The Uppingham 7s returns for its second year this weekend with both U18 and U16 tournaments.
Last year Harrow picked up the U18 spoils and the hosts claimed the U16 title. This year the tournament expands a little, with three U18 groups and Cup, Plate, and Bowl titles available.
Twelve sides are involved in those three U18 groups, with four sides in each. The winner of each group a best second-placed side will compete in the Cup semi-finals, the remaining two second-placed teams and best two third-placed sides competing in the Plate, and the remaining four in the Bowl.
The hosts, Uppingham, are drawn in Group 1 alongside their great rivals from just five miles down the road, Oakham. Joining those two old foes are Framlingham College from Suffolk, and a very strong Denstone College, who has looked good so far this 7s season.
Group 2 looks highly competitive as well, with one of the strongest sides in the country over the course of the fifteen-a-side season, Rugby, headlining the group. Rugby who, incidentally, now has a Headmaster and Deputy Head who were once the Uppingham 1st XV coaching duo. Joining Rugby are another of Uppingham and Oakham’s big local rivals, Stamford, as well as a St Joseph’s College side that is packed with talent, and the ever-competitive Royal Hospital School.
Group 3, meanwhile, includes Uppingham’s other great rivals, Oundle as well as a Bedford side that was on fire at last week’s Oakham 7s, winning yet another title. Joining those two are Leicester Grammar School and The Leys, who will both cause plenty of problems.
Following the group games, there will be a break for lunch, with hog roast helping to mask the likely cold before the knockouts begin.
Over in the Colts, there are two groups, with four sides in each. Group 1 sees Rugby, The Perse, Bedford, and Royal Hospital School altogether, while Group 2 looks like a cauldron of local rivalry, with Uppingham, Oakham, Oundle, and Stamford all in one group. The top two in those groups will be in the Cup semis, with the bottom two in the Plate semis.
Uppingham are also hosting a coaching conference on Monday 29th April, hosted by Director of Rugby and former Scotland international Nick De Luca, with coaching guru Mark Bennett and legendary former England, Bath, and Stonyhurst College coach Brian Ashton speaking. For more info head to www.uppingham.co.uk/coaching-conference
Uppingham 7s Draw:
|Group 1||Group 2||Group 3|
|Framlingham College||Rugby||Leicester Grammar|
|Oakham||St Joseph’s College||Bedford|
|Denstone College||Royal Hospital School||The Leys|
|Group 1||Group 2|
|Royal Hospital School||Stamford|