Schools Rugby: Weekend Preview – 19th/20th November

Brighton College vs Millfield School-5
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Coach Logic

After a thrilling weekend last weekend and a superb midweek series of games, this weekend looks a little quitter as there is no rugby for a number of the big independent schools as they have an exeat weekend.

Nevertheless, there are still some absolutely massive games and while there are slightly fewer fixtures than on some other weekend’s, the quality is still absolutely huge.

There is also a healthy fixture list on Friday night and this weekend’s Ten to Watch series looks as tasty as ever!

Ten to Watch

Bloxham v Dean Close

Fresh from a massive victory over Bishop Vesey’s Grammar last weekend, Bloxham now host Dean Close of Saturday. It should be a really interesting game, against the very best sides that Bloxham have faced they have just fallen short, but against all others they have looked excellent. Dean Close, such a formidable side in recent years, have had a tricky old season, it started well but then cancellations and a couple of defeats have put the brakes on a little. They will be eager to finish off with three big performances, starting with Saturday at Bloxham, all of which should add up to this being a very tasty encounter indeed.

Who will win Bloxham v Dean Close?

Brighton College v Epsom College

The last time Brighton College lost was back in September, that was also the last time they conceded more than a single try in a game and along the way they have also reached the final of the St Joseph’s Festival. This is a side that since it has found its stride has been utterly formidable. In Epsom College they face a big test though, they had been unbeaten up until last week’s Cup defeat to Trinity and bounced straight back with a victory over Cranleigh, one of the only sides to have beaten Brighton. So this is a huge contest and one that looks incredibly even, both sides will aim to play, and that should make for a fantastic occasion on Saturday.

Who will win Brighton College v Epsom College?

Bromsgrove v RGS High Wycombe

Two sides that at various times have been right at the very top of the schools rugby pecking order. Neither has quite been at those searing heights this year, but there is a bit of a special aura about this fixture. Bromsgrove have an intense period coming up and after a good run of form before half term they have had two tricky games since, where they competed well, getting some momentum back ahead of the run in will be a key aim for them. For RGS this is a chance to build, and with a huge scalp. Last weekend they claimed their first victory of the season at St Edward’s Oxford, this is a huge chance for another step up again and they will be itching to take it.

Who will win Bromsgrove v RGS High Wycombe?

Dulwich College v Tonbridge

A true classic of the schools rugby genre, some of the greatest fixtures over the years have come between these two. Both sides arrive of the back of competitive defeats against top opposition, Dulwich going down to Whitgift while Tonbridge narrowly missed out against Harrow. Now they step up again and will want to bounce back in style. Tonbridge are having a fantastic season, and will be looking to take another step in cementing that, while Dulwich have had some highs and some lows but have shown exactly what they are capable of with a hugely competitive display at the St Joseph’s Festival and against Wellington College. One of the great fixtures. 

Who will win Dulwich College v Tonbridge?

Lancaster RGS v RGS Newcastle

Lancaster RGS host this off the back of an absolutely epic performances away at Giggleswick last weekend, a stunning 55-5 victory. They will be absolutely brimming with confidence and will surely come absolutely flying into this on. The key will be as to how much they can keep that up against a top quality RGS Newcastle side, who enjoyed a fantastic victory over Durham in midweek, however when you look at how both have performed against common opponents, there is every reason for LRGS to maintain that confidence. We could be in for an absolutely fantastic game on Saturday.

Who will win Lancaster RGS v RGS Newcastle?

St Benedict’s v St John’s, Leatherhead

There is no other way to describe it, St Benedict’s are having a blinder of a season. Their only defeat was in the Cup, by less than a converted score against Harrow, who are one of the favourites. Other than that it is top result after top result and it has seen them rise to 4th in the Daily Mail Trophy table. Saturday is likely to be their biggest test aside from that Harrow game though, and as such it makes it all the more fascinating. St John’s are having a decent season but are coming off the back of three defeats on the spin, although their fixture list is a seriously challenging one, they will want to get back on track quickly and ought to make Saturday a cracker.

Who will win St Benedict's v St John's, Leatherhead?

