The U18 Vase tournament for the 2018 Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s looks as competitive as ever.
The groups will run on Wednesday 21st March, with the knockouts taking place on Thursday 22nd March, the day that the U18 Cup starts. You can see our preview to the U18 Cup and the other Rosslyn Park tournaments below.
Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s Previews
Like last year, there will be an elimination round following the groups, unlike in the Cup, the winners of that elimination round will play for the Vase, won last year by St John’s Leatherhead, while the losers will play for the Bowl, which Epsom College won last year.
With St John’s now in the Cup after last year’s win, Cheltenham College are in Group A as the highest seeded team after finishing as runners up, by just two points. They will fancy their chances of a repeat or better this year after an unbeaten fifteen-a-side season, and they are joined in Group A by Trent Colelge, Shebbear College, RGS Lancaster, and Bassaleg.
Group B looks competitive, with Eltham College and Monmouth likely to be the two sides competing for top spot there, while Group C looks truly treacherous. Bromsgrove, Schools Cup champions in 2015 and 2016, are perhaps the headline act, but they are joined by seriously strong sides in Durham and Brynteg, plus a Campion side that enjoyed a truly extraordinary fifteen-a-side season and could yet translate that across. Clifton College’s 2nd VII will be a tough outfit too.
Over in Group D it looks like Bishop Wordsworth’s v Dean Close will be the game to watch, two sides that had exciting backlines in the main season that should translate across to a cracking 7s contest. Loretto, Plymouth College and Prior Park College complete a tough group.
Group E is surely going to be all about Blundell’s v Felsted. The Champions Trophy finalists v last year’s Schools Cup semi finalists. Two of the top sides around. Keep an eye on Wycliffe, Weston, and Tiffin though, as we have seen before anyone can pick up victories and spoil the party for the favourites, but that game looks like a cracker already.
Group F looks as though St Paul’s and Bristol Grammar will be the main contenders, while in Group G Eastbourne College and King’s Macclesfield are the likely main two, though Cardiff High School might be a surprise package. Framlingham College v New Hall in Group H will be a cracking derby match to spice up an already hugely competitive group.
Kingswood were one of the top fifteen-a-side teams this year, and they will really fancy their chances in Group I, while over in Group J things look wide open, expect a determined performance throughout from Portsmouth Grammar especially.
Group K seems likely to come down to Downside v Marlborough College as the key game, while over in Group L the reigning Bowl champions, Epsom College, reside alongside the likes of KCS Wimbledon and Nottingham High School.
Oundle, who drop down from the Cup, sit in Group M, which also includes school rugby legends, Colston’s. Group N meanwhile looks fierce, Judd will be favourites but Cokethorpe, Mount St Mary’s, St Peter’s Gloucester, and Bryn Tawe make it a hugely competitive group. Over in Group O Radley College will fancy their chances, though Gower College could be a bit of an unknown.
Group P Looks unbelievably competitive. 2015 Vase champions Stowe are included alongside Rugby, who could have a good side, Gresham’s, Pocklington, and Simon Langton in an incredibly tight looking group.
Reed’s are probably the early favourites in Group Q, but Wisbech Grammar have had a fantastic year and RGS Newcastle are always a very decent side. UCS have been in good form for a couple of years, while Ardingly will be no pushovers.
Group R stars St Peter’s York, one of the best around for a couple of years now, but The Perse and Norwich in particular will really fancy the challenge, over in Group S Abgindon will start as favourites but will be challenged hard, not least by Pangbourne College.
Stonyhurst College are probably the standout side in Group T, with a competitive chasing pack in City of London Freemen’s, Ibstock Place, King’s Canterbury, and Torquay Boys Grammar. Ampleforth College v Giggleswick will be a huge derby at the top end of Group U, but look out for 2007 champions King’s College Taunton too.
QEGS Wakefield will really fancy their chances of a shot at the title, but they face a very strong challenge in the form of Berkhamsted in their group, with Christ’s Hospital, Clayesmore, and Reigate Grammar keeping them honest too.
Group W hosts Teddies Oxford among others, including RGS Guildford and The Oratory, while Oakham are probably the top guns in Group X, though Bryanston, Gordon’s, Leicester Grammar, and Truro are all capable of mounting a challenge too.
Eton College are the big name in Group Y, but Bradford Grammar will be seriously tough competition, KES Bath v Worth seems the key game in Group Z at this point in time. Over in Group AA Dulwich College move down from the Cup and as Champions Trophy winners they must surely fancy their chances of a real crack at the Vase title here. Fast rising Hayes might be a dark horse here though, while Loughborough, QEH, and Malvern College are all tough opposition.
Group BB could be very open, Shiplake College will have a real go, so too Magdalen College and Bedford Modern, but you fancy that this could be one that goes right to the wire. As could Group CC, with Lord Wandsworth College, Queen’s College Taunton, Richard Huish, King’s Worcester, and Wimbledon College.
