It’s the final big midweek of school rugby action of the term as schools head rapidly towards the Christmas holidays, but with some huge games coming up, there is no danger of things petering out.
This week sees the U18 Schools Cup, Plate, Vase, and Bowl quarter finals taking place, as well as the Scottish Schools Cup final.
NextGenXV will be bringing out two of those U18 Schools Cup Quarter Finals LIVE, with Marlborough College v Blundell’s on Wednesday at 2.15pm, and then Harrow v Trinity, in a game that could also have huge ramifications at the top of the NextGenXV Schools Rugby Table, on Thursday, again kicking off at 2.15pm
There is so much more going on as well though, with games going on right throughout the week, including tour games, derby games, and plenty more.
Bloxham v Haileybury (Schools Plate QF)
Collegiate v Beechen Cliff
Dundee High v Glenalmond College
Kirkham Grammar v The Rhinos, South Africa
Leicester Grammar v Stamford
RGS Colchester v Woodbridge
Windsor Boys’ v Eton College U17
The action begins on Tuesday and the headline act is surely the U18 Schools Plate quarter final between Bloxham and Haileybury. Haileybury are in red hot form, that victory over Whitgift 10 days ago ensuring that they arrive feeling that way, while Bloxham have been excellent at times this season and are of course former Plate champions, when an Alfie Barbeary inspired side claimed the title at Sixways. This should be a great game.
Another eye-catching game sees Kirkham Grammar School, unquestionably one of the very best teams in the country this year and hurtling towards an unbeaten season, host South African tourists, The Rhinos, in what should be a special occasion. Leicester Grammar and Stamford go head to head in their final game of the season, it would be a huge achievement from Leicester Grammar to claim the result, while Stamford are looking for the seal on what has been an outstanding term of rugby. There is another derby game in Windsor, as Windsor Boys’ host Eton College’s U17 side.
Further East, RGS Colchester are hosting Woodbridge, while in the South West Collegiate look to put the final touches on a good season as they host Beechen Cliff’s non-Ace side, their ACE side has some huge fish to fry on Wednesday. In Scotland, meanwhile, Glenalmond College travel to Dundee High School.
Barnard Castle v Solihull (Schools Plate QF)
Brentwood v Philip Morant
Cedars v St Dunstan’s
Claires Court v Old Swinford Hospital (Schools Vase QF)
Durham v Samuel Whitbread Academy (Schools Vase QF)
Ellesmere College v Wirral Grammar
Ermysted’s Grammar v QES Kirkby Lonsdale
Fulham Boys v Ewell Castle
George Heriot’s v Marr College (Scottish Schools Plate Final)
Gordon’s v The Oratory
Grammar School at Leeds v Hymers College
Haberdashers’ Abraham Darby v Bedstone College
Hayes v Caterham
Hereford Cathedral School v Cathedral School, Llandaff
Hull Collegiate v Hill House
John Fisher v Wallington County Grammar
KES Aston v Newcastle Under Lyme
KES Five Ways v Queen Mary’s Grammar
Lord Williams v Aylesbury Grammar
Maidstone Grammar v Simon Langton Grammar
Manchester Grammar v Cheadle Hulme
Marlborough College v Blundell’s (Schools Cup QF) – LIVE STREAMED
Merchiston Castle v Edinburgh Academy (Scottish Schools Cup Final)
Monmouth v Wimbledon College (Schools Plate QF)
Next Phase Academy v Royal Latin
Peter Symonds’ College v Ryde (County Cup Final)
Portsmouth Grammar v Dartford Grammar (Schools Bowl QF)
RGS High Wycombe v Epsom College (Schools Plate QF)
RGS Newcastle v Oakham (Schools Cup QF)
Riddlesdown Collegiate v Harris Academy
Salesian v Reigate College
St Ambrose College v Dr Challoner’s Grammar (Schools Vase QF)
St Edward’s, Cheltenham v Burford
St James’ v Salesian
Stonyhurst v Crossley Heath
The Crypt v Cokethorpe
Tiffin v Saint Cecilia’s
Verulam v Beaumont
Wednesday is an absolutely massive day as we head towards a true climax to the term. Much of the attention will be on our live stream of Marlborough College v Blundell’s, which you can watch below and that we have previewed in detail here: Marlborough College v Blundell’s Preview.
That is not the only Schools Cup quarter final on Wednesday though, RGS Newcastle are hosting Oakham in a coming together of two Cup legends. RGS are former finalists while Oakham have twice won the competition and both are having impeccable seasons. Only Sedbergh have beaten RGS while the closest that Oakham have come to a blemish is a draw with Stamford. It promises to be an absolute classic.
Following on from Tuesday’s Plate quarter final between Bloxham and Haileybury, the other three Plate quarter finals are on Wednesday. Barnard Castle, who so narrowly lost to RGS Newcastle on Saturday, host Solihull,who also suffered a narrow defeat. Both have been in good form this year though, indeed RGS are the only side to have defeated Barnard Castle this year.
Monmouth also host a Plate quarter final, welcoming Wimbledon College to Wales in what should be a fascinating game. Wimbledon College have really grown through the season, while on Saturday Monmouth came within a whisker of a famous victory against Millfield.
The fourth quarter final sees former Cup winners RGS High Wycombe hosting an Epsom College side that has previously reached the Champions Trophy (when it existed) final and put in a strong display in a defeat to Harrow on Saturday. This ought to be another fascinating encounter as both look to extend their Plate runs into next term.