St Peter’s York v Denstone College

This is only St Peter’s second game since half term and they will be eager to make it count after Barnard Castle knocked them out of the Cup in the last one. Such is their fixture list that their stats see a few losses but a strong win over QEGS and a tight one at LRGS show their quality, and with just three games left they will be eager to continue to show that. However Denstone are a seriously tough outfit, who performed so well at the St Joseph’s Festival and have one of the trickiest fixture lists on the calendar, taking in Sedbergh, Kirkham, Stamford, Warwick, and the like. St Peter’s may fall into that category too though, so keep an eye on York this weekend, there could be some brilliant competition unfolding.

Who will win St Peter's, York v Denstone College?

Stamford v Berkhamsted

Having seen Berkhamsted knock Seaford College out of the Schools Cup on Wednesday to continue their unbeaten season, it is definitely true that this Berkhamsted side is something special, with real quality in some key positions. So too are Stamford though, who have put in some astonishing side and competed incredibly hard against some of the best around, Rugby and Stowe to name just two. Berkhamsted are at that level or possibly even better though so Stamford are going to have to step up even further on Saturday, which they are more than capable of doing. Berkhamsted will step up too though, they will be looking at the remaining games before Christmas and thinking that they have the potential to achieve three huge accomplishments, an unbeaten term, a top end Daily Mail Trophy finish, and to reach the post-Christmas stage of the Cup. In order to do so they will need to be every bit as good as they have been though, especially on Saturday.

Who will win Stamford v Berkhamsted?

Warwick v Northampton School for Boys

It’s been a tricky post-half term period for Warwick, although have faced Sedbergh and Rugby in their last two games few sides would have had anything other than a tricky last two games – those are two of the absolute best sides in the country. Warwick then will be targeting a return to form on Saturday and to have learned from those two superb opponents, indeed they were only three points off Rugby. Northampton School for Boys are in almost exactly the same boat though, a tricky fixture list has handed them some tough losses and yet if they can build on what they have learned from those, they are capable themselves of excellence too. Put that together and it should contribute to a good game on Saturday with each side look to bounce back after a tricky run.

Who will win Warwick v Northampton School for Boys?

Whitgift v Millfield

The final game of our Ten to Watch is arguably the game of the weekend as Whitgift welcome the St Joseph’s Festival champions, Millfield, to Croydon. Whitgift are having a strong season, beating the likes of Harrow and Dulwich, and with close to their 1st XV out they have never conceded more than one score in a victorious game. However against the two superpowers they have faced, Wellington College and Sedbergh, they have come up short and so at home on Saturday against another superpower, Millfield, they will be desperate to show the best of themselves. That will make an already tough fixture even tougher for Millfield who start a run of games now that will likely define how their season looks when it all shakes out (notwithstanding their brilliant St Joseph’s Festival triumph), with Whitgift, Clifton College, Monmouth, and Sedbergh to come. Already in defeating Wellington College and going unbeaten so far, Millfield have demonstrated, now they have another big task, but it is one that they will be absolutely relishing.

Who will win Whitgift v Millfield?

Friday

Friday is a busy evening with games in all corners of the country. In the North East Dame Allan’s and Barnard Castle go head to head in what ought to be a strong encounter, both are having good seasons to date. 

In the West Midlands Bablake & King Henry VIII go up against Solihull, Bablake and KHVII were exceptional before half term and will really challenge Solihull, who will have to be absolutely on the money. Over in the East Midlands at Bedford Athletic, Richard Hale and Bedford Modern go head to head, while at Wymondham RFC there is a classic Norfolk derby as Langley and Norwich meet in what ought to be a fantastic game.

Meanwhile in the South West at Old Cryptians, The Crypt take on Pate’s Grammar. The Crypt have had some really good results this year and will be keen to push for another at the home of their old boys but Pate’s will put up a big fight.

Saturday

There are some fantastic fixtures across the country on Saturday, and there is even some silverware up for grabs in the North East as Silcoates host the Tom Burrows Cup. Newcastle School for Boys are the current holders after their triumph and they will be back to defend their title, with Austin Friars and Yarm also in attendance for what promises to be a fantastic day of action.

Meanwhile in Yorkshire Grammar School at Leeds welcome Stockport Grammar School, while Bradford Grammar School and Ashville College go head to head. Further south still, Nottingham High School welcome KES Birmingham and Princethorpe College host Loughborough Grammar School.

Over in the North West the irrepressible Kirkham Grammar School look to continue their unbeaten season as they host Leicester Grammar School at Sandbach RFC. Sandbach School meanwhile host St Anselm’s College.

