Among Sunday’s major school 7s tournaments is the Marches 7s at Hereford Cathedral School, one of the key tournament on the calendar.
Always an exciting competition, the Marches 7s draws plenty of sides that will likely be in contention come the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s at the end of March.
In all there are 27 sides in the competition, split into seven groups of four (one group has three sides in it at present), with Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield competitions to be played for in the knockouts.
The weather interrupted last year’s tournament, something that ought not to be an issue this year, meaning there is no direct reigning champion. Blundell’s are the most recent champions, having beaten Millfield in the 2017 final.
Blundell’s find themselves among the favourites this year and they are located in a tricky Group C where Barnard Castle will be major challengers after their Hymers 7s victory in midweek, Christ College and RGS Worcester will not make life easy either.
The runners up in that 2017 final, and the 2015 champions, Millfield, have been handed an almighty challenge in the form of Beechen Cliff in Group E. Both sides have a great chance of going all the way in this final, Beechen Cliff have been on fire all year and Millfield last week won the Christ College 7s. It is a tough hand for Hereford 6th form College and KES Stratford too, with two such strong sides in their group.
Harrow are also former winners, having lifted the Cup in 2016, they are drawn in a highly competitive looking Group D, where Christ College 7s finalists Llandovery College, the very strong Sir Thomas Rich’s, and a good Malvern College side are their challengers. It is a group to keep a real eye on.
The side they beat in that 2016 final, Shrewsbury, are drawn in Group A alongside the hosts, Hereford Cathedral School. Cheltenham College are also in the group and have the potential to go a long way, while Welshmen Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf are another very strong side.
Hartpury College are one of the biggest names in schools rugby, they won the Plate in 2017 and are once again the AASE champions. They are drawn in Group B alongside former AASE side, and Ted Hill’s old school, Worcester 6th form College, as well as Cathedral School Llandaff and Plymouth College.
Group F is a slightly odd one, containing two 2nd VIIs in the form of Cheltenham College and Hartpury College. That should give Monmouth and St Benedict’s a big of a glint in their eye with both having 1st VIIs in the group.
The final Group is Group G, a three team group at present with King’s Worcester, Adams Grammar, and a Dean Close side packed with England U18 squad members and a team that really could do some damage in this 7s season.
Marches 7s Draw:
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|
|Cheltenham College||Cathedral School, Llandaff||Barnard Castle||Harrow|
|Hereford Cathedral School||Hartpury College||Blundell’s||Llandovery College|
|Shrewsbury||Plymouth College||Christ College, Brecon||Malvern College|
|Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf||Worcester 6th form College||RGS Worcester||Sir Thomas Rich’s|
|Group E||Group F||Group G|
|Beechen Cliff||Cheltenham College 2nds||Adams Grammar|
|Hereford 6th form College||Hartpury College 2nds||Dean Close|
|KES, Stratford||Monmouth||King’s Worcester|