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School Rugby

Schools Rugby Weekend Preview: Saturday 13th January

12th January 2018
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After a drip feed of fixtures to kick off 2018, Saturday sees a full fixture list of fifteen-a-side fixtures as sides squeeze in a few games before the 7s season kicks off.

 

Some of the top sides in the country are in action, including a number of sides in the later stages of the various Schools Cup competitions as they look to build some form and momentum ahead of those semi finals in early March.

 

Five to Watch

 

Dollar Academy v Merchiston Castle

 

This should be an awesome game between two of the top biggest names and best sides in Scotland. When they met earlier in the season, Merchiston Castle won relatively comfortably, 38-7. You can be sure therefore that Dollar Academy will be throwing everything at making sure that does not happen again, but Merchiston will want to prove that they are on top too.

 

Prediction: Merchiston Castle

 

RGS Newcastle v Stewart’s Melville

 

Anglo-Scots cross border clashes are always exciting and a good occasion. These two actually met earlier in the season, with Stewart’s Melville just edging it 34-28 in an exciting game. This time RGS Newcastle are at home though, and that would just make the tiny bit of difference to swing it their way. Either way, it looks as though it will be a close one.

 

Prediction: RGS Newcastle

 

Sir Thomas Rich’s v Solihull

 

Sir Thomas Rich’s are coming off the back of a fantastic midweek win over Millfield, so they will be full to the brim with confidence when they host Solihull on Saturday. Solihull are going to mount a stiff challenge though, they are a good side and reached the Schools Cup last 16, giving the reigning champions Warwick a cracking game there. This should be an equally good match, and if Tommies have any tiredness from their midweek exploits, Solihull will pounce.

 

Prediction: Sir Thomas Rich’s

 

Warwick v John Fisher

 

A classic fixture between two of the most recognisable names in schoolboy rugby in this country. Warwick are the reigning Schools Cup champions, and are into the semi finals once again this year. Josh Fisher though have had a bit of a tough season prior to Christmas by their standards. A win last weekend started 2018 off the right way though, and they will want to use this as a chance to keep that page turned. Warwick will be wanting to use every minute available to get themselves ready for that Cup semi final though, and will take no prisoners.

 

Prediction: Warwick

 

Whitgift v St Benedict’s

 

Another huge game between two massive names of English schools rugby. Whitgift are flying this year, and are into the semi finals of the Schools Cup, where they face the champions. Some of their rugby has been excellent and they will surely continue that kind of form into 2018. St Benedict’s have struggled a bit to get the results that they would have wanted, but they have proven their determination many times and are not going to make this easy for Whitgift at all.

 

Prediction: Whitgift

 

Saturday

 

There are plenty of exciting games elsewhere around the country on Saturday too. Judd look to bounce back after defeat to Campion last week where they travel to Chislehurst & Sidcup, while Campion themselves are also in action, away to Skinners’.

 

KES Stratford make the trip to Bablake for what should be a good game, meanwhile Bishop Vesey’s host Abraham Darby and Brentwood are in action at home to Campion’s 3rd string.

 

Moving North there is an excellent looking game between Crossley Heath and Altrincham Grammar, Hymers College are in action at home to Rodillian, and Manchester Grammar welcome Audenshaw.

 

St Ambrose College v King’s Macclesfield ought to be one of the games of the weekend, it really does look as though it could go either way. Woodhouse Grove should be favourites against Mount St Mary’s, but it should be another good game.

 

In Scotland Glasgow Academy welcome St Aloysius’ College, while Kelvinside Academy travel to Queen Victoria School.

 

Hampton are in action with a trip to Glyn, they will fancy themselves to win but will have to perform, and there is another big game as RGS High Wycombe host a Tiffin side that played well last term. Meanwhile St Joseph’s College are at home to Coopers’ Coborn.

 

King Henry VIII Coventry have a bit of a development game against Abraham Darby, while Queen Ethelbruag’s host RGS Lancaster, and Ibstock Place welcome the American International School from Cobham. Shrewsbury, meanwhile, host another 2nd term rugby school, Repton.

 

One of the most exciting aspects of the weekend is the triangular with Brighton College, Millfield, and Portsmouth Grammar School. The three got together last year for an experimental set of fixtures, with no kicking, mauling, or recording of scores, and it proved a great success, so once again they are giving it a go as they seek to develop their playing groups.

 

Friday

 

There is just the one fixture on Friday, taking place in London under the lights as Cardinal Vaughan host St Cecilia’s.

 

As always, if you have any videos, photos, or reports from the weekend’s rugby, please feel free to send them in via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby), Instagram (@fifteenrugbyxv), or through email (writers@fifteenrugby.com).

 

Schools Rugby Weekend Fixtures (predictions in bold):

 

Five to Watch

 

Dollar Academy v Merchiston Castle

RGS Newcastle v Stewart’s Melville

Sir Thomas Rich’s v Solihull

Warwick v John Fisher

Whitgift v St Benedict’s

 

Saturday

 

Bablake v KES Stratford

Bishop Vesey’s GS v Abraham Darby

Brentwood v Campion 3rd XV

Chislehurst & Sidcup GS v Judd

Crossly Heath v Altrincham GS

Glasgow Academy v St Aloysius’ College

Glyn v Hampton

Hymers College v Rodillian Academy

Ibstock Place v American International School, Cobham

King Henry VIII, Coventry v Abraham Darby U16

Manchester GS v Audenshaw

Portsmouth Grammar v Brighton College v Millfield (triangular, scores not recorded)

Queen Ethelburga’s v RGS Lancaster

Queen Victoria v Kelvinside Academy

RGS High Wycombe v Tiffin

Shrewsbury v Repton

Skinners’ v Campion

St Ambrose College v King’s Macclesfield

St Joseph’s College v Coopers’ Coborn

Woodhouse Grove v Mount St Mary’s

 

Friday

 

Cardinal Vaughan v St Cecilia’s