2016 Vase winners Tonbridge are the headline act in Group DD, having dropped back down from the Cup. They face Churcher’s College, Coopers’ Coborn, Ellesmere College, and Rutlish.
Group EE should be interesting, Uppingham are probably the favourites there but it will be tight. Millfield 2nd VII will cause problems in Group FF, but Stockpot Grammar might fancy their chances.
Seaford College will be the favourites in Group GG but their game against KES Stratford, a very strong side indeed, will be key. Rounding off the Vase groups in HH, with Ashville College, Cardinal Newman, Loughborough College, Woking College, and Pembrokeshire College competing in one of the most even looking groups.
Once again, the Vase looks like providing plenty of midweek thrills and excitement in the biggest week of school 7s in the world.
U18 Vase Draw
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Bassaleg||Eltham College||Bromsgrove||Bishop Wordsworth’s|
|Cheltenham College||Regent House||Durham||Dean Close|
|Lancaster, RGS||Harris City Academy||Campion||Loretto|
|Shebbear College||Monmouth||Brynteg Comprehensive||Plymouth College|
|Trent College||Seevic College||Clifton College 2nd VII||Prior Park College|
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|Blundell’s||Birkdale||Cardiff HS||Bishop Heber High School|
|Felsted||Bristol GS||Eastbourne College||Framlingham College|
|Tiffin||Merchant Taylors’ Northwood||Ravens Wood||New Hall|
|Weston College||St Paul’s||King’s Macclesfield||Sutton Valence|
|Wycliffe College||Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr||Sidcot||Ysgol Sir Thomas Picton|
|Group I||Group J||Group K||Group L|
|Cathedral School, Llandaff||Sevenoaks||Cabot Learning Federation||Epsom College|
|Colfe’s||Ryde School with Upper Chine||Downside||KCS Wimbledon|
|Hymers College||The Leys||Marlborough College||Nottingham HS|
|Kingswood||Manchester Grammar School||Mount Kelly||Taunton|
|St George’s, Weybridge||Portsmouth GS||Royal Wootton Bassett||King John School|
|Group M||Group N||Group O||Group P|
|Abraham Darby Academy||Cokethorpe||Gower College||Gresham’s|
|Colston’s||Mount St Mary’s College||Greenhill||Pocklington|
|Gravesend GS||St Peter’s, Gloucester||Liverpool College||Rugby|
|Oundle||Judd||Radley College||Simon Langton Grammar School|
|Ysgol Gyfun Y Strade||Ysgol Gyfun Bryn Tawe||Windsor Boys||Stowe|
|Group Q||Group R||Group S||Group T|
|Ardingly College||Norwich||Abingdon||City of London Freemen’s|
|Reed’s||St Peter’s, York||Christ College||Stonyhurst College|
|RGS Newcastle||Tavistock College||Duke of York’s RMS||Ibstock Place|
|UCS||The Perse||Ipswich||King’s School, Canterbury|
|Wisbech GS||Wallington CGS||Pangbourne College||Torquay Boys’ GS|
|Group U||Group V||Group W||Group X|
|Ampleforth College||Berkhamsted||RGS Guildford||Bryanston|
|Burford||Christ’s Hospital||St Edward’s, Oxford||Gordon’s|
|Giggleswick||Clayesmore||Strode’s 6th form College||Leicester GS|
|King’s College, Taunton||QEGS Wakefield||The Oratory||Oakham|
|Leighton Park||Reigate Grammar School||Wellingborough||Truro School|
|Group Y||Group Z||Group AA||Group BB|
|Bradford Grammar School||Akeley Wood||Dulwich College||AKS Arnold|
|Eton College||Hill House||Hayes||Bedford Modern School|
|Langley Park||KES Bath||Loughborough Grammar School||Magdalen College|
|The London Oratory||Worth||Malvern College||Rossall|
|Welbeck||Ysgol Y Preseli||Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital||Shiplake College|
|Group CC||Group DD||Group EE||Group FF|
|Lord Wandsworth College||Churcher’s College||Mill Hill||Amman Valley|
|Queen’s College, Taunton||Coopers’ Coborn||Shrewsbury||Emanuel|
|Richard Huish College||Ellesmere College||Sir Joseph Williamson’s||Millfield 2nd VII|
|King’s Worcester||Rutlish||Sir William Borlase’s||Stockport GS|
|Wimbledon College||Tonbridge||Uppingham||Wirral GS|
|Group GG||Group HH|
|King Edward’s, Stratford||Ashville College|
|Royal Alexandra & Albert||Cardinal Newman|
|Seaford College||Loughborough College|
|St Olave’s Grammar School||Woking College|
|Wrekin College||Pembrokeshire College|