From next season the NatWest Schools Cup will introduce a revised structure that divides the competition into several tiers. The tournament will begin with three different levels, the Champions Trophy, as established at the U18 age group for the top 32 teams in the country will continue unchanged, whilst the Cup will be joined by a Vase on the fixture list.
Losing teams in the first rounds of the Cup and the Vase will drop into a Plate and Bowl competition respectively – in the style of the World 7s circuit – giving more schools more competitive matches, and the chance to play team outside their typical circuit.
At the U15 age group level, the Cup will be the top level competition, with teams dropping into the Plate if they are defeated in the first round. The Vase will be the second tier competition, the Bowl providing at least one further round of matches to all Vase competitors.
All competitions are two term competitions with the exception of the Champions Trophy. At both age groups 256 teams will be admitted to the Vase, the same number will be entered for the Cup at U15, whilst only 128 will enter the U18 Cup, and 32 teams enter the Champions Trophy.
Applications for the competitions via the RFU website close in two days.