Schools Rugby: Weekend Preview | Final Weekend for Many

It’s the penultimate weekend of the 2022 Schools Rugby Season for most, and for some it is the final game of the term.


That makes this weekend crucial in many ways, but for those for whom it is the final game it makes it crucial for one reason above all others – it is the final time that some will wear the shirt.


That fact makes it a weekend to create lasting memories from, the put in a level of effort of which to be proud, and to have the most enjoyable time possible on and off the field. These are days that should be able to be looked back up with great fondness and pride.


That sense of an enjoyable environment on and off the field and the role of coaches in that is a topic covered in this week’s NextGenXV Podcast, where the subject of what makes a great school rugby coach is one of the main discussion points – as well as looking at our Limitless Top 5 School Teams of the Weekend and a look ahead to what’s coming up.



In terms of the games themselves, there are some absolutely brilliant fixtures, and some key ones in the run in on the Daily Mail Trophy and for the NextGenXV Schools Rugby Table.


A huge weekend on a number of levels!


Ten to Watch


Brighton College v RGS Guildford


A massive game, Brighton College have really hit their stride of late with victories over St John’s, Epsom, and, impressively, The Judd. Saturday is a massive test though as they host an RGS Guildford side that is having one of their best seasons in recent memory. They seem to be able to raise their game for their toughest opponents too, Epsom College and Cranleigh specifically. September and November have been magnificent, while October was a blip where, interestingly given Brighton College’s recent results, St John’s and The Judd beat them in successive weekend’s. Is that a good omen for Brighton, will the month on month off pattern continue to RGS Guildford? It’s going to be fascinating to find out, and what’s for sure is that it’s going to be a cracking game.


Bromsgrove v Clifton College


A really big one for Clifton College, their final game of an absolutely magnificent season that could see them win the Daily Mail Trophy and top the NextGenXV Schools Rugby Table. They are going to be desperate to bounce back from a tough outing against Blackrock College last weekend, you can watch that again below, just their second defeat of the season, but they face a Bromsgrove side that are going to be looking to bounce back too after a narrow defeat to Marlborough College last time out. It’s the penultimate game for Bromsgrove, who have their biggest game of the season next weekend against rivals Warwick, they will want to carry real momentum into that.



Epsom College v Harrow


Another massive massive game. Defeat to Brighton College last time out ended a winning streak for Epsom College that stretches to before half term, Harrow meanwhile are in line for an unbeaten season, the Daily Mail Trophy title, top spot in the NextGenXV Table, and have a huge Schools Cup quarter final on Thursday against another side in line for those things, Trinity. That game will be shown live on NextGenXV (see below). Epsom have a Plate quarter final on Wednesday, so both sides have a bit of management to do with fixtures in such quick succession, and this game, aside from all of the other big factors, will play a huge role in keeping momentum ahead of those knockout ties. It’s a huge challenge for Epsom, but it would be the result of the season for them if they do it, for Harrow it’s massive; a possibility to end the regular season unbeaten, to stay in contention for the Daily Mail Trophy title, and to stay at the top of the NextGenXV table, and to head into that Cup tie with momentum. Massive.



Haileybury v Berkhamsted


A Hertfordshire derby and a huge game. Haileybury arrive with huge confidence having had their result of the season last weekend in a tight defeat of Whitgift. This is also their final regular season game of the season, and their last home game, though they to have a Plate quarter final at Bloxham next time out. Berkhamsted will be a challenge every bit as big as Whitgift though, they are the reigning Daily Mail Trophy champions and after a tricky run of fixtures against NSBC and two of the best teams in the country, Harrow and Clifton College, they are back on song after victory against Stamford. They come in with a week’s rest behind them as well, and they will be absolutely gunning for a top performance on Saturday.


Millfield v Monmouth


This is Millfield’s final game of the regular season, and what a season it has been, a record 8th St Joseph’s Festival title, unbeaten since the 21st September (and indeed only Clifton and Sir Gar have beaten them), and rolling off the back of that incredible 52-19 victory over Whitgift, which you can see again below. For many it will be their final game on the Sir Gareth Edwards pitch, a special moment for any Millfield player. So Monmouth face a big task, but the Welshmen are in fine form this season, only Old Swinford Hospital, Christ College, and Sir Thomas Rich’s have got the better of them. They have made good on that Tommies defeat too, it was in round 1 of the Cup and since then they have had a storming Plate campaign that sees them host Wimbledon College in the quarter finals on Wednesday. It will take something special from Monmouth, but they will be up for that. Millfield, meanwhile, have the opportunity to end this wonderful term of rugby on a real high if they perform well – and they are still in contention in the NextGenXV Schools Rugby Table.



