This week will not be quite as busy in the schools rugby world as last week was, however there are some vital games including a number of key catch-up knockout games.
There are also crucial fixtures that could have a real impact on the outcome of the Daily Mail Trophy, most significant of all when holders Sedbergh meet leaders Wellington College at Broadstreet RFC on Wednesday evening.
Before all of that though there are some big match ups on Tuesday afternoon. In Oxfordshire Radley College host Bedford it is a crucial game for both sides, each has struggled a little at times this year, between them Radley’s victory of St Edward’s is the only one. Tuesday offers each an opportunity for a hugely morale boosting outcome.
In Norfolk there is a massive clash as Langley and Norwich go head to head, while in Suffolk there is a big one too, Royal Hospital School hosting Woodbridge.
In Scotland, meanwhile, Merchiston Castle are on the road as they take on Boroughmuir High School.
Wednesday evening at Broadstreet RFC will see one of the defining games of the season as arguably the two best teams in the country go head to head, Sedbergh and Wellington College. It will play a huge role in the outcome of the Daily Mail Trophy, victory for Wellington all but guaranteeing the title they last won in 2017, while victory for Sedbergh would give them a huge chance of making it three in a row.
Last year it was a similar story, Sale Sharks’ Tom Curtis landing a touchline conversion for Sedbergh that won them the game and ultimately proved crucial on their way to the title and an unbeaten season. There is a huge amount at stake in this one, Sedbergh have now gone three years unbeaten should they win the title they would be a third of the way to a stunning treble-treble of major titles. For Wellington victory would maintain their unbeaten season and give them a shot at winning the St Joseph’s Festival (which they won in October), the Champions Trophy (the final of which is next week) and the Daily Mail Trophy, a treble that would be utterly stunning and completely unprecedented. Games of schools rugby scarcely get bigger.
There are massive games elsewhere too, not least the two remaining Schools Cup regional finals. Champions Whitgift are hosting Simon Langton Grammar in London & South East B, the winning will head to Abingdon for their quarter final in a week’s time. Over in London & South East B Whitgift’s great rivals, John Fisher, are in action at KCS Wimbledon. The winner in that one face a quarter final away at Sherborne.
Over in the Schools Plate there is plenty going on too, in the North A regional final Bradford Grammar host St Mary’s College, the winner will face either the reigning Plate champions, Bloxham, or the reigning Bowl champions, King’s Worcester, in the quarter finals, they meet on Thursday.
In London & South East B Langley Park host Cardinal Newman, the winner will host Dean Close in that quarter final.
Over in the Schools Bowl there is some tidy up action too, Midlands A sees Royal Latin travel to Hereford 6th form College, with Ampleforth College awaiting the winner for that quarter final. North B sees Birkdale travel to St Edward’s College, Sandringham will travel to the victors for the quarter final. King John School and Maidstone Grammar meet in the London & South East B regional final, the winner will have to wait to find out their quarter final opponent though, Windsor Boys and KES Southampton are yet to play their regional final.
There are two County Cup finals too, Isleworth & Syon v Wetherby and London Oratory v Hampton 2nd XV. Meanwhile King’s Priory host RGS Newcastle 2nd XV in the County Cup semi final.
Aylesbury RFC will play host to an epic contest on Wednesday as RGS High Wycombe and Berkhamsted meet under the lights. Both have had outstanding moments this season and on the 4G surface they should put on a fantastic game of rugby.
There is plenty else to be looking forward to on Wednesday, too. Denstone College v St Joseph’s College on Wednesday should be an outstanding game, two sides capable of some excellent rugby. Denstone enjoyed a fantastic victory on Saturday and will be looking to build on that after some excellent performances of late.
Elsewhere King’s College Taunton host Plymouth College, with QES Kirkby Lonsdale welcoming Ermysted’s Grammar, and KES Southampton take on Barton Peveril College.
