This Wednesday Sedbergh and Wellington College meet in their annual clash at Broadstreet RFC, with games from U18 down to U14 level.
Across each contest it pits two of the strongest rugby schools anywhere in the world historically head to head in what will be an epic day, and evening, of action in Warwickshire. NextGenXV will be broadcast both the 1stXV and 2nd XV fixtures LIVE, through the NextGenXV YouTube channel and through the embedded video below, with the 1st XVs kicking off at 6pm, preceded by the 2nd XVs live at 4.15pm.
Last year across the block of five games, 1st XV, 2nd XV, U16s, U15s, and U14s, Sedbergh claimed victory in the 1st XV, 2nd XV, and U15 games, while Wellington College won the U16 and U14 fixtures.
1st XVs (6pm KO)
This year looks like it could be equally close, and looking at the 1st XV fixture it is going to be absolutely fascinating. The schools rugby world has been completely unpredictable this season and these two have played no small part in that.
Sedbergh have had an unusually tough time of things of late, suffering a heavy loss to a gloriously good Blackrock College side before half term, and since half term they have been beaten by Clifton, drawn with Warwick, and won a very close one at Mount St Mary’s.
That is the unpredictable nature of this season, a trend first noted when Ipswich (see below) earned the greatest result in their school’s history with a 32-29 victory over Sedbergh.
That games tells you everything you need to know about this Sedbergh side though because while they may have lost that game, they came back from 32-10 down with then minutes to go to put themselves in position to win in the final play. Their resolve is outstanding, so too their ability to score points quickly, and when they click they are simply breath-taking.
A wobbly run of form against some of the finest schools in the land does not change that.
Wellington College will know that too, and this year marks ten years since their last victory in this fixture, a 14-10 victory in 2013. They will be desperate to change that, but they will also be away therefore of just how tough it is to topple the Cumbrian giants that are Sedbergh.
Wellington have quietly had an excellent season, as demonstrated in their 15-10 victory over Clifton College (see below) just a week after Clifton had beaten Sedbergh. That was their first major scalp though, they had been in good positions against the likes of Harrow and Millfield but had been pipped in classics, Clifton was their turn to earn the tight victory.
All of which points towards an incredibly close game of rugby, a game in which both could make major statements about their seasons. Both sides will arrive with plenty of confidence derived from last year’s results – Sedbergh’s U6th players will look back with confidence at last year’s 21-13 victory at 1st XV level and stunning 55-5 victory and 2nd XV level, but Wellington College will look at the U16 result from last year, this year’s L6th group, and see their 16-5 victory from a group that won the Schools Cup as U15s and have huge confidence.
It looks set to be a cracker.
That 55-5 victory for Sedbergh in last year’s 2nd XV game was a statement, but the 2nd XV games have been a real back and forth in recent times, with Wellington winning in 2021 and the two sides drawing in 2019.
Sedbergh arrive with plenty of confidence, over the last two seasons the only side to have beaten them at 2ndXV level are Irish giants Blackrock College, and this year that was by a hair’s breadth, 28-26. They are playing wonderful rugby.
So too are Wellington College, who had a tough season at 2nd XV level last year but are playing superbly this year. Only three of the strongest teams in the country have got the better of them, Harrow, Millfield, and Clifton College – giants all.
Like at 1st XV level, we could be in for an absolute cracker.
Sedbergh v Wellington College – LIVE on NextGenXV, Wednesday 22nd Nov, Broadstreet RFC
1st XVs 6pm KO
2nd XVs 4.15pm KO