sea of big games.

The weekend’s action starts with four big games on Friday evening before the meat of the weekend’s fixtures on Saturday, where a number of the biggest names in schools rugby dip their toes in the water for the first time this season.

Ten to Watch

We begin our preview, as ever, with our Ten to Watch. Ten fixtures that particularly stand out among the many top quality fixtures happening this weekend. You will also have the chance to vote for your predicted winners in each of the ten games, our readers had remarkable success last weekend – correctly predicting eight of the ten games despite having no form or recent history on which to be able to base those predictions.

Bromsgrove v Stowe

Both of these two have started the year off well, Bromsgrove were at Warwick last week in a triangular set of fixtures alongside Cheltenham College. They beat Cheltenham 14-0 and narrowly edged long term rivals Warwick, 5-3. However Saturday will likely be a sterner test given that the game will be full length and therefore a different sort of game. In addition, Stowe started their season with an absolute bang, defeating Stamford 18-5 and looking like a side that really means business this season. An away trip to Bromsgrove is difficult, but this game could be a cracker.

Who will win Bromsgrove v Stowe?

Dulwich College v Harrow

It’s a first competitive foray of the season for Dulwich College, who faced Old Alleynians last week were in Essex the week before for a pre-season hit out against Felsted. Opening day fixtures don’t come much tougher than Harrow this year, the North West Londoners were in sublime for in their opener last week, scoring fifty points away at Hurstpierpoint College, underlining their status as a side to watch this year. Dulwich will be a tougher test though, not least on their picturesque home soil where an enthusiastic reception can be guaranteed. Definitely a game to pay close attention to.

Who will win Dulwich College v Harrow?

Epsom College v St Paul’s

Both Epsom College and St Paul’s opened their accounts for the season with victories last weekend, Epsom one form down at RGS Guildford, while St Paul’s were at home to Campion and were on sizzling form as the tries rained in. Saturday should be a tougher game for both, and one that ought to tell the watching schools rugby public a lot about what each of these sides are looking like this season. Early signs are promising for both, but each is going to have to dig very deep on Saturday in what looks like being a very competitive game.

Who will win Epsom College v St Paul's?

Radley College v Sherborne

Radley College were seriously impressive last week in their 37-0 defeat of Marlborough College, a result that certainly made us sit up and take notice and will have had the same effect on many others, too. So much so that they made our Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend. They are at home again this weekend and their opponents are a side that have consistently produced strong teams over the years – indeed they played in the last competitive game of school rugby pre-covid, the Schools Cup semi final. This is their first game this season, and they will be absolutely desperate to get out there having missed out on the Kingswood pre-season Festival for covid reasons. They will be fired up for this one, and a good result against Radley will say a lot about their quality, while a good result for Radley really will mark them out as a side to watch this year.

Who will win Radley College v Sherborne?

Rugby v Bedford

These two were highly impressive last weekend and seeing them go head to head this weekend is going to be seriously exciting. Rugby were away to Oakham, never an easy trip, and secured an impressive victory that underlines the work they have been doing in recent years. Meanwhile Bedford looked incredibly strong at home against Oundle, scoring over 40 points and playing some brilliant rugby, so much so that they too made our Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend. Saturday will be a massive game for both sides, but one that will tell us a lot about both and that should be a top level game of schoolboy rugby.

Who will win Rugby v Bedford?

Seaford College v RGS High Wycombe

On Friday night we bring you our first live stream of the season, kicking off at 5.15pm, as Seaford College host RGS High Wycombe. You can see our preview to the game here: Seaford College v RGS High Wycombe, but it should be a fantastic game of school rugby between two sides that look as though they should be well matched. They know each other well, too, in the May window of games they played each other, including one section of the game that was L6th v L6th, meaning that tomorrow’s sets of U6th players will all have been involved. Not to be missed!

Who will win Seaford College v RGS High Wycombe?

Sedbergh v RGS Newcastle

A first game of the season for the perennial force that is Sedbergh after their game against Whitgift was called off last week due to covid. You can guarantee that the men in brown will be hugely up for this one and keen to make an early statement to the school rugby world, however in RGS Newcastle they have a tricky side coming to visit. RGS kicked off their season in fine fashion, beating a good St Peter’s York side to get into their stride nice and early. Saturday will be a big test for them, for sure, a trip to Sedbergh is among the toughest challenges in schoolboy rugby. It is a challenge that RGS will cherish though, as will Sedbergh, who look set to have another top quality side this year.