RGS Newcastle v Barnard Castle


A massive game of rugby in the North East. Both sides have only been defeated once in full format rugby this season, RGS Newcastle by the might of Sedbergh, Barnard Castle by RGS Newcastle themselves in the opening round of the Schools Cup. That was an incredibly tight game, won by a score by RGS, who have since gone on to the quarter finals of the Cup and play Oakham in that on Wednesday. Barnard Castle might well have had a similar run, they have been flying in the Plate since and host Solihull in what will be their last game of the term on Wednesday at the quarter final stage. So these are two top sides and that result between them earlier in the season will certainly add plenty of spice. RGS arrive after a storming 50 point performance last time out, but more pertinently a 15-8 victory over Durham the week before. More pertinent because last time out for Barnard Castle was against Durham, where they staged a huge comeback and then won it late on 31-29. This game therefore looks as though it is going to be tight!


Sedbergh v Mount St Mary’s College


Sedbergh’s final game of the season and a last appearance on Buskhome for many of their players. And a first appearance at home since their only defeat of the season, to Denstone College a month ago. Motivation will not be in short supply, and there is also the possibility still of a tilt at the Daily Mail Trophy and the top of the NextGenXV Table. Standing in their way are the reigning Vase champions, Mount St Mary’s, though their defence of that title ended on Wednesday in only their second defeat of the season. Their only other; Denstone at home, by a narrow margin. Familiar. At their best they can challenge Sedbergh, and it would be the result of the season if they do overturn them, but Sedbergh will know that and will be absolutely determined to end their time on Buskhome in the most enjoyable and successful way possible.


Sir Thomas Rich’s v Northampton School for Boys


A clash between two of the strongest state school sides in the country, and two sides that have put in performances this season that at times have been on a par with the very best around. Only Bromsgrove and Blundell’s have got the better of Sir Thomas Rich’s this season and with this being their final home game they will be incredibly determined. Results wise NSB haven’t been on the same level, until you see the strength of the fixture card; Kirkham, Warwick, the emergingly brilliant Finborough. The outstanding Denstone only edged them by a point, Bedford by just two in the most bonkers game of the season, 52-50. Victories over Berkhamsted and Ipswich show their strength, and one over Sir Thomas Rich’s would certainly be in that category too. It promises to be an absolute belter.


Tonbridge v Wellington College


There are years where this has been the defining game of the season. It might not be this year, but it is still a huge game between two giants of the school game. Tonbridge have had a pretty good season and will be determined to bounce back from a tight defeat to Radley last week. It is their final home game of the season, a special moment for the U6th in the side and an opportunity to claim what would be their biggest scalp of the season. For Wellington College it’s a final regular game of the season, though they do host a South African touring side next weekend, and a key game after facing two of the very best teams in the country in their last two games, Clifton College and Sedbergh. They will be eager to get back to winning ways and to set up a top finish to the season.


Trinity v Eton College


Another absolutely massive game. Like Harrow, Trinity have the opportunity this year to claim multiple prizes, an unbeaten season is on the cards, so too the Daily Mail Trophy and top spot in the NextGenXV Table, not only that but back to back Schools Cups are a possibility and central to that aim is their quarter final against, of all people, Harrow, on Thursday afternoon (which will be live streamed here on NextGenXV). To achieve all of that though, a good result against Eton College on Saturday is vital and that is going to be a huge challenge. Only Harrow have got the better of Eton this season, and they are one of just seven sides that are still in with a shout of Daily Mail silverware. Defeating Trinity would see that chance rise massively, but more importantly it would be the defining result of their season. Trinity will have to be at their best.