In the Schools Vase three of the four quarter finals take place on Wednesday, with former Cup finalists Old Swinford Hospital in action away at Claires Court, and another former Cup finalists, Durham, hosting former Vase champions Samuel Whitbread Academy, a coming together of two sides that are playing some fantastic rugby at the moment. In the North West, meanwhile, St Ambrose College, who always seem to go far, are hosting Dr Challoner’s Grammar School.
Just one of the Bowl quarter finals is confirmed for Wednesday, Harrogate Grammar v KES Five Ways and Coopers’ Coborn v St Peter’s Gloucester are still to have dates confirmed while St Mary’s College host The Leys on Saturday. On Wednesday though Portsmouth Grammar, fresh from derby victory over KES Southampton, will host Dartford Grammar in what ought to be a good game.
Scotland plays host to the game of the week though, where BT Murrayfield will host the Scottish Schools Cup Final. Merchiston Castle and Edinburgh Academy are the finalists in the great derby of Scottish rugby, the oldest continuous schools rugby fixture in the world. The two have never met in a final, but both have titles to their name, Merchiston have won the Cup 7 times in their history, including 2021, while Edinburgh Academy have won it in 2010 and 2012. Both came through extraordinarily tight and tough semi finals, and the two also met back at the start of October, Edinburgh Academy winning an incredible game of rugby at Merchiston, 29-26. An omen for Wednesday? We’ll have to wait and see. In the Plate final, two others giants of the Scottish School game go head to head, George Heriot’s and Marr College.
Back in England there is a Hampshire County Cup Final for Peter Symonds’ College and Ryde, which should be a top occasion.
Over in the South West The Crypt host Cokethorpe and St Edward’s Cheltenham welcome Burford. Arguably the biggest game in the West comes on the Welsh border through which the Cathedral School derby, Hereford Cathedral School taking on Cathedral School Llandaff. It should be a magnificent occasion.
There’s plenty going on in the West side of the Midlands, KES Aston hosting Newcastle-Under-Lyme and KES Five Ways welcoming Queen Mary’s Grammar. Haberdashers’ Abraham Darby meanwhile host Bedstone College.
Further North Ellesmere College are in action at home against a bang in form Wirral Grammar side, meanwhile Stonyhurst host Crossley Heath and Manchester Grammar welcome Cheadle Hulme, with Ermysted’s Grammar hosting QES Kirkby Lonsdale.
Yorkshire sees two famous names go head to head as Grammar School at Leeds host a Hymers College side that enjoyed a great victory at Bradford Grammar on Saturday. Hill House meanwhile head to Hull Collegiate.
In the South East Brentwood host Philip Morant and Cedars welcome St Dunstan’s, while London and its surrounds are packed with action. Hayes v Caterham looks like a top game of rugby, and John Fisher are back in action after a tough weekend as they host Wallington County Grammar.
Tiffin welcome Saint Cecilia’s and there are two Salesian sides in action, one at St James and one hosting Reigate College. Fulham Boys and Ewell Castle go head to head while Harris Academy head to Riddlesdown Collegiate.
One of the games of the day should be Gordon’s v The Oratory, two sides that can play some lovely rugby. Aylesbury Grammar’s fixture at Lord Williams should be good too, while in Kent Simon Langton Grammar are at Maidstone Grammar. Elsewhere Royal Latin are at Next Phase, with Verulam hosting Beaumont.
Ashford v Buckswood
Fettes College v Rhino Rugby, South Africa
Harrow v Trinity (Schools Cup QF) – LIVE STREAMED
King’s Worcester v Uppingham – at Broadstreet RFC
Langley Park v Titans Rugby, South Africa
Loughborough Grammar v Oakham – at Loughborough University
Rugby v Framlingham College
Sutton Valence v Eastbourne College (Schools Vase QF)
Thursday is another fantastic and classic day of schools rugby action. The main event is likely to be the NextGenXV Live Stream game, Harrow v Trinity in the U18 Schools Cup quarter finals, arguably the two favourites for the tournament – both unbeaten in the regular season heading into it, Trinity as reigning champions, Harrow as newly installed Daily Mail Trophy champions, with top spot in the NextGenXV Schools Rugby Table up for grabs too, and some serious U15 history too. This game is massive, and potentially season defining. We have a full preview available here: Harrow v Trinity Preview. The Schools Cup quarter final action will conclude on Friday when King’s Macclesfield host Finborough, which we will cover in our preview of the weekend.
The Vase quarter finals are concluded on Thursday when last year’s losing Vase finalists, Sutton Valence take on last year’s losing Bowl finalists Eastbourne College, two sides that are bang in form and will be eager to keep their runs going.
Elsewhere, Broadstreet RFC plays host to King’s Worcester v Uppingham, and Uppingham side that will be confident after recording their first win on Saturday. Their local rivals Oakham are due to take on Loughborough Grammar at Loughborough University, though with a Cup game on Wednesday that one could see alterations. Not too far away from Broadstreet, Rugby School are looking to finish on a high against a strong Framlingham College side.
There are two games against South African tourists, in Scotland Rhino Rugby are up against Fettes College, while in England Titans Rugby take on Langley Park. Not too far away, Ashford host Buckswood.