Cheadle Hulme v Manchester Grammar looks like being a cracking fixture, and hopefully there may be some exciting news emerging from Cheadle Hulme about future fixtures on the calendar. Elsewhere, Wilmslow High host Calday Grange Grammar, while St Ambrose College are host Merchant Taylors’ in what should be a good one.

Stonyhurst College v King’s Macclesfield ought to be a great game of schools rugby, as should Bolton v AKS Lytham and The Grange’s trip to Altrincham Grammar.

Into the Midlands where King’s Worcester, fresh from their Modus Cup triumph in front of our live cameras, have a tricky fixture away at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar, but after that wonderful performances on Wednesday they will be itching to be on the field. As will RGS Worcester, who will want to get straight back on the horse after defeat, beginning at home on Saturday against KES Stratford.

In Oxford KES Southampton make the big trick up and face a tricky opponent in the form of a Magdalen College side that have played brilliant rugby this year. Also on a decent away trip are Lord Wandsworth College, who head to Pangbourne College for what should be a top game of schools rugby.

On the eastern side of the country, Bishop’s Stortford is going to be busy, St Joseph’s College are in action at Bishop’s Stortford College, while for Bishop’s Stortford High it is a home game against the solid St Albans outfit.

RGS Colchester travel to Coopers’ Coborn, while Culford welcome Norwich’s 2nd XV, their firsts are in action on Friday night against Langley. Perhaps the game of the day in East Anglia though is Framlingham College v Royal Hospital School. RHS have made our Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend for the past two weekend’s in a row and are unbeaten, but an away trip to Framlingham is no easy task.

Into the South East and London where there are some massive games, Reading Blue Coat are looking to back up last week’s dramatic victory at Merchant Taylors’ when they travel to St George’s College Weybridge, while Merchant Taylors’ are also in action, hosting a very strong Aylesbury Grammar side in a game that ought to be an absolute cracker – especially if Merchant Taylors’ play as they did last week.

Elsewhere, Sutton Valence look to bounce back from last week’s first defeat of the season when they travel to Sevenoaks. While Skinners’, who will host Sutton Valence in the Schools Vase soon, welcome Chislehurst & Sidcup as Skinners’ look to continue what has been an absolutely epic season to date.

As has KCS Wimbledon’s, and they will be travelling the short distance to Tiffin this weekend as they seek to get back to that early season dominance they showed. Meanwhile if impressive seasons are the theme of the last few paragraphs, look no further than Trinity, who have been absolutely exceptional this season and are playing glorious rugby. Their latest test sees them host Hurstpierpoint College, a tough test for Trinity, but having made our Top 5 last weekend Trinity are looking in red hot form. Nevertheless, Hurstpierpoint College are a dangerous side and can play some great rugby.

Seaford College are back in action on Saturday after that Cup defeat to Berkhamsted in midweek, they are hosting Canford, who have been playing some really good rugby of late. Elsewhere, UCS host St George’s Harpdenden, while Churcher’s College and Halliford go head to head in a game whose outcome we will be keeping a really close eye on. Look out too for St Ignatius College v QES Barnet and Latymer Upper’s trip to Emanuel, while St Dunstan’s are at The Cedars.

St Paul’s will be eager for a return to winning ways, they host a side that, like them, has been playing some great rugby this year, RGS Guildford. Over in Surrey, Reed’s take on Wimbledon College, while further East Reigate Grammar School host King’s Canterbury, The Judd host Langley Park, and Campion head to Dartford Grammar.

Caterham v Colfe’s should be a good game, as should St Olave’s Grammar’s trip to Maidstone Grammar, while Brentwood head in to take on Bancroft’s and Enfield Grammar head to Cardinal Vaughan. London Oratory meanwhile take on the challenge of Wellington College’s 2nd XV, which will be no easy task.

Over in the South West there are some brilliant looking games, perhaps top of the list being Blundell’s v Bristol Grammar School, two sides capable of playing some really fantastic rugby. Along the road, look out for Wellington School’s trip to Exeter School, while Colston’s trip to Prior Park College should be a really competitive fixture too.

Downside are always a tough side to play against, but Wycliffe College will relish that challenge on their away trip this Saturday. So too Clifton High on their trip to St Edward’s Cheltenham, while QEH will look to go well against the challenge of Beechen Cliff’s non-ACE side.