AKS Lytham v St David’s College

Chatham & Clarendon v St Lawrence College

Fulham Boys v Orleans Park – at Rosslyn Park

Great Marlow v Sir William Borlase’s Grammar

KES Stratford v Princethorpe College

King’s College, Taunton v Whitchurch High

Leighton Park v St Joseph’s College, Reading

Sidcot v King’s College Taunton 2nd XV


Friday is a busy day as teams get their fixtures in. Rosslyn Park plays host to Fulham Boys v Orleans Park, while also in the South East St Lawrence College head to Chatham & Clarendon and Leighton Park host St Joseph’s College, Reading, with Sir William Borlase’s at Great Marlow.


In the South West King’s College Taunton host Welsh giants Whitchurch High School, meanwhile King’s 2nd XV are in action away at Sidcot. Further North KES Stratford welcome Princethorpe College, while further North again AKS Lytham host Welsh side St David’s College.



Abingdon v Bedford

Austin Friars v Yarm

Aylesbury Grammar v Haberdashers’

Bablake & King Henry VIII v Old Swinford Hospital

Bancroft’s v Hockerill Anglo-European College

Bedford Modern v St George’s, Harpenden

Birkenhead v Liverpool College

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar v Nottingham High

Blundell’s v Taunton

Bradford Grammar v Hymers College

Brighton College v RGS Guildford

Bristol Grammar v RGS Worcester

Bromsgrove v Clifton College

Bryanston v Lord Wandsworth College

Campion v Wimbledon College

Claremont Fan Court v Cardinal Vaughan

Cheadle Hulme v St Ambrose College

Clifton High v Warminster

Colfe’s v Coopers’ Coborn

Dauntsey’s Triangular: Dauntsey’s, King’s Bruton, Prior Park College

Duke of York’s Royal Military v Sutton Valence

Dulwich College v St Paul’s

Dundee High v Queen Victoria

Emanuel v St George’s College, Weybridge

Epsom College v Harrow

Framlingham College v The Perse

George Watson’s College v Dollar Academy

Giggleswick v Durham

Glenalmond College v Robert Gordon’s College

Gordon’s v Royal Alexandra & Albert

Gravesend Grammar v Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar

Haileybury v Berkhamsted

Hampton v John Fisher

Hurstpierpoint College v Eastbourne College

Hutchesons’ Grammar v St Aloysius’ College

Hutton Grammar v Bolton

Kelvinside Academy v Balfron High

KES Bath v Wellington

KES Birmingham v King’s Gloucester

Kingham Hill v Rendcomb College

King’s Canterbury v Worth

Kings Ely v Wisbech Grammar

King’s Macclesfield v Grammar School at Leeds

King William’s College v King’s Rochester

King’s Worcester v Christ College

Kingswood v Bishop Wordsworth’s

Lymm High v Manchester Grammar

Magdalen College v Shiplake College

Maidstone Grammar v The Judd

Malvern College v St Edward’s Oxford

Marlborough College v Cranleigh

Merchant Taylors’ v Lancaster RGS

Millfield v Monmouth

Mill Hill v UCS

Monkton Combe v Clayesmore

Morrison’s Academy v Glasgow Academy

Mount Kelly v Plymouth College

New Hall v RGS Colchester

Norwich v Gresham’s

Pocklington v Ampleforth College

Portsmouth Grammar v KES Southampton

QEH v Beechen Cliff

QES Barnet v Watford Grammar

Queen’s College, Taunton v Wells Cathedral

Radley College v Oundle

Ratcliffe College v Leicester Grammar

Reading Blue Coat v RGS High Wycombe

Reed’s v Reigate Grammar

RGS Newcastle v Barnard Castle

Royal Hospital School v Finborough

Rugby v Cheltenham College

Ryde v Churcher’s College

Sandbach v Altrincham Grammar

Seaford College v Langley Park

Sedbergh v Mount St Mary’s College

Sevenoaks v Caterham

Sherborne v Canford

Sir Joseph Williamson’s v Skinners’

Sir Thomas Rich’s v Northampton School for Boys

Solihull v Loughborough Grammar

St Albans v Merchant Taylors’