The school that once counted the Curry twins among its number, Bishop Heber, are in action at home to Stockport Grammar, while along the road Bury Grammar host Rossall. Meanwhile Ellesmere College host Wrekin College.
Over in Wales Christ College travel to Cathedral School Llandaff, while back over the border Cleeve host Cheltenham Bournside, with Shrewsbury heading to Herefod Cathedral School. Shiplake College meanwhile are in action at Cokethrope.
Reigate Grammar v Gordon’s has the feel to being a cracking contest, as does Hayes trip to Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar. Elsewhere Christ’s Hospital travel to Royal Alexandra & Albert, with Duke of York’s RMS hosting King’s Rochester and St Columba’s College travelling to Haberdashers’.
Elsewhere KES Camp Hill v KES Five Ways should be a good contest, while Sutton Valence have been looking like a side to keep an eye on, they head to Emanuel on Wednesday. Meanwhile Cedars head to Dunottar, while Dr Challoner’s are at Dame Alice Owens, and Kent College welcome St Dunstan’s College.
The last of the Schools Plate regional finals takes place on Thursday as the reigning champions, Bloxham, head to reigning Bowl champions King’s Worcester. The winner will face either Bradford Grammar or St Mary’s College in the quarter final, those two play on Wednesday.
The final Schools Vase regional final also takes place on Thursday, former Cup champions St Peter’s Gloucester heading to Wellington School in South West A, with a quarter final against South West B champions Exeter School the reward for the winner.
Elsewhere Bishop Wordsworth’s trip to Bryanston ought to be a cracking game on Thursday, while further West Milton Abbey host Sexey’s, and in Lincolnshire King’s Grantham host Trent College.
Please do get in touch with your stories, photos, videos, reports, and opinions from the week’s rugby! It all makes a massive difference and allows us to feature your school and your team! You can get in touch via any of the below methods:
Schools Rugby Midweek Fixtures (predictions in bold):
Boroughmuir HS v Merchiston Castle
Langley v Norwich
Radley College v Bedford
Royal Hospital School v Woodbridge
Bishop Heber HS v Stockport GS
Bradford GS v St Mary’s College (Schools Plate)
Bury GS v Rossall
Cathedral School, Llandaff v Christ College
Chislehurst & Sidcup GS v Hayes
Christ’s Hospital v Royal Alexandra & Albert
Cleeve v Cheltenham Bournside
Cokethorpe v Shiplake College
Dame Alice Owens v Dr Challoner’s GS
Denstone College v St Joseph’s College
Duke of York’s RMS v King’s Rochester
Dunottar v Cedars
Ellesmere College v Wrekin College
Emanuel v Sutton Valence
Haberdashers’ v St Columba’s College
Hereford Cathedral School v Shrewsbury
Hereford 6th form College v Royal Latin (Schools Bowl)
Isleworth & Syon v Wetherby (County Cup Final)
KCS Wimbledon v John Fisher (Schools Cup)
Kent College v St Dunstan’s College
KES Camp Hill v KES Five Ways
KES Southampton v Barton Peveril College
King’s College, Taunton v Plymouth College
King John v Maidstone GS (Schools Bowl)
King’s Priory v RGS Newcastle 2nd XV (County Cup)
Langley Park v Cardinal Newman (Schools Plate)
London Oratory v Hampton 2nd XV (County Cup Final)
QES Kirkby Lonsdale v Ermysted’s GS
Reigate GS v Gordon’s
RGS High Wycombe v Berkhamsted – Aylesbury RFC
Sedbergh v Wellington College – Broadstreet RFC
St Edward’s College v Birkdale (Schools Bowl)
Whitgift v Simon Langton GS (Schools Cup)
Bryanston v Bishop Wordsworth’s
King’s Grantham v Trent College
King’s Worcester v Bloxham (Schools Plate)
Milton Abbey v Sexey’s
Wellington v St Peter’s, Gloucester (Schools Vase)