Who will win Sedbergh v RGS High Wycombe?

Uppingham v Warwick 

It’s a first ‘proper’ game of the season for both this year, Uppingham’s game at The Perse was abandoned last week, while a fortnight ago Warwick game against Stowe was cancelled, and then they played a triangular with Bromsgrove and Cheltenham College last week, drawing with the latter and losing by two points to Bromsgrove. So both will be up for this game in a big way, eager to make an early season statement to themselves as much as anyone else. It’s a relatively unusual fixture, too, it has been nearly ten years since these two were regular opponents. If this one turns out to be a good game, you can be sure that it won’t be another decade until they play again.

Who will win Uppingham v Warwick?

Wellington College v Whitgift

An absolute monster of a game between two of the very biggest names in the whole of school rugby, two sides that will almost certainly be right up at the top end of the school rugby tree again this year. Wellington College began the season with a bang last time out, putting fifty points past Northampton School for Boys, who are absolutely no slouches, and earning a place in our Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend in the process. Whitgift, meanwhile, will be absolutely chomping at the bit. They were due to play Sedbergh last week but covid got in the way, so they will be itching to be out there on Saturday. Their last meaningful action was the annual pre-season Esher President’s Cup, where they showed their quality to come away with the silverware, so we know this is a good Whitgift side. Saturday will be massive, and it will likely be utterly compelling viewing for those in attendance.

Who will win Wellington College v Whitgift?

Woodhouse Grove v Barnard Castle

Our second live streamed game of the weekend, kicking off at 2.30pm on Saturday. These two giants of the school game go head to head in Yorkshire and you will be able to watch it all on our stream. We have previewed the game here: Woodhouse Grove v Barnard Castle, but it is worth pointing out here that Barnard Castle enjoyed a real resurgence pre-covid and have picked up where they left off, while Woodhouse Grove have consistently been among the upper echelon of school sides over the last ten years or so. Saturday should be an absolutely fantastic occasion, and a real showcase of schoolboy rugby.

Who will win Woodhouse Grove v Barnard Castle?

Friday 17th September

As well as our live streamed game, Seaford College v RGS High Wycombe, there are some other massive games of schools rugby on Saturday. At Esher RFC Brighton College and Hampton go head to head in what should be a cracking game of rugby. Brighton were disappointed with their performance in defeat to Cranleigh last week so will be eager to step up, while Hampton will be keen to get out there in what is their first ‘proper’ game of the season, having played in a triangular at Abingdon alongside RGS High Wycombe last week.

Another massive game on Friday night is the Anglo-Welsh clash between Clifton College and Llandovery College. Clifton have been making real waves in the last few years, particularly since strengthening their links with Bristol Bears, while Llandovery College are one of the most famous names in Welsh school rugby, perhaps the most famous. It should make for a superb occasion on Friday evening. So too should St Dunstan’s College v Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar, both were in Vase action in midweek so will certainly be battle-hardened for Friday nights big game.

Saturday 17th September

One of Saturday’s biggest games will be the classic schools rugby clash between Eton College and Marlborough College. Eton were on song last week against John Fisher, while Marlborough had a tough outing against Radley and will be looking to bounce back fast.

Not far along the road Shiplake College will be looking to build on last week’s victory against a Reading Blue Coat side that impressed last time out. Meanwhile St Edward’s Oxford will be making the trip to Pangbourne College for what promises to be a close game.

Back in towards London there are some massive games in the Surrey area, not least Cranleigh hosting Trinity, Trinity looked brilliant in pre-season while Cranleigh defeated Brighton College last week, which ought to make Saturday’s game very exciting. Along the road both Reed’s and Hurstpierpoint College will be looking to make quick recoveries after tough outings last time out. Reed’s great rivals St George’s College Weybridge are hosting St Benedict’s, which ought to be a good game, while St John’s Leatherhead host Feslted in a game that ought to be incredibly competitive.

