- Kingswood to play Eton in U18 Schools Champions Trophy quarter-final
- The Bath school knocked out 2017 finalists Bedford
- Follow all the results from the competition here
There are some familiar names in the last eight of U18 School Champions Trophy, the sort of teams that continue to crop up in the latter stages of national competitions.
The likes of Bromsgrove, Dulwich College and Eton remain in the mix and are joined this season in the quarter-finals by the lesser known Kingswood School.
Led by Director of Rugby Jamie Matthews, Kingswood are unbeaten so far this season and knocked out finalists Bedford in the last round of the Champions Trophy.
Next up for the Bath-based school will be a quarter-final clash against Eton College as they look to be crowned the country’s best school side.
Earmarked for success
“This year group has always had potential,” says Matthews, who has been involved with rugby at the school for 15 years.
“They have come up through the years together and have turned into an impressive year across all sports, but particularly rugby this season."
Kingswood began their Champions Trophy campaign with a 22-3 win over Marlborough College before an impressive 29-17 victory against Bedford.
“It was a nervous start against Bedford,” says Matthews. “We went down 7-0 from kick off and it didn’t look good but we got control of the game once we had the ball.”
While Matthews insists the focus remains on the next fixture rather than potentially reaching a final at Allianz Park, the team are on the cusp of achieving something quite special.
With both Bedford and last year’s winners Tonbridge knocked out, this year’s competition is wide open.
“We aren’t a team of superstars, we have two players in the Bath Academy but the rest are just normal school players.
“We only have 50-60 boys in every year group so we don’t have that strength in depth and the focus here is just on getting them to enjoy their sport.
“I don’t judge success on how many of them go on to play professionally, I determine success by how many continue playing rugby at university and beyond.”
The Mackenzie Clan
One player who has been key to success for Kingswood this season is fly-half and captain Al Mackenzie.
The Bath Academy player is the youngest of four brothers to have played rugby at Kingswood and his dad still plays vets rugby for his local side.
“Al is a very good player and dictates the way we play. We are quite a direct side this year, our forwards are strong and our scrum has been successful.
“Both our centres are actually flankers so we are quite a physical side!”
Eton College awaits for Kingswood but regardless of result, Matthews says he is proud of what the side have achieved.
“We’re really happy with how well the boys have done this year against some huge rugby schools.
“There are some schools who are strong every year, that’s not us but we make the best of what we’ve got.”
U18 Schools Champions Trophy quarter-final drawKingswood School vs Eton College
Bromsgrove School vs Berkhamsted OR Dulwich
Stowe School vs Blundells School
Grammar School at Leeds vs St John’s School, Leatherhead