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NatWest Schools Cup quarter-finals preview: South West

10 February 2014

  • RGS High Wycombe going for the double in U18 Cup and U15 Cup
  • Reading School takes on St George’s Weybridge in U15 Vase, match being streamed live on rfu.com
RGS High Wycombe v Canford in the U15 NatWest Schools Cup

Photo: GerryMcManus.co.uk

As the quarter-finals stage of the NatWest Schools Cup competition is reached this week, all eyes will be on the teams from the South West. A side from the South West hasn’t won this competition since RGS High Wycombe won the U15s competition in 2011, and the Buckinghamshire school has two sides representing the South West region in the quarter-final stage.

The RGS U18 side takes on last season’s beaten semi-finalists Hampton in a home quarter-final, while their U15s, perennial high achievers at this level, will also enjoy the luxury of a home quarter-final against Wellington College.

Head of Rugby at RGS High Wycombe, Simon Copeland, commented: “We are obviously delighted to be one of only two schools that have both the U18s and U15s through to the quarter-final stage.

“The U15s are improving with every match, and they will take a lot of confidence from their dismantling of a good Canford School side. We are under no illusions just how tough the Wellington College match will be but the lads will certainly get stuck in and give them a good game.

“The U18s are also expecting a brilliant game of rugby against Hampton School. Both sides have enjoyed fantastic seasons so it does point to being hopefully a bit of a Cup classic.”

Stowe School also have two sides still competing in the competition. Their U15s will be representing the Midlands, but their U18 side will be representing the South West when they take on Warwick at Stowe on Wednesday.

Wellington College U15s face a tough trip to RGS High Wycombe in their quarter-final, and coach Dan Rosen is only too aware of the challenge facing his side: “Having drawn 5-5 in the first game of the season there is no doubt that this will be a close match.

“RGS are an experienced Cup side and we expect an intense, physical match. We had some excellent preparation and the victory over a strong Millfield team has certainly given us confidence.”

It will be a day of firsts for QEH Bristol as they will be involved in this stage of the competition for the first time in the school's history when their U18 side play Ravens Wood in the Vase.

Exeter College, Cup winners in 2005, find themselves two matches away from another appearance at Twickenham, with an U18 Vase quarter-final against Worth School at Allianz Park on Tuesday to ponder first.

Head Coach John Hill has been pleased with his side’s transition from their AASE College status: “We were an AASE college last season, so we don’t have the same player pool to choose from, and the bedding-in process takes time as we’re only a 16-18 college, but we’re pleased with where we are at.”

In the U15 Vase, Reading school and Clevedon School are the South West representatives and they take on St. George’s Weybridge and Graveney respectively. St George’s School will be tough opponents for Reading as they have continued a good run of form in the Vase, beating Hurstpierpoint College convincingly in the previous round. Clevedon will face stiff opposition in the form of Graveney School who have enjoyed a fairytale run in the Vase so far.

U15s and U18s NatWest Schools Cup Show Your School's Colours competition was an online fan vote with schools vying to have their quarter-finals matches streamed live on rfu.com. There was a fantastic response and the winners were: U15s – St George’s School Weybridge (803 votes) v Reading School; U18s – Durham School (766 votes) v Adams Grammar School.

You can watch both matches live on rfu.com on Wednesday, February 12.