National Schools Cup: Merchiston Castle and Stewart's Melville clash in Murrayfield final

Four boy’s National Schools Cup and Shield rugby finals take place at BT Murrayfield and the DAM Health Stadium on Wednesday afternoon and evening with the showpiece event being the under-18s Cup clash between Merchiston Castle School and Stewart’s Melville School.

The latter match at Murrayfield (6.30pm) is hotly anticipated given that both teams have been in good form this season and came through hard-fought semi-finals on January 29 against Dollar Academy and George Watson’s College respectively to make it to the showpiece event.

Stewart’s Melville won the trophy the last time the Cup was completed, but that was back in December 2019 and a lot has changed since that victory over Watson’s.

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“Stewart’s Melville are a good side who are well coached and we have a lot of respect for them, but we are a good side too so it should be a keenly fought affair,” Merchiston’s director of rugby Roddy Deans said.

BT Murrayfield will host the National Schools Cup Under-18 final between Merchiston Castle and Stewart's Melville on Wednesday. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

“A number of our boys played in the under-16 Cup win in the 2019/20 season and that experience should help them.”

Stewart’s Melville head of rugby Stuart Edwards said: “The boys are excited. This is the pinnacle of the school rugby calendar and we can’t wait to get going. It is an amazing occasion and one we are proud to be a part of again. The event really brings our school community together.”

Before the under-18s Cup final, the under-16s one takes place in the main stadium at Murrayfield between Dollar Academy and George Watson's College (4.15pm).

Dollar got to the final by edging out Stewart’s Melville in their semi-final last Friday while Watson’s made it through after a powerful display in their own last four tie against Merchiston on February 25.

Also today, at Edinburgh Rugby’s DAM Health Stadium nearby, the Shield final for under-16s takes place at 2.30pm when North Berwick High School play Queen Victoria School with the latter also then in the under-18s one at 4.45pm versus Loretto School at the same venue.

Entry is free, but Scottish Rugby require all attendees to register their details in advance for track and trace purposes.

Merchiston Castle School under-18 squad: Ben Riley; Alex Callaway, Luke McCarroll, Lachlan Ferguson, Joseph Farquhar; Isaac Coates, Matthew de Villiers (C-C); Angus McGregor, James Sibbald, Robbie Deans (C-C), Oliver Palmer, Jonathan Blair, Torin McGregor, Glen Crawford, Tom Currie. Subs: Max Gray, Gordie Stephen, Calum Macdonald, Mackenzie Brown, John Wright, Amaan Raza, Drew McCall Smith.

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Stewart’s Melville College under-18 squad: Monty Dunlap; Rob Henderson, Louis Le Sueur, Benjamin Roger (V-C), Finn Macfarlane; James Lewis, Jake Burns; Aidan Symes, Elliot Young (C), Jamie Limb, Robin Pratt, Alfie Maitland (V-C), Charlie Burns, Freddy Douglas, Gregor Thomson (V-C). Subs: Ed Waugh, Charles Harte, Josh Spencer, Kieran McMillan, Cameron Ross, James Gordon, Isaac Johnston.

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