Into London and KCS Wimbledon will be looking to build on that brilliant victory over Reed’s last week when they host London Oratory, look out for news of a stream featuring them in the coming days, while KCS’ neighbours, Wimbledon College, host RGS Guildford, two sides that are usually well matched.

Staying in London, Cardinal Vaughan host Latymer Upper, while Islesworth & Syon, so good a couple of weeks ago, are in action at home to Winsdor Boys’. Elsewhere look out for Ravens Wood, magnificent in the Vase in midweek, as they host Cranbrook, while Emanuel travel to Tiffin and City of London Freemen’s make the trip to Colfe’s.

St Ignatius College bounced back brilliantly last week after a tough outing the week before, they will be looking to keep that up on Saturday but face a tough visitor in the form of King’s Ely. John Fisher, meanwhile, will be looking to find that winning rhythm as fast as possible after defeat to Eton last week, they host Skinners’ on Saturday.

Over in Kent King’s Canterbury v Caterham looks like a compelling fixture, while Tonbridge have already shown signs of being a top side this year. They are on the road for the first time as they travel to The Judd, meanwhile their 2nd XV are the opposition for Eastbourne College’s 1st XV on Saturday, a tough task.

Elsewhere Reigate Grammar host Wallington County Grammar, while Dartford Grammar welcome Langley Park, with Bancroft’s in action at Haberdashers’. Meanwhile Cooper’s Coborn are in action away at St Olave’s Grammar, which should be a good contest. 

Hampshire sees Gordon’s, fresh from the ACE League debut, heading to Churcher’s College, while The Oratory are down in action at KS Southampton. Meanwhile in Sussex there is a massive game in the form of Sevenoaks’ trip to Worth, while all the way round in Essex Brentwood welcome Sutton Valence, which should be a cracking fixture.

It is one of just a number of good fixtures in East Anglia, with St Joseph’s College against Norwich arguably one of the biggest draws of the weekend as one of Suffolk’s finest welcomes one of the very best in Norfolk.

Along the road at Ipswich School, there is a cracking looking fixture as they welcome Samuel Whitbread Academy the former Schools Vase winners with close ties to Northampton Saints. Not far from there Framlingham College host RGS Colchester, while Royal Hospital School welcome The Perse whose local rivals The Leys are in action at home to Gresham’s. Culford, meanwhile, head to Wisbech Grammar.

Into Hertfordshire and one of the biggest games of the weekend as Berkhamsted, so consistently impressive in recent years, host Abingdon, another side that have been really impressive in the last few years. It is going to be a game to keep a real eye on and it would not be a surprise to see one or both of these sides achieve great things this year.

There’s a similarly big game at Haileybury, who will be bounced after their victory at Felsted last week. They host Oundle, who will be smarting after defeat to Bedford, so expect a cracking contest. Elsewhere Richard Hale are in action at St George’s Harpenden, while Bishop’s Stortford College travel to Mill Hill, who last week defeated QES Barnet. They will be hoping to bounce back but face a tricky trip up to Bedford Modern.

Further north there are some cracking games, not least Stamford v Denstone College, two sides with massive reputations. Stamford had a tough outing at Stowe last time out, while Denstone kicked off their season with a victory, however back on home turf you can expect a determined Stamford performance and the visitors will have to be on form to come away with the spoils. Elsewhere Nottingham High look to bounce back from defeat as they host Bablake & King Henry VIII, while Trent College, who beat Nottingham High in their derby last week, are in action away at Loughborough Grammar.

There is also Schools Vase action in the area as Princethorpe College host Leicester Grammar in the Midlands A section. The winner will face Coventry College in the next round, and you can be sure that Leicester Grammar will be particularly determined – they have unfinished business in the competition.

Further West Bloxham will look to build on a good outing last week as they host King’s Worcester in what promises to be a fine game of rugby. Meanwhile KES Stratford welcome KES Birmingham and Bishop Vesey’s Grammar make the hop over to RGS Worcester.

One of the games of the day in the area should be Solihull v Northampton School for Boys, two sides with plenty of promise who will want to come bouncing back in style after tough outings last weekend.

