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Home > News > Worcestershire rival set for semi final
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Your News Worcestershire rival set for semi final
07
MAR

FRIENDSHIPS will have to be put aside for a couple of hours on Saturday morning (March 10) when King’s School Worcester and Old Swinford Hospital School from Stourbridge battle to become the first Worcestershire school to reach the final of the Daily Mail RBS Schools Under 18 Cup.

The rivals meet at Broadstreet RFC near Coventry in the opening semi-final at 11am in a match that will test friendships forged at the Worcester Warriors Academy or playing county age group rugby for North Midlands.

King’s captain Harry Nuttall and flanker George Jeavons-Fellows, grandson of former International Rugby Board member John Jeavons-Fellows, will line up for King’s with North Midlands Under 18 team-mates Ed Taylor and Max Stelling, both members of this season England Under 18 Clubs and Schools squad, in the Old Swinford Hospital squad.

“I know that Harry and Max are good friends and they see each other socially,” said Jonny Mason, King’s director of sport and first team coach.

“Old Swinford are only 20 minute sup the road so a lot of the players know each other well either through playing county rugby for Worcestershire or North Midlands or from their involvement at Worcester.”

Broadstreet is barely an hour’s drive from Worcester so Mason expects King’s to be well-supported at the semi-final but they crowd will still only be a fraction of that which watches their annual local derby against RGS Worcester which is staged on the main stadium pitch at Worcester Warriors’ Sixways headquarters.

“A Daily Mail semi-final is the biggest match for the school because the Daily Mail RBS Cup is the premier competition in the country,” Mason said.

“It’s a big event for the school and an opportunity for us to go to Twickenham, but the fixture against RGS attracts 3,500-4,000 spectators and it’s a big event in the city.

“That brings a different kind of pressure, it’s about not losing to your local rivals rather than about winning.

“We beat RGS by a record score of 34-6 this season so hopefully the experience of playing in that sort of pressure environment in front of a big crowd will help us on Saturday.”

King’s will be appearing in the semi-finals for the first time having reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 2000 when future England back-row forward was in their side.

“Luke said he would have come to watch our quarter-final had we been at home, unfortunately we were away in Cheshire,” Mason said. “But he has kept in touch and he has been tweeting about us recently.”

King’s have reached the last four despite being a one-term rugby school. Mason has arranged fixturesagainst local rivals Hereford Cathedral School and Malvern rugby club to keep his players match-hardended.

“We are a one-term rugby school, we don’t offer scholarships for rugby, we are a day school and we are co-educational, normally the schools that get to this stage of the competition are a couple of those,” Mason said.

“We’re very pleased with our progress but we don’t want to stop at a semi-final. We have got our eyes on Twickenham.”

King’s cup run has helped to raise the profile of their eye-catching fund-raising for the Breast Cancer Care and Worcestershire Air Ambulance.

Instead of their traditional blue and white shirts, King’s first and second teams have been wearing pink this season with the strip paid for by local garage Hatfield Jaguar.

The players have agreed to pay for their shirts at the end of the season, which will extend to April 4 if their reach Daily Mail RBS Schools Finals Day, with one of the shirts, which will be signed by the Worcester Warriors squad, being auctioned off.

Old Swinford Hospital were narrowly beaten by Oakham School in last year’s semi-finals at Broadstreet but they narrowly beat King’s in their annual fixture earlier this season.

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