With the introduction of a new Shield tier, a record number of entries and four state schools competing in the Cups across the two age-groups, the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Competitions move up another gear this season.
Bell Baxter High School, North Berwick High School, Selkirk High School and Trinity Academy will stake their claim at the top of the flagship competition, ending a period where only private schools have chosen to enter at this level.
On hand to encourage the young players at Trinity Academy - who have entered their under-16 team in the Plate and under-18 team in the Cup competitions - was Edinburgh Rugby EDP Magnus Bradbury who has played in the Cup competition with Merchiston Castle School and in the Plate with Argyll Schools.
Bradbury said: "It was great that at such a young age I was able to play such important matches as the Brewin Dolphin ones. It really prepared me for getting used to the build-up to big matches, handling nerves and the pressure on the day and also dealing with spectators, especially the under-18 final last season.
"It's great to see so many teams taking part now and how the competition has spread rugby across Scotland, giving players the chance to step up and identify themselves."
To date, 269 teams have entered the two age grades this year - 125 at under-18 level and 144 at under-16 - an increase of three from last season and 31 more than season 2011/12 respectively.
Scottish Rugby's head of clubs and schools, Nick Rennie, said: "The development of rugby in schools is very important to Scottish Rugby and schools regularly playing matches is what we're striving to achieve.
"It's fantastic that schools from Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles have entered, and especially pleasing to see more state schools entering the Cup competitions.
"We witnessed plenty of great encounters last season and I'm looking forward to some fantastic finals this year. I'd like to thank Brewin Dolphin for their continued support of this competition and the girls' tournament, which kicks off shortly too."
This year four trophies will be played for at both under-18 and under-16 level with the initial rounds of matches to be played by 21 September.
Marc Wilkinson, Head of Brewin Dolphin in Edinburgh, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many teams entering the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Competition in this our 13th year of supporting grassroots rugby.
“More players and teams every year choose to showcase their talent at the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Competition and I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of those taking part in the 2013/14 season, whether it’s for the first time or as part of a returning team, the very best of luck. We are all thoroughly looking forward to the upcoming matches.”
Scottish Rugby and Brewin Dolphin are also supporting school pupils interested in sports writing and journalism through a new competition running this season. Students can submit a match report from any of their school’s Brewin Dolphin games (at any stage of the competition, boys and girls) to be in with the chance of winning a behind-the-scenes match day reporting experience at Edinburgh Rugby or Glasgow Warriors, as well as a spot in the Bill McLaren Press Suite for either of the finals. Details can be found at www.scottishrugby.org.
First Cup ties at under-18 and under-16 level. Please look at the Fixtures & Results section on www.scottishrugby.org for Plate and Bowl fixtures, which will be confirmed in due course:
Brewin Dolphin under-18 Cup (preliminary round) - ties to be played on or before 7 September 2013
Trinity Academy v Bell Baxter High School
Fettes College v Strathallan School
Brewin Dolphin under-18 Cup (round 1) - ties to be played on or before 21 September 2013
(Fettes College or Strathallan School) v Stewart’s Melville College
Loretto School v Dollar Academy
High School of Dundee v (Trinity Academy or Bell Baxter High School)
St. Aloysius' College v Merchiston Castle School
George Heriot’s School v Robert Gordon’s College
Hutchesons’ Grammar School v High School of Glasgow
North Berwick High School v George Watson’s College
The Glasgow Academy v The Edinburgh Academy
Brewin Dolphin under-16 Cup (preliminary round) - ties to be played on or before 7 September 2013
High School of Glasgow v Bell Baxter High School
Glenalmond College v The Glasgow Academy
Brewin Dolphin under-16 Cup (round 1) - ties to be played on or before 21 September 2013
High School of Dundee v (High School of Glasgow or Bell Baxter High School)
Hutchesons' Grammar School v Dollar Academy
Merchiston Castle School v North Berwick High School
Fettes College v George Watson’s College
George Heriot’s School v Stewart’s Melville College
(Glenalmond College or The Glasgow Academy) v Strathallan School
Selkirk High School v The Edinburgh Academy
Robert Gordon’s College v St. Aloysius' College
Brewin Dolphin, one of the UK’s largest private client investment managers, has been sponsoring the Schools Cup rugby competitions for 12 years. Brewin Dolphin has also sponsored the Girl’s Cup competition since its inception in 2009. Brewin Dolphin is committed to supporting grassroots rugby.
The Brewin Dolphin Group manages £28 billion of funds for over 130,000 private clients and of this over £20 billion is on a discretionary basis. BD has 39 offices throughout the UK and the Channel Islands.
Brewin Dolphin Limited (“BD”) is the principal operating company of Brewin Dolphin Holdings PLC. BD is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is a member of the London Stock Exchange.
Established in 1762, Brewin Dolphin is one of the UK’s largest independently-owned private client wealth managers. The Group provides a wide-ranging investment management and financial planning service for private investors, charities and pension funds. Stocktrade is the Group's Execution-Only telephone and online dealing division.
Please see the Media Centre section on our website: http://www.brewindolphinmedia.co.uk/media.aspx for details and photos of all commentators and analysts throughout the BD Group.