This Thursday night Cheltenham College and Sir Thomas Rich’s will once again to head to head LIVE in a 7.30pm kick off at the home of Gloucester Rugby, Kingsholm Stadium.
It pits two sides that have been playing some wonderful rugby head to head and the game will be broadcast LIVE on the NextGenXV YouTube Channel and through the embedded video below.
The game will be in support of National Star, a charity providing specialist further education, training, personal development, and residential services for people with physical and learning disabilities and acquire brain injuries. It is a charity chosen by the pupils ahead of this special evening.
It will be the fifth such meeting between the two sides all have been incredibly tight games with Cheltenham’s 17-12 margin in the first meeting in 2018 being the largest winning margin. They backed that up with tight victories in 2019 and 2021 before last year Sir Thomas Rich’s came from behind to win 24-22 thanks to a determined score from skipper Mikey Nixon.
Games between the two at the younger age-groups have been tight too, the current U6th are used to Sir Thomas Rich’s edging their games, 22-15 as U16s and 29-5 as U14s, while the current L6th are used to Cheltenham just coming out on top, 17-10 as U16s and 19-11 as U15s. That U15 victory for Cheltenham in 2021 was actually the only time that Sir Thomas Rich’s side lost a game.
As 1st XVs this year both have been magnificent, and both arrive in confident mood. Sir Thomas Rich’s arrive off the back of two big victories, 41-0 v Pate’s and 36-0 v The Crypt, while Cheltenham College arrive having just claimed one of their most significant victories of the last decade as they held off one of the best sides in the country, Millfield, in a 27-24 victory that saw them hold the famous Somerset side up over the line in the final play of the game.
Overall their records read very similarly, both have won twice as many as they lost, while Cheltenham College also went to the St Joseph’s Festival where they were in by far the toughest group and ended up reaching the Bowl final.
Strangely, given their proximity, they have only faced one common opponent so far this season, Monmouth, both in September. Cheltenham faced them first and won a really tight game 17-14, Tommies met them a fortnight later and went down 17-8.
Perhaps then that suggests a slight Cheltenham College advantage, however this game is always so tight and the pressure, and enjoyment, of playing at a professional stadium always throws a huge element of the unknown into the equation as well.
What is known is that it is going to be a tremendously special evening, for a wonderful cause, an evening that should showcase everything that is great about the school game.
Cheltenham College v Sir Thomas Rich’s – Thursday 16th Nov, Kingsholm Stadium – LIVE on NextGenXV, 7.30pm KO