- Last year’s beaten finalists in NatWest Schools Under 15 Cup semi
- Pressure off QEGS says Barker
Queen Elizabeth Grammar School from Wakefield believe that there will be less pressure on them than last year when they face Whitgift School in the opening NatWest Schools U15 Cup semi-final at Allianz Park on Saturday, March 15 (12pm).
QEGS were beaten by Warwick School in last year’s final and are again just one game away from appearing at Twickenham Stadium in NatWest Schools Finals Day on March 29.
”The excitement is building; we’ve been training every day doing different bits of conditioning. The boys did a charity bleep test as well,” said QEGS head of rugby Trevor Barker.
“There is less anticipation than last year. Although the boys have done great to make it this far, if you look at the results we’ve only just pipped a lot of the games, so we’re certainly not favourites.
“We have a few snippets of information on Whitgift, as I’m sure they do us, but it’s more about turning up and worrying about what you do at this level.
“We had a good day last Tuesday at Saracens. We travelled down and booked a day on the pitch at Allianz Park, which was useful for the boys as even though it was a long day, they were able to get a feel for things.”
Whitgift have enjoyed recent success at U18 level but it is more than a decade since Danny Cipriani inspired a triumph at the younger age group.
”The lads are keeping their heads down, working hard and enjoying the training and really just looking forward to the match next week,” said head of rugby Chris Wilkins.
“This year’s U15s are a very honest, hardworking team and this is their strength. Their attitude is good and they have developed well as the season has gone on and this is in no small part to the work of Head Coach Adrian Norris.
“We know that QEGS Wakefield will be very strong and have had a very good season, but other than that it is quite difficult to find out much more about them.
“We will be concentrating on ourselves and making sure that we prepare well and keep the boys' minds on trying to play the best we can and see where that takes us.”
The second NatWest Cup U15 semi-final at Allianz Park on Saturday is one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of the tournament with last year’s champions Warwick taking on Wellington College (2pm).
Semi-finals draw in full - Allianz Park
U15 Cup – Saturday, March 15
Whitgift School v QEGS Wakefield: 12pm
Warwick School v Wellington College: 2pm
U15 Vase – Sunday, March 16
Altrincham Grammar School v Lymm High School: 12pm
Graveney School v St George’s College, Weybridge: 2pm
U18 Cup – Saturday, March 8
Durham School 15 Warwick School 20
RGS High Wycombe 3 Dulwich College 7
U18 Vase – Sunday, March 9
Wirral Grammar School 13 Exeter College 17
QEH Bristol 7 Trent College 41
If you missed the U18 semi-finals live stream, you can watch these matches on www.rfu.com/rfutv
Finals – Twickenham Stadium (Saturday, March 29)
U15 Vase: 11am
U15 Cup: 12.30pm
U18 Vase: 2pm
U18 Cup: 3.40pm
Entry is free
For more information, go to: www.rfu.com/natwestschoolscup, www.facebook.com/natwestrugby and twitter.com/SchoolsCup