The second rounds of the Champions Trophy and Schools Cup make for a busy week of schools rugby this week.
They are far from the only fixtures this midweek though, with the Schools Vase third round, the Bowl second round, and the Plate first round all underway.
This review will focus on the fixtures outside of the Champions Trophy and Schools Cup, instead of looking at the Vase, Bowl, Plate, Daily Mail Trophy, and the many regular fixtures.
The Scottish Cup appears to be the main event on Tuesday with three big games. Merchiston Castle host George Heriot’s, Stewart’s Melville travel to Preston Lodge, and in the biggest of the lot, Loretto host Dollar Academy.
There are three big Vase games, in North B Ampleforth College host Ripon Grammar, with a fourth-round spot being the carrot. Over in London & South East B Isleworth & Syon host London Oratory in their delayed second round match, the winner will travel to Mill Hill in the third round. Meanwhile in Midlands B Langley, who scored a stunning 89 points in the second round, host RGS Colchester, with the winners playing either Bishop’s Stortford College or The Leys next round.
There is one particularly special fixture on Tuesday though as the New Zealand tourists Palmerston North Boys High School make the trip to Seaford College. Having lost to Campion in a thriller on Saturday, the tourists will surely be pulling out all of the stops, but Seaford will be a tricky opponent.
Naturally, Wednesday sees the bulk of the week’s action. St Benedict’s get the Schools Plate underway with a home game against Colfe’s, with Langley Park hosting UCS in the same competition.
The Vase sees the bulk of the action though. North B sees Birkdale host a strong Worksop College side, while over in North A Ermysted’s Grammar host a Bradford Grammar side that will be full of confidence after a huge win on Saturday.
Midlands A will see Bishop Vesey’s Grammar welcome KES Stratford, with Old Swinford Hospital hosting Bablake, while over in Midlands B Wellingborough host Welbeck. Meanwhile, in South West B Lord Wandsworth College make the trip to Bournemouth and Lord Williams host The Crypt.
London & South East B contains plenty of excitement, and on Wednesday The Weald travel to the very much in form Glyn. The A section of the London region sees a trip to Wallington County Grammar from Hayes School.
Over in the Bowl Beth’s and Kent College meet in London & South East A, with a game against Sir Roger Manwood in Round 3 the prize there. Over in the B section Parmiter’s host QES Barnet. Hereford Cathedral host Prince Henry’s High School in Midlands A.
There are some massive Daily Mail Trophy fixtures on Wednesday too, not least the unbeaten Cranleigh hosting a Denstone College side that performed well against Kirkham Grammar School, which ought to make for a fascinating game.
Elsewhere Christ’s Hospital host Trinity and KES Birmingham host RGS Worcester, while in Yorkshire Woodhouse Grove aim to bounce straight back from Saturday’s defeat when they host Dame Allan’s.
There is plenty to focus on outside of the organised competitions too, not least Merchant Taylors’ v Mill Hill, which usually turns out to be a cracking game of rugby.
There is one scheduled game in the Vase on Thursday, it ought to be a cracker though as Sevenoaks make the trip to Dartford Grammar, with a home tie against the bang in form Sutton Valence the reward.
The highlight of Thursday though is likely to be the Rutland derby between Uppingham and Oakham. In recent years Oakham has held the upper hand, but there is a feeling that while Oakham might still be ahead, Uppingham are in closer contact now and could have a decent chance, especially at home.
Elsewhere ACS Cobham travels to Charterhouse and Dame Alice Owens host Tring, Monkton Combe meanwhile hosts Warminster.
Ratcliffe College is in action v Highfields, with Sexey’s hosting Wells Cathedral, and Wisbech Grammar v Woodbridge has the look of a good and competitive game.
There is a big game in the North B section of the Bowl on Friday as Emmanuel College host Gateshead College.
In the Daily Mail Trophy, there are a couple of crackers as Monmouth make the trip to Malvern College and St John’s Leatherhead, just three days after their Champions Trophy tie v Tonbridge, host Trinity.
Outside of those competition’s Queen Ethelburga’s, who were in action at Allianz Park on Sunday, host Ermysted’s Grammar.
The biggest game on Friday though is surely Abingdon’s trip up to one of the strongest 1st XVs in the country, Kirkham Grammar School. It will be a tough trip, but it will also be one of Kirkham’s toughest to date, so it should make for a top game of rugby.
Schools Rugby Midweek Fixtures (predictions in bold):
Ampleforth College v Ripon GS (Schools Vase)
Isleworth & Syon v London Oratory (Schools Vase)
Langley v RGS Colchester (Schools Vase)
Loretto v Dollar Academy (Scottish Cup)
Merchiston Castle v George Heriot’s (Scottish Cup)
Preston Lodge v Stewart’s Melville (Scottish Cup)
Seaford College v Palmerston North Boys High School, New Zealand
Austin Friars v QES Kirkby
Beth’s v Kent College (Schools Bowl)
Birkdale v Worksop College (Schools Vase)
Bishop Vesey’s GS v KES Stratford (Schools Vase)
Bournemouth v Lord Wandsworth College (Schools Vase)
Christ’s Hospital v Trinity (Daily Mail Trophy)
Cranleigh v Denstone College (Daily Mail Trophy)
Ermysted’s GS v Bradford GS (Schools Vase)
Glyn v The Weald (Schools Vase)
Hereford Cathedral v Prince Henry’s HS (Schools Bowl)
KEGS Chelmsford v Brentwood
KES Birmingham v RGS Worcester (Daily Mail Trophy)
Langley Park v UCS (Schools Plate)
Liverpool College v Ripley St Thomas
Lord Williams v The Crypt (Schools Vase)
Maidstone GS v Chatham & Clarendon
Merchant Taylors’ v Mill Hill
Old Swinford Hospital v Bablake (Schools Vase)
Parmiter’s v QES Barnet (Schools Bowl)
Pate’s GS v QEH
Rishworth v Ashville College
St Benedict’s v Colfe’s (Schools Plate)
St Edward’s College v Rydal Penrhos
Wallington CGS v Hayes (Schools Vase)
Watford GS v St Albans
Wellingborough v Welbeck (Schools Vase)
Woodhouse Grove v Dame Allan’s (Daily Mail Trophy)
Charterhouse v ACS Cobham
Dame Alice Owens v Tring
Dartford GS v Sevenoaks (Schools Vase)
Monkton Combe v Warminster
Ratcliffe College v Highfields
Sexey’s v Wells Cathedral
Uppingham v Oakham (Daily Mail Trophy)
Wisbech GS v Woodbridge
Emmanuel College v Gateshead College (Schools Bowl)
Kirkham GS v Abingdon
Malvern College v Monmouth (Daily Mail Trophy)
Queen Ethelburga’s v Ermysted’s Grammar
St John’s, Leatherhead v Trinity (Daily Mail Trophy)