- Whitgift will face last year’s beaten finalists QEGS Wakefield in U15 Cup
- All-South-East clash as Graveney take on St George’s, Weybridge in U15 Vase
Photo: RFU Archive
Whitgift School will represent the South East in the first NatWest Cup U15 semi-final on Saturday (March 15) at Allianz Park. Winners in 2003, Whitgift take on last season’s beaten finalists QEGS Wakefield.
While Whitgift have enjoyed plenty of U18 success, it has been over a decade since a Danny Cipriani-inspired triumph at U15 level, and the success this year has been down to hard work according to Head of Rugby Chris Wilkins.
He said: “The lads are keeping their heads down and working hard and enjoying the training and really just looking forward to the match next week. 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 due 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.”
Meanwhile in the second U15 NatWest Schools Cup Vase semi-final, it will be an all-South East affair as Graveney School take on St. George’s, Weybridge. Graveney were a surprise package earlier in the season, but impressive results have generated a real buzz around the school according to head coach Stacia Long.
She said: “The excitement within the team is incredible. The boys are constantly talking about the game and everything that goes with it – the hotel and team dinner being a real focal point. They are going to the Tooting branch of NatWest in order to meet the staff, manager and regional CEO and to help decorate the branch in the school colours!
“It is great to have their support as well as the support from pupils, parents and staff within the school. We are expecting quite a few spectators but mainly pupils as they have never watched the boys play before due to having no pitch on site and always playing midweek games!”
St. George’s Weybridge coach Alex Wingfield-Digby says his side are looking forward to playing on the fast 4G surface at Allianz Park. “There is great excitement among the boys, and fierce competition to make the match day squad,” he said.
“After all the dreadful weather since Christmas they are very keen to get out and make the most of the chance to play on a hard surface. There are a number of good year groups at the school, but few have the same quality across 22 players. There are potential game winners all over the pitch, and I am excited about the impact that our bench could have.
“Certainly Graveney are a tough test with skill and physicality. I believe when the sides met last year it was a very tightly fought, high-scoring contest so I am looking forward to an intense and entertaining game of rugby.”
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