Taunton sees King’s College welcome Richard Huish, while Queen’s College are on the road at Mount Kelly. Meanwhile KES Bath head to Kingswood, a game that promises to be a brilliant contest. Over in Wales, it a massive clash as Christ College Brecon head to Cathedral School Llandaff, look out for these two next term too, where they will be regular 7s opponents.

Scotland sees some great fixtures, unbeaten Hutchesons’ Grammar are hosting Glasgow High, whom they beat 45-0 away from home back in September, Glasgow High will be looking to give a stronger account this time. Robert Gordon’s College, who lost for the first time in a thriller against Glenalmond last week, are travelling to Morrison’s Academy, while Glenalmond College themselves are hosting Bell Baxter.

Strathallan, whose last game was a draw against George Heriot’s, their second of the season, are hosting an Edinburgh Academy side that is looking good despite some tough recent results against some of the best sides around. One of which is Stewart’s Melville, whose 2nd XV are in action this weekend with a tough fixture at home to George Heriot’s. Meanwhile St Aloysius’ College host local rivals Glasgow Academy, against whom they had a superb result away from home earlier in the seasons, and St Leonards take on Dundee High School.

If you have any photos, video, reports, or any other content from the week’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!

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Friday 19th November

Bablake & King Henry VIII v Solihull

Dame Allan’s v Barnard Castle

Langley v Norwich at Wymondham RFC

Richard Hale v Bedford Modern at Bedford Athletic

The Crypt v Pate’s Grammar at Old Cryptians

Saturday 20th November

Altrincham Grammar v The Grange

Bancroft’s v Brentwood

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar v King’s Worcester

Bishop’s Stortford College v St Joseph’s College

Bishop’s Stortford High v St Albans

Bloxham v Dean Close

Blundell’s v Bristol Grammar

Bolton v AKS Lytham

Bradford Grammar v Ashville Harrogate

Brighton College v Epsom College

Bromsgrove v RGS High Wycombe

Cardinal Vaughan v Enfield Grammar

Cathedral School, Llandaff v Christ College, Brecon

Caterham v Colfe’s

Cedars v St Dunstan’s

Cheadle Hulme v Manchester Grammar

Churcher’s College v Halliford

Coopers’ Coborn v RGS Colchester

Culford v Norwich 2nd XV

Dartford Grammar v Campion

Downside v Wycliffe College

Dulwich College v Tonbridge

Emanuel v Latymer Upper

Exeter v Wellington School

Framlingham College v Royal Hospital School

Glenalmond College v Bell Baxter

Grammar School at Leeds v Stockport Grammar

Hutchesons’ Grammar v Glasgow High

King’s College, Taunton v Richard Huish

Kingswood v KES Bath

Kirkham Grammar v Leicester Grammar at Sandbach RFC

Lancaster RGS v RGS Newcastle

Magdalen College v KES Southampton

Maidstone Grammar v St Olave’s Grammar

Merchant Taylors’ v Aylesbury Grammar

Morrison’s Academy v Robert Gordon’s College

Mount Kelly v Queen’s College, Taunton

Nottingham High v KES Birmingham

Pangbourne College v Lord Wandsworth College

Princethorpe College v Loughborough Grammar

Prior Park College v Colston’s

QEH v Beechen Cliff 2nd XV

Reed’s v Wimbledon College

Reigate Grammar v King’s Canterbury

RGS Worcester v KES Stratford

Sandbach v St Anselm’s College

Seaford College v Canford

Sevenoaks v Sutton Valence

Skinners’ v Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar

St Aloysius’ College v Glasgow Academy

St Ambrose College v Merchant Taylors’, Crosby

St Benedict’s v St John’s, Leatherhead

St Edward’s, Cheltenham v Clifton High

St George’s College, Weybridge v Reading Blue Coat

St Ignatius College v QES Barnet

St Leonards v Dundee High

St Paul’s v RGS Guildford

St Peter’s York v Denstone College

Stamford v Berkhamsted

Stewart’s Melville 2nd XV v George Heriot’s

Stonyhurst College v King’s Macclesfield

Strathallan v Edinburgh Academy

The Judd v Langley Park

The Tom Burrows Cup – Austin Friars, Newcastle School for Boys, Silcoates, Yarm

Tiffin v KCS Wimbledon

Trinity v Hurstpierpoint College

UCS v St George’s Harpenden

Warwick v Northampton School for Boys

Wellington College 2nd XV v London Oratory

Whitgift v Millfield

Wilmslow High v Calday Grange Grammar

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