Over in Cheltenham there is a cracking Anglo-Welsh derby as Monmouth make the trip over to Cheltenham College, two schools with huge reputations and a game that ought to be a classic. There is another Anglo-Welsh derby a little further south as Cathedral School Llandaff make the trip across the border to take on King’s College, Taunton. Local rivals Taunton School will be in action away at Prior Park College, while Queen College Taunton are down in Devon as they are hosted by Plymouth College.

Back in Somerset there is a mammoth Somerset v Devon game as schools rugby legends Millfield host Blundell’s, a side that have consistently been punching high in recent times. Millfield really impressed in pre-season and this will be their first competitive game of the campaign, so expect them to be bursting at the seams, but Blundell’s will be a tough opponent and have gained some good results against Millfield in recent times.

Another massive clash sees Sir Thomas Rich’s welcome Kirkham Grammar School. Tommies have been a real force on the school scene of late, while Kirkham have consistently been among the top handful. Ever eager to expand their horizons, this is just one of a number of long trips in the calendar for Kirkham. Tommies’ 2nd XV, meanwhile, are in action at Cleeve and Clifton College’s 2nd XV are also in action again 1st XV opposition as they welcome a tough customer in the form of Old Swinford Hospital.

Colston’s are a side that we are keeping close tabs on this year and they’ve got another big game at home on Saturday as they host Malvern College, who are a good outfit themselves. Keep an eye out for Canford, too, they host Portsmouth Grammar on Saturday in what should be a good game.

Elsewhere look out for Downside v Bryanston, two massive school names and Downside are in form after a strong victory in the Vase in midweek. KES Bath welcome Dauntsey’s for what ought to be a good contest, while QEH host Exeter School and Hereford Cathedral make the trip to Pate’s Grammar.

Bristol Grammar are in action away at Kingswood, two sides that have had some really good years in the pre-covid period. There is also a triangular in the South West this weekend as Mount Kelly host Truro School and Wellington School for what look’s as though it will be a really competitive day’s rugby.

Jumping all the way to the North and a massive game between St Peter’s York and Oakham. Both sides suffered defeats in good games in the opening weekend and will be utterly determined to bounce back quickly and strongly, they are two superb teams so it ought to be a fantastic game of rugby.

Sticking in Yorkshire, look out for Ampleforth College at home to Dame Allan’s, Ampleforth have been making waves early on this season. One of the sides they have looked good against was Pocklington in the Schools Vase in midweek, they are up against a Mount St Mary’s side that were in top form in midweek.

Elsewhere in the county schools rugby legends QEGS Wakefield are in action at home to King’s Macclesfield, a fixture that usually provides real competition. Look out also for Giggleswick v Ashville College, while further North Durham are hosting local rivals Austin Friars.

There is plenty of exciting action in the North West of the of the country too, not least as Stonyhurst College welcome Bradford Grammar School, two sides with fantastic histories and top reputations. 

Manchester Grammar v Merchant Taylors’ is another that should produce a fantastic game of rugby, while Wirral Grammar will look to bounce back after a tough outing at Kirkham last week when they host Stockport Grammar on Saturday.

Meanwhile Lymm High School are at home to The Grange, with St Anselm’s College and Birkenhead going head to head to a massive derby clash. Wilmslow High School host Ellesmere College, while AKS Lytham are in action away at Altrincham Grammar.

There is a cross-Pennines clash too, always an exciting fixture on the sheet, as Cheadle Hulme welcome Yorkshire’s Grammar School at Leeds.

It is a relatively thin fixture list in Scotland this week. Robert Gordon’s College were in fine form last time out and will host Ellon Academy on Saturday, while Dundee High look to bounce back from a tough outing when they host Morrison’s Academy.

Edinburgh Academy will be looking for a strong performance at home to Bell Baxter, while it’s club opposition for Strathallan, they take on Perthshire RFC. Fettes College, meanwhile, make the trip to Glenalmond College.

It’s an away game for Glasgow Academy, making the trip to Kelvinside Academy, with Glasgow High at home to Hutchesons’ Grammar.

Overall it looks like being a fantastic weekend of school rugby, and we can’t wait to be able to bring you live games on both Friday and Saturday, it should be superb!

