Schools rugby really starts to switch from fifteen-a-side mode to shortened format mode this weekend, with just a handful of the long form games taking place.
There is action on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday though, with 7s, 10s, and 15s being played across the weekend in what should be a busy few days.
The fifteen-a-side action begins with a cracker on Friday night as Hampton and St Benedict’s go head to head, two sides with massive history and that have played some brilliant rugby. Hampton will go in as favourites but will be missing some stars to the U18 Academy League, which will leave St Benedict’s eager to pounce in what should be a fantastic game on Friday evening.
Moving into Saturday and the big games keep on coming, not least in Suffolk, where St Joseph’s College host reigning Schools Cup champions Whitgift in a huge contest. Whitgift are in great form but St Joseph’s had a great test to gear up for this one against AASE side Henley College last week.
Another belter will be RGS High Wycombe v Campion two school that have proved incredibly tough to beat this year and have some major scalps between them. Expect a big old contest, and a game that will leave everyone enthralled.
Elsewhere there is an all American School clash as The American School of London and Cobham International School go head to head, while staying around the South East Coopers’ Coborn host Gravesend Grammar.
Into the Midlands and Old Swinford Hospital v Sir Thomas Rich’s looks like a titanic clash between two sides that have played some fantastic rugby, with Bishop Vesey’s Grammar v KES Birmingham likely to be an entertaining one, too.
It is a quieter week in Scotland, though Robert Gordon’s College do take on How of Fife, but in the North of England there is some exciting stuff as Lancaster RGS host Wirral Grammar School, a game that should be a challenge for Wirral against a very good LRGS side, but one that should be a really great game and fairly even. There is a good U17 contest in the North East as Durham welcome Sedbergh, two sides always worth keeping an eye on.
Durham is the place to be on Saturday as they host their annual Bain 10s. The likes of Barnard Castle, Dame Allan’s, Grammar School at Leeds, Pocklington, QEGS Wakefield, RGS Newcastle, and St Peter’s York will all be in attendance for what is always a fantastic event and a superb warm up for the seven-a-side season that is to follow.
A seven-a-side season that will shortly be in full stride for those at the Bain 10s but that will be in full flow for many others over the course of the weekend.
Saturday sees Bryanston host a top level triangular with Sherborne and Canford, three sides to keep an eye on over the 7s season, while on Sunday Uppingham host a training 7s event along with the likes of Bedford and Rugby, while Taunton School and King’s College Taunton go head to head in a warm up game.
Sunday also sees a big round robin tournament at Pangbourne College as they welcome Gordon’s, Lord Wandsworth College’, The Oratory, and one of last week’s big tournament hosts, Shiplake College.
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Schools Rugby Weekend Fixtures – Saturday 8th February (predictions in bold):
Hampton v St Benedict’s
American School, London v Cobham International School
Bishop Vesey’s GS v KES Birmingham
Coopers’ Coborn v Gravesend GS
Durham v Sedbergh U17
Lancaster RGS v Wirral GS
Old Swinford Hospital v Sir Thomas Rich’s
RGS High Wycombe v Campion
Robert Gordon’s College v Howe of Fife
St Joseph’s College v Whitgift
Bryanston Triangular 7s – Bryanston, Canford, Sherborne
Durham 10s – Barnard Castle, Dame Allan’s, Durham, Grammar School at Leeds, Pocklington, QEGS Wakefield, RGS Newcastle, St Peter’s York
Pangbourne 7s – Gordon’s, Lord Wandsworth College, The Oratory, Pangbourne College, Shiplake College.
Taunton School v King’s College, Taunton
Uppingham Training 7s