St Columba’s College v Latymer Upper

St John’s, Leatherhead v KCS Wimbledon

St Leonards v Edinburgh Academy

St Mary’s College v Stonyhurst

St Olave’s Grammar v Eltham College

St Richard Reynolds v London Oratory 2nd XV

Stamford v Felsted

Stirling County RFC v Stewart’s Melville

Stockport Grammar v Harrodian

Strathallan v Loretto

The Crypt v Hereford Cathedral School

The Oratory v Pangbourne College

Tiffin v St Benedict’s

Tonbridge v Wellington College

Trinity v Eton College

Truro v Exeter

Uppingham v The Leys

Wallington County Grammar v Ravens Wood

Wellingborough v Trent College

Whitgift 2nd XV v London Oratory

Wilmslow High School v Wirral Grammar

Windsor Boys’ v Halliford

Woodhouse Grove v St Peter’s, York

Wrekin College v Ellesmere College

Wymondham College v Culford


Saturday is absolutely packed full of big fixtures, and one of the biggest will be Rugby v Cheltenham College, one of the oldest schools rugby fixtures in the world and a game between two sides that will be full of confidence. Rugby ended a tough run last week against Warwick, while Cheltenham were sensational against Sherborne. It should be a top game, as ever.


Sherborne meanwhile look to bounce back from that one with what should be a very competitive game at home against Canford, who have had some strong performances this season.


Another massive game in the South West region sees Marlborough College host Cranleigh, a game made even bigger with a bit of recent context added. Marlborough won a really tight game against Bromsgrove last time out, and have a huge Schools Cup quarter final on Wednesday at home to Blundell’s. Cranleigh meanwhile had their result of the season last time out beating a very good Hampton side to end a back to back run of one point defeats. This should be a top game.


Hampton meanwhile look to bounce back this weekend in a real classic schools rugby fixture as they host a John Fisher side that is going to be absolutely bouncing after their final play heroics to defeat St Benedict’s last time out.


In the North West King’s Macclesfield have been astonishingly good this year. They may have lost their unbeaten record to Sedbergh last weekend but they performed well and on Wednesday bounced back to win the County Cup against Wirral Grammar. On Saturday they host Grammar School at Leeds, ahead of a massive Schools Cup quarter final against Finborough on Friday 9th.


Finborough themselves are in action this weekend ahead of that one, heading to Royal Hospital School in Ipswich, while along the road Framlingham College will host The Perse. Wirral Grammar meanwhile look to bounce back from that County Cup defeat to King’s Macclesfield when they head to Wilmslow High School this Saturday.


Another side looking to bounce back are Durham after that agonisingly tight defeat to Barnard Castle last time out. They head to Giggleswick, meanwhile Woodhouse Grove, who are in form, host St Peter’s York in an all-Yorkshire affair, similarly Pocklington host Ampleforth College and the outstanding Bradford Grammar have their final home game of the season as they welcome Hymers College.


In London Campion v Wimbledon College is a real state school classic, for Wimbledon College an opportunity, albeit a tricky one, to build some real momentum to take to Wales on Wednesday for that Schools Plate quarter final against Monmouth. Across the Thames there is a schools rugby classic as Dulwich College host St Paul’s in what is the penultimate game of the season for both.


Travelling from London to just outside of it are KCS Wimbledon for their final game of the year. They head to St John’s Leatherhead for what is their final home game of the season, and all signs point towards a top game of rugby. Over in Sussex, meanwhile, Hurstpierpoint College play their penultimate game of the season against an Eastbourne College side that is absolutely flying at the moment, having only lost to Sutton Valence all season, whom they meet against on Thursday in a key Schools Vase quarter final.


Oxford has a big one on Saturday as Abingdon host Bedford in what is the final game of the season for both sides and an opportunity for each to finish on a high after a tricky recent spell of results. It should be a fantastic game and a great atmosphere.


There will be a top atmosphere in Norwich too as they take on Norfolk rivals Gresham’s in what ought to be a cracker of a game. Not too far away Wymondham College will host Culford and King’s Ely will welcome Wisbech Grammar, while further south New Hall host RGS Colchester.


West of there, in Hertfordshire, St Albans look to bounce back at home to Merchant Taylors’, while St Columba’s College host Latymer Upper and QES Barnet welcome Watford Grammar. It has been a great year for Bedford Modern, and they look to continue that at home to St George’s Harpenden on Saturday. Meanwhile in Northamptonshire Wellingborough host Trent College.


Up from there Uppingham are looking for a first 80 minute victory of the season when they host The Leys, while the superb Stamford are looking to build on that epic 29-29 draw with unbeaten Oakham last time out when they host Felsted. Ratcliffe College are meanwhile hosting Leicester Grammar.