If you have any photos, video, reports, or any other content from the weekend’s school rugby then please do send it in via our social media channels or admin@nextgenxv.com and if you are interested in us live streaming one of your games or an event then please do get in touch!

Friday 17th September

Brighton College v Hampton

Clifton College v Llandovery College

Seaford College v RGS High Wycombe

St Dunstan’s College v Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar

Saturday 18th September

Altrincham Grammar v AKS Lytham

Ampleforth College v Dame Allan’s

Bedford Modern v QES, Barnet

Berkhamsted v Abingdon

Bloxham v King’s Worcester

Brentwood v Sutton Valence

Bromsgrove v Stowe

Canford v Portsmouth Grammar

Cardinal Vaughan v Latymer Upper

Cheadle Hulme v Grammar School at Leeds

Cheltenham College v Monmouth

Churcher’s College v Gordon’s

Cleeve v Sir Thomas Rich’s 2nd XV

Clifton College 2nd XV v Old Swinford Hospital

Colfe’s v City of London Freemen’s

Colston’s v Malvern College

Cranleigh v Trinity

Dartford Grammar v Langley Park

Downside v Bryanston

Dulwich College v Harrow

Dundee High v Morrison’s Academy

Durham v Austin Friars

Eastbourne College v Tonbridge 2nd XV

Edinburgh Academy v Bell Baxter

Epsom College v St Paul’s

Eton College v Marlborough College

Framlingham College v RGS Colchester

Giggleswick v Ashville College

Glasgow High v Hutchesons’ Grammar

Glenalmond College v Fettes College

Haberdashers’ v Bancroft’s

Haileybury v Oundle

Ipswich v Samuel Whitbread Academy

Isleworth & Syon v Windsor Boys’

John Fisher v Skinners’

KCS Wimbledon v London Oratory

Kelvinside Academy v Glasgow Academy

KES Bath v Dauntsey’s

KES Southampton v The Oratory

KES Stratford v KES Birmingham

King’s Canterbury v Caterham

King’s College, Taunton v Cathedral School, Llandaff

Kingswood v Bristol Grammar

Loughborough Grammar v Trent College

Lymm High v The Grange

Manchester Grammar v Merchant Taylors’, Crosby

Mill Hill v Bishop’s Stortford College

Millfield v Blundell’s

Mount Kelly Triangular: Mount Kelly, Truro School, Wellington School

Nottingham High v Bablake & King Henry VIII

Pangbourne College v St Edward’s, Oxford

Pate’s Grammar v Hereford Cathedral

Plymouth College v Queen’s College, Taunton

Pocklington v Mount St Mary’s College

Princethorpe College v Leicester Grammar (Schools Vase) Midlands A

Prior Park College v Taunton

QEGS Wakefield v King’s Macclesfield

QEH v Exeter School

Radley College v Sherborne

Ravens Wood v Cranbrook

Reed’s v Hurstpierpoint College

Reigate Grammar v Wallington County Grammar

Rendcomb College v Kingham Hill

RGS Worcester v Bishop Vesey’s Grammar

Robert Gordon’s College v Ellon Academy

Royal Hospital School v The Perse

Rugby v Bedford

Sedbergh v RGS Newcastle

Shiplake College v Reading Blue Coat

Sir Thomas Rich’s v Kirkham Grammar

Solihull v Northampton School for Boys

St Anselm’s College v Birkenhead

St George’s College, Weybridge v St Benedict’s

St George’s Harpenden v Richard Hale

St Ignatius College v King’s Ely

St John’s, Leatherhead v Felsted

St Joseph’s College v Norwich

St Olave’s Grammar v Cooper’s Coborn

St Peter’s, York v Oakham

Stamford v Denstone College

Stonyhurst College v Bradford Grammar

Strathallan v Perthshire RFC

The Judd v Tonbridge

The Leys v Gresham’s

Tiffin v Emanuel

Uppingham v Warwick

Wellington College v Whitgift

Wilmslow High v Ellesmere College

Wimbledon College v RGS Guildford

Wirral Grammar v Stockport Grammar

Wisbech Grammar v Culford

Woodhouse Grove v Barnard Castle

Worth v Sevenoaks

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