The Hiscox Reigate Charity 7s takes place on Sunday at Reigate Grammar School.
The tournament is one of the key competitions on the calendar ahead of the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s at the end of March, with sides doing well here likely to have a big say in how things turn out at Rosslyn Park.
Last year’s tournament was cancelled due to the snow, but things are looking bright this time around. Tonbridge therefore remain the holders, having lifted the Cup in 2017, they also won in 2014 with Wellington College lifting the cup in 2015 and Harrow the following year.
32 teams are competing, spread across eight groups of four. The winners of each group will compete in the Cup quarter finals, second in the Plate quarters, third in the Shield, and those finishing bottom of their groups will compete in the Bowl quarter finals.
2015 champions Wellington College are drawn in Group A, and it will be a tough one with Felsted likely to be strong challengers too. RGS Guildford and Reading Bluecoat are both in the group as well and will cause plenty of problems themselves too.
Group B sees Sunday’s Sussex Schools 7s champions, Epsom College, drawn as top seeds. They will face Maidstone Grammar, City of London Freemen’s, and a Caterham side that showed plenty of potential at the Hampton 7s in midweek and could be a real threat.
Group C sees Croydon rivals Whitgift and Trinity go head to head, unfortunately though with a Schools Cup semi final a week after the tournament, Whitgift are unlikely to be at full strength on Sunday. That will also open the door to Bryanston and Worth, making this a really exciting group.
The Seaford 7s was one of the first tournaments of the season and it was Dulwich College that came away with the Cup there. They have impressed all season and will be major contenders on Sunday from Group B, where Judd and the big Wimbledon rivals, Wimbledon College and KCS Wimbledon, will be their competition at the group stage.
The hosts, Reigate Grammar School, are in Group E and it is a tricky looking group. Brighton College are always major contenders and reached the semi finals at the Sussex 7s. They will likely be favourites for the group but St Paul’s and Eastbourne College will certainly challenge them and Reigate.
Group F is loaded, Hampton were in the final of their tournament on Wednesday, while Hurstpierpoint College reached the Sussex 7s final last week. Those two are both capable of going deep into this tournament, while Portsmouth Grammar should not be discounted either. London Oratory round the group off and how they fare could have a big impact on the group.
The current holders of the Cup, Tonbridge, are located in Group G, where John Fisher will likely be strong challengers after a good showing at the Hampton 7s in midweek. Emanuel and Sevenoaks will also be pressing hard to challenge for the top knockout stages.
Berkhamsted catch the eye in the final group, Group H, after impressing through the fifteen-a-side season. If they can translate that form to the shortened game, they will be a big threat. It is a strong group, with Reed’s, Sutton Valence, and Wisbech Grammar all capable of taking points from one another.
There is also a girls competition, with twelve sides involved. They are split into three groups of four, with the winners of each group and best placed runner up playing in the Cup semis, the remaining two second placed sides and the best two third placed sides competing for the Plate, and the bottom sides and remaining third placed side competing for the Shield.
Host side Reigate Grammar School are in Group A alongside Caterham, Oundle, and Wisbech Grammar, while Group B sees Wellington College, Judd, Trinity, and King Henry VIII, Coventry grouped together. Group C sees Epsom College, Christ’s Hospital, Reigate College, and Royal Hospital School competing.
Hiscox Reigate Charity 7s Draw:
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Wellington College||Epsom College||Whitgift||Dulwich College|
|RGS Guildford||City of London Freemen’s||Trinity||Judd|
|Reading Bluecoat||Maidstone Grammar||Worth||KCS Wimbledon|
|Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H|
|Brighton College||Hampton||Tonbridge||Berkhamsted School|
|St Paul’s||Hurstpierpoint College||John Fisher||Reed’s|
|Eastbourne College||London Oratory||Emanuel||Sutton Valence|
|Reigate Grammar||Portsmouth Grammar||Sevenoaks||Wisbech Grammar|
|Group A||Group B||Group C|
|Oundle||King Henry VIII||Epsom College|
|Reigate Grammar||Wellington College||Christ’s Hospital|
|Wisbech Grammar||Judd||Royal Hospital School|