Once again after a hugely exciting weekend of schools rugby, a busy and entertaining midweek of rugby looms large.
Fixtures stretch across the week, including some huge match ups, particularly on Thursday, while on Wednesday the first game of the 2018 Champions Trophy takes place.
There is also a huge amount of U18 Schools Vase action this week, which is included in our Vase round up here: U18 Vase Round 1 fixtures and results.
Here we will focus on the non-Vase games, including that exciting block of Thursday fixtures, created in large part because a number of schools use this third weekend of term as an exeat weekend and therefore do not have Saturday fixtures.
There was just the one game on Tuesday as Royal Hospital School hosted RGS Colchester. RGS were coming off the back of a win while RHS had suffered back to back defeats and that little bit of extra confidence helped out RGS in a tight contest as they came away with a 15-0 win away from home.
The Champions Trophy officially kicks off next week, however the very first game actually takes place this Wednesday as Hampton, a new addition to the tournament this year, welcome St Albans. Hampton will be favourites, and indeed their early season form suggests that, despite this being their first Champions Trophy season, they could well be challengers.
Many eyes will turn to Cumbria on Wednesday too as Sedbergh, with wins over Whitgift and RGS Newcastle already, host Wilmslow High School. Two sides with a huge amount of success in recent times. Sedbergh will fancy their chances of making in three from three but Wilsmlow will certainly make life tough.
Elsewhere St Ambrose College travel to Altrincham Grammar for what ought to be a good game. Meanwhile in Wales Christ College host Pembrokeshire and Llandovery College make the trip to Newport High.
Canford are the latest side to host Chilean tourists Craighouse. They Chileans are always a popular side to host and Wednesday out to be a fine occasion. Elsewhere Hayes face a tricky trip to Glyn for what ought to be a fascinating game. Around the rest of the London region London Oratory welcome Twyford and Merchant Taylors’ host Watford Grammar, while Trinity look to bounce back from Saturday’s derby defeat as they host Gordon’s.
Moving North, Harrogate Grammar welcome Yarm, Newcastle School for Boys meanwhile are hosting Emmanuel College, while Worksop College welcome Thomas Rotherham College.
Magdalen College v Cokethorpe promises to be a good game of rugby, so too Old Swinford Hospital v KES Camp Hill, as does a cracking game in the South West as Plymouth College host Exeter School, Plymouth caused Blundell’s plenty of problems at the weekend.
Pate’s meanwhile host Beaufort, while KES Five Ways make the trip to St Joseph’s College, Stoke.
Thursday is a massive day of school rugby, and one of the biggest of the lot is a head to head between two unbeaten sides, Marlborough College and Cheltenham College. Cheltenham were unbeaten last year and are yet to concede a point this year after 20-0 and 30-0 wins over Malvern College and Stowe respectively. Interestingly, Marlborough have also beaten Stowe, 39-14, alongside Saturday’s win over St Edward’s, suggesting Thursday’s encounter should be very close – if they can breach that Cheltenham defence.
Two other unbeaten sides going head to head on Thursday are Oakham and Rugby. Rugby travel to Oakham having beaten King’s Macclesfield and Bedford, and they have been mightily impressive in doing so. Oakham meanwhile have had to narrow derby wins over Uppingham and then Stamford, suggesting a cracking game in store on Thursday.
Oakham’s big rivals Uppingham, meanwhile, travel to Culford on Thursday, with King’s Canterbury making the short trip to Duke of York’s Royal Military School, and Wycliffe College will nip across the Severn to take on Cathedral School Llandaff.
In Scotland there is a massive game as Edinburgh Academy host one of the most prestigious schools in Scotland, Fettes College.
Speaking of prestigious schools, two of the most prestigious in the world meet on Thursday as Eton College, who lost out in a tough game on Saturday to Berkhamsted, host long term rivals Radley College, who have started the season well, beating Sherborne on Saturday.
Overall, it looks like being a superb day on Thursday!
There are two massive evening kick offs on Friday. First Abingdon, who have endured a tricky old start to the campaign but who always seem to do well in these big games, host a Denstone College side that has started with a bang, beating Langley and Solihull, this those should be another step up again and a massive occasion.
Over at Cinderford RFC there is another excellent Friday night clash under the lights as Monmouth, fresh from a narrow defeat to Old Swinford Hospital, cross the border to take on former Schools Cup champions St Peter’s Gloucester, for what ought to be a great game to finish the midweek fixtures off with and lead us into Saturday.
A reminder that we welcome any photos, videos, and reports from your school’s games – the more the merrier! You can send them in to us via any of the methods below:
Schools Rugby Midweek Fixtures (predictions in bold):
Royal Hospital School 0-15 RGS Colchester
Altrincham GS v St Ambrose College
Beth’s v Coopers
Bishop’s Stortford HS v Saffron Walden
Burford v Cotswold
Burnham GS v Leighton Park
Canford v Craighouse, Chile
Christ College v Pembrokeshire College
Chrit’s Hospital v Cardinal Newman
Glyn v Hayes
Halliford v Claires Court
Hampton v St Albans (Champions Trophy)
Harrogate GS v Yarm
London Oratory v Twyford
Magdalen College v Cokethorpe
Merchant Taylors’ v Watford GS
Newport HS v Llandovery College
Newcastle School for Boys v Emmanuel College
Old Swinford Hospital v KES Camp Hill
Oswestry v Birkenhead
Pate’s GS v Beaufort
Plymouth College v Exeter
QES Kirkby Lonsdale v AKS Arnold
Royal Alexandra & Albert v Ewell Castle
Sedbergh v Wilmslow HS
Sir Joseph Williamson’s v Cranbrook
Sir William Borlase’s v John Hampden GS
St Joseph’s College, Stoke v KES Five Ways
Tettenhall College v Stafford GS
Trinity v Gordon’s
Worksop College v Thomas Rotherham College
Beechen Cliff 2nd XV v Prior Park College
Cathedral School, Llandaff v Wycliffe College
Culford v Uppingham
Duke of York’s RMS v King’s Canterbury
Edinburgh Academy v Fettes College
Eton College v Radley College
Marlborough College v Cheltenham College
Oakham v Rugby
Abingdon v Denstone College
Monmouth v St Peter’s, Gloucester (Cinderford RFC)