Wimbledon College won the second ever U14 tournaments at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s last year.
They beat Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf in a thrilling final, and both sides return this year, with completely new sides though, they, like everyone else, are starting from scratch again.
There are 24 groups, and the winners of each will head into an elimination knockout group. The winners of those games will head to the Cup quarter final pools, the losers to the Plate quarter final pools.
As Champions, Wimbledon College are in Group A alongside Dunottar, Harris City Academy, Brunts Academy, and Scottish side Loretto. Over in Group B, Brynted, Framlingham College, RGS Guildford, Simon Langton, and Sutton Valence all compete.
Group C looks just as competitive, with Bromsgrove, Dean Close, and Sherborne the three biggest names, St Paul’s and Merchant Taylors in Group D should provide plenty of excitement.
Group E features Warwick, one of the strongest schools in the country across every single age-group, while in Group F last year’s Plate runners-up feature, Marlborough College, it looks a tricky one, with RGS Newcastle and Bradford Grammar among those in the mix in that group.
Group G looks like it will be an open one, with New Hall among the main challenges, Cheltenham College will be the side to keep an eye on in Group H. Meanwhile in Group I, look out for St John’s, Leatherhead, among others.
Group J should be very competitive, with Ampleforth College, Seaford College, and St Benedict’s bringing plenty of pedigree. Group K looks pretty fierce, Dulwich College have a huge reputation, Dollar Academy are one of the strongest in Scotland, and RGS Colchester, St George’s Weybridge, and Wisbech Grammar all have excellent reputations. Group L will also be tough, among the contenders are Denstone College, Eltham College, and King’s College Taunton.
Group M features two sides that came close to silverware last year. Wellington College were favourites though the groups but eventually fell at the semi final stage, while Wycliffe College reached the Plate semi finals.
Group N also looks tough, with Kirkham Grammar and Eastbourne College among those to keep an eye on, so too Group O with Birkdale, Eton College, Hymers College, Radley College, and Sevenoaks. Hampton v Blundell’s in Group P already has the feel of a massive game.
Solihull are a side to look out for in Group Q, while Group R looks very tricky, with both Millfield and Stowe residing, with such a strong prep schools programme, you can expect those to have emerged from there to Millfield’s U14s to be very good.
Last year’s runners up, Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf, are in Group S, with KES Bath, Oakham, Pangbourne Colelge, and Sidcot for company, making it look a very tricky group. Epsom College are the likely big guns in Group T.
Group U is laden with big reputations as Brighton College, Malvern College, RGS High Wycombe, and St Edward’s Oxford all drawn together, Fulham Boys have the unenviable task of trying to pick their way through that one.
The Plate holders, Woodhouse Grove, are in a tricky Group V with Barnard Castle and John Fisher providing particularly stern tests, and Torquay Boys Grammar and Y Strade likely to be tricky opponents too.
It is no easier in Group W, where St Peter’s York, Uppingham, and Whitgift are all vying for just one qualification spot, so too Group X with Bedford, Mill Hill, King’s Canterbury, and Whitchurch High School all attempting to beat 2016 champions Ivybridge Community College to qualification.
All in all it looks like the U14s could provide more than just background noise once more. Fears were that it might be overshadowed by running on the same days as the U18 Cup, but that has not materialised over the last 2 years. Such has been the quality, the U14 tournament has shone just as bright as any other, providing some of the great moments of the last two tournaments.
Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s Previews
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Dunottar||Brynteg||Abraham Darby||Blessed Hugh Faringdon|
|Harris City Academy||Framlingham College||Bromsgrove||Cathedral School, Llandaff|
|Loretto||RGS Guildford||Dean Close||Merchant Taylors’ Northwood|
|Brunts Academy||Simon Langton Grammar School||Plymouth College||St Paul’s|
|Wimbledon College||Sutton Valence||Sherborne||Stanwell|
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|Abingdon||Bradford GS||Bishop’s Stortford HS||Campion|
|Mount Kelly||Marlborough College||KES Birmingham||Cheltenham College|
|Manchester Grammar School||Middlesex Schools||Monkton Combe||Welland Park|
|Warwick||QEHS||New Hall||Leicester Grammar School|
|Ysgol Gyfun Bro Edern||RGS Newcastle||Y Pant Comprehensive||Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni|
|Group I||Group J||Group K||Group L|
|Birkdale||Ampleforth College||Dollar Academy||Denstone College|
|Devonport High School||Cardiff HS||Dulwich College||Eltham College|
|Gordon’s||Leighton Park||RGS Colchester||King’s College, Taunton|
|St John’s, Leatherhead||Seaford College||St George’s, Weybridge||Wellingborough|
|Taunton||St Benedict’s||Wisbech GS||Ysgol Sir Thomas Picton|
|Group M||Group N||Group O||Group P|
|Samuel Whitbread Academy||Bedford Modern||Birkdale HS||Akeley Wood|
|Wycliffe College||Eastbourne College||Eton College||Blundell’s|
|UCS||Kirkham Grammar School||Hymers College||Halliford|
|Wellington College||Rutlish||Radley College||Hampton|
|Portsmouth Grammar School||King John School||Sevenoaks||Worth|
|Group Q||Group R||Group S||Group T|
|Barry Comprehensive||Cabot Learning Federation||KES Bath||Epsom College|
|Hill House||The London Oratory||Oakham||Ibstock Place|
|Mount St Mary’s College||Millfield||Pangbourne College||QEH|
|Solihull||Stowe||Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf||Woodbridge|
|St Anselm’s College||Wallington CGS||Sidcot||Ysgol Gyfun Plasmawr|
|Group U||Group V||Group W||Group X|
|Brighton College||Barnard Castle||Gravesend Grammar School||Bedford|
|Fulham Boys||John Fisher||Shrewsbury||Ivybridge Community Coll|
|Malvern College||Torquay Boys’ Grammar School||St Peter’s, York||Mill Hill|
|RGS High Wycombe||Woodhouse Grove||Uppingham||King’s Canterbury|
|St Edward’s, Oxford||Ysgol Gyfun Y Strade||Whitgift||Whitchurch HS|