On the West side of the Midlands there are some big ones, not least in Worcestershire as King’s Worcester welcome Welsh giants Christ College. Solihull are at home against Loughborough Grammar, while KES Birmingham host King’s Gloucester and Bishop Vesey’s welcome Nottingham High. The excellent Old Swinford Hospital are in action at Bablake & King Henry VIII, with Wrekin College hosting Ellesmere College. Malvern College meanwhile host St Edward’s, Oxford.


In Oxford, Radley College look to build on that good victory over Tonbridge when they take on Oundle, and Magdalen College host Shiplake College. Along the M40 Aylesbury Grammar welcome Haberdashers’and there is a great game at Reading Blue Coat as they host RGS High Wycombe, a game that feels like a coin toss. The Oratory meanwhile host Pangbourne College and Windsor Boys’ are at home to Halliford.


London meanwhile sees Tiffin host St Benedict’s, who will want to reverse their fortunes after that heartbreaking defeat last time out, meanwhile Emanuel host St George’s College Weybridge and Mill Hill host UCS. Whitgift have a 2nd XV in action against London Oratory, while Claremont Fan Court host Cardinal Vaughan.


In Kent Sevenoaks have a massive game against Skinners’, while The Judd look to bounce back from their first two defeats of the season when they host Maidstone Grammar, especially with their massive game against Skinners’ a week on Friday to come, Skinners’ are at Sir Joseph Williamson’s on Saturday.


Sutton Valence prepare for that Vase quarter final with a trip to Duke of York’s Royal Military, while Colfe’s host Coopers’ Coborn and St Richard Reynolds host London Oratory 2nd XV. Wallington County Grammar v Ravens Wood is a big game, while Chislehurst & Sidcup’s trip to Gravesend Grammar should be good too, so to St Olave’s hosting Eltham College.


King’s Canterbury welcome a good Worth side over from Sussex and in Sussex Seaford College are in action at home against Langley Park.


Over in Surrey Reed’s v Reigate Grammar could be a fantastic game of rugby, while Gordon’s are hosting Royal Alexandra & Albert. Heading South Ryde welcome Churcher’s College and Portsmouth Grammar have their huge derby with KES Southampton.


Things are busy in the South West, as ever. Dauntsey’s are hosting a triangular with King’s Bruton and Prior Park College in attendance, Bryanston meanwhile host Lord Wandsworth College. Further West Kingswood are hosting Bishop Wordsworth’s, while KES Bath host Wellington and QEH welcome Beechen Cliff.


Truro School host Exeter School in a real Cornwall/Devon derby, meanwhile in Devon Blundell’s prep for their Cup quarter final against Marlborough with a game at home against Taunton, Plymouth College are meanwhile at Mount Kelly.


Monkton Combe host Clayesmore and Queen’s College Taunton are hosting Wells Cathedral. In Bristol, RGS Worcester are at Bristol Grammar and Clifton High host Warminster. Elsewhere Kingham Hill host Rendcomb College and The Crypt have a massive one at home to Hereford Cathedral School.


It’s busy in the North West too, where St Ambrose College are at Cheadle Hulme and Stonyhurst travel to St Mary’s College, with Birkenhead welcoming Liverpool College and Hutton Grammar hosting Bolton. Lancaster RGS’ continue with a trip to Merchant Taylors’, while Lymm High and Manchester Grammar go head to head. Sandbach are hosting Altrincham Grammar, with Stockport Grammar hosting. Harrodian, and King William’s College welcome King’s Rochester.


In the North East Austin Friars are hosting Yarm in what should be a good game. Meanwhile in Scotland one of the Scottish Schools Cup finalists, Edinburgh Academy are in action away at St Leonards. Elsewhere Strathallan host Loretto and will be looking to bounce back as will Stewart’s Melville who head to club side Stirling County RFC, while George Watson’s College host Dollar Academy in a Scottish schools rugby classic.


Hutchesons’ Grammar are hosting St Aloysius’ College, while Glasgow Academy head to Morrison’s Academy and Kelvinside Academy host Balfron High. Dundee High School meanwhile host Queen Victoria and Glenalmond College are hosting Robert Gordon’s College.

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