Schools’ Cup holders Stewart’s-Melville College to face Glenalmond in quarters

Matches to be played at The Dam Health Stadium and Oriam on 15th January

Dollar Academy and Stewart's Melville will both be involved in the Schools Cup quarter-finals on 15th January
Dollar Academy and Stewart's Melville will both be involved in the Schools Cup quarter-finals on 15th January

TITLE holders, Stewart’s-Melville College, will face Glenalmond College in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Schools Under-18 Cup, to be played at Edinburgh’s Dam Health Stadium in the shadow of BT Murrayfield on Saturday 15th January. 

The Inverleith side will go into the competition fresh from winning the East Schools Conference with a nail-bitingly narrow win over Dollar Academy last Saturday and so should be confident of progressing to the semi-finals.

“We won’t take anything for granted,” insisted Stuart Edwards, the head coach at Stewart’s-Melville College, whose side will be well-prepared for their quarter-final match.  “We don’t know anything about them and they don’t know anything about us this season. So we shall prepare well and do several training sessions during the school holidays and in the week leading up to the game.”


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Stewart’s-Melville defeated George Watson’s in the December 2019 Cup Final (the last time the competition was contested) and could face the Myreside team in the semi-finals of this season’s competition if Watson’s can negotiate their quarter-final game against Dundee High School.

The lower half of the draw brings in the other two big hitters from the East Conference, Merchiston Castle School and Dollar Academy, who face the top two from the West Schools Conference in St Aloysius College and Hutchesons’ Grammar School at the Oriam indoor centre on the western outskirts of Edinburgh.  Form would suggest that Merchiston and Dollar will go through and then meet in the semi-finals but both of the West Conference sides have had strong results this season and could present problems for their East Conference rivals.

In the Shield draw, Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, are matched against Strathendrick/Balfron HS, while their close rivals in the Caledonia Conference, Morrison’s Academy, will face St Columba’s,  both games going ahead at the Scotstoun Stadium complex on Saturday January 15th.

The other two quarters pair Knox Academy/Haddington with Loretto School and Preston Lodge HS with Lasswade HS, both being played at the home team’s ground.

The semi finals for both the Cup and Shield are scheduled for Saturday 29th January at venues still to be confirmed.

The draws for the under-16s Cup and Shield have not yet been made because there are still several conference games outstanding.

U18 National Schools Cup Quarter Final Draw (all Sat 15th January) –

  • George Watson’s College v High School of Dundee, Dam Health Stadium – kick-off 10.00am
  • Glenalmond College v Stewart’s-Melville College @ Dam Health Stadium – kick-off 12.30pm
  • Dollar Academy v Hutchesons’ Grammar School @ Oriam Centre – kick-off 10.30pm
  • St Aloysius College v Merchiston Castle School @ Oriam Centre – kick-off 1.00pm

U18 National Shield Quarter Final Draw (all Sat 15 January) –

  • Queen Victoria School v Strathendrick/Balfron HS @ Scotstoun Stadium – kick-off 10.00am
  • St Columba’s v Morrison’s Academy @ Scotstoun Stadium – kick-off 12.15pm
  • Knox Academy/Haddington v Loretto School @ Haddington – kick-off tbc
  • Preston Lodge HS v Lasswade HS @ Prestonpans – kick-off tbc

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About Alan Lorimer 360 Articles
Scotland rugby correspondent for The Times for six years and subsequently contributed to Sunday Times, Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Scotsman, Herald, Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Herald and Reuters. Worked in Radio for BBC. Alan is Scottish rugby journalism's leading voice when it comes to youth and schools rugby.

7 Comments

  1. This is not a National schools cup it is a private schoolboys cup why not let them have their own competition and let the rest of the schools have their own one. State schools can never be expected to compete with the private schools who throw ridiculous amount of resources in to their rugby programs in scholarships, bursaries and very well paid coaches. It will be the same 4 schools in the Semis and going back the same 4 schools who have won the cup for at least the last 10 years.

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  2. Sadly the number of state schools playing rugby meaningfully has continued to dwindle over the years. Participation rates are down, across the board, including at the usual suspects. Many of the Glasgow independent schools used to be able to field at least 3 senior teams. Now they are lucky if they can sustain 2 on a regular basis.
    The reduction in school rugby is now felt at the professional level. There are still outstanding Scottish players coming through like Rory Darge ( Edinburgh academy) and Ross Thompson (Stewart’s Melville) but the pro teams need to rely on foreign born players for success. Warriors great result against Exeter included a starting back line with only 1 player (Ross Thompson) who was brought through the Scottish schools system. The 6 of the others learnt their rugby in either Australia, England, New Zealand or South Africa.
    I don’t dispute that these players should be able to represent Glasgow, it’s a professional sport after all, or to represent Scotland, if they meet the qualifying criteria, I just find it depressing that we need to reply on such a massive overseas contingent to he able to remain competitive.

    • Would love to know this too! U18 draw not even on the SRU website but it’s published here. Would be great to know the draw for U16 Cup.

    • Hi Andy,

      The draws for the under-16s Cup and Shield have not yet been made because there are still several conference games outstanding. We have updated the article to explain this.

      All the best,

      DB

  3. The cup this year is a shambles. So many young players looked forward to taking part and then it’s moved to a format whereby the schools with significant resources trundle into the quarters or those who come from areas where there’s less competition . No chance for any giant killings or state school progression. We need proper representation for schools rugby at Scottish Rugby Council level and representatives who will push for a proper competition that engages lots of schools not just the usual suspects. The current neglect of schools rugby in Scotland is a travesty.

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