Saturday afternoon sees one of the most special games of the entire season take place as Clifton College host Blackrock College at 1st XV and 2nd XV level.
Both games should be absolutely magnificent occasions and NextGenXV will be present to live stream the 1stXV fixture, which kicks off at 2.20pm on Saturday. You will be able to watch it live on our YouTube Channel, on our TikTok Channel, and on the embedded link below.
It promises to be a spectacular occasion, forget the sheer quality of the sides for a moment and just think of the occasion. Schools rugby in Ireland is incredibly highly regarded at the moment, such has been its impact on Leinster Rugby of late with so many players progressing through the school scene to the academy and beyond.
Similarly in England, the level of schools rugby has been extraordinary of late and some of the rugby that is now being played is of a standard that has seldom been seen.
So to these two teams, and they are two of the most storied teams in all of schoolboy rugby. Clifton College are one of the oldest school rugby teams in the world and they have produced countless internationals and were right at the forefront as rugby grew as a game. They are going to a real boom just now too, with a strong partnership with Bristol Bears and some fantastic players on the field.
Arguably they are the best school team in England right now, they certainly top the NextGenXV Schools Rugby Table and they are playing majestically. Last year they were phenomenal, losing only to Millfield on a tricky day in Somerset, this year they began their season off with early revenge, putting in a fantastic display up at Sedbergh School to beat Millfield in the opening game of the season, which you can relieve below.
Since then they have been superb, Old Swinford Hospital, Bristol Grammar, Hartpury Bulls, Berkhamsted, Sherborne, Marlborough College, St Andrew’s of Argentina, and, spectacularly 43-12, Wellington College, have all been defeated.
The only blot on the copybook is arguably the best game of the season, where they went head to head with a stunning Kirkham Grammar School side in a brilliant game at Clifton RFC, a game that could have gone either way but just ended up swinging the way of Kirkham Grammar, you can see that game below.
Blackrock College meanwhile are perhaps the most famous name in all of school rugby, some of the absolute greats of the game are former players including Brian O’Driscoll, Fergus Slattery, Leinster Director of Rugby Leo Cullen, and current Ireland star Garry Ringrose to name but a few.
Their heritage is known the world over and they bring something special to every field that they grace. This season has seen injuries besiege them a little, but there have been some truly outstanding performances throughout. From the perspective of this game perhaps the key result was against Sedbergh School, one of Clifton College’s rivals for best side in the lad. Sedbergh travelled over to Dublin in half term to take on Blackrock College, and an absolutely spectacular game broke out.
Sedbergh took a strong early lead but Blackrock regained their composure to fight back, only for Sedbergh to take it at the last in an absolute epic of a game, winning 25-24.
That suggests that on Saturday we should be in for an absolute classic, between two top class sides and two of the greats of the school game.
On the field some of the greats of the school game will be going head to head as well, Blackrock centre Luke Kritzinger is especially highly rated, so too scrum half Oliver Coffey, while among the Clifton College stars are Wales full back Thomas Bowen and England prop Louie Trevett.
The cast list goes on though, the likes of Isaac Campbell-Wu, Eamon Rogers, and Joe Wooler for Clifton, Conor Tonger, Jack Angulo, Alex Millan, and Mikey Yarr for Blackrock, to name just a few.
It is going to be a superb occasion, be sure to join us at 2.20pm on Saturday, it’s not to be missed!