KING’S School Worcester pursue their third Challenge Cup in a row in the annual game with their city rivals from Royal Grammar School Worcester tonight (7pm).

The crunch clash will be hosted by Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium for the second consecutive year after King’s followed up their 2016 victory with a 3-2 win in 2017 thanks to a last-minute Richard Newton winner.

After nearly 1,000 spectators turned up for the entertaining contest, it is hoped the 2018 encounter between the two under 18s’ first XIs will break the four-figure barrier.

The sides have claimed three wins each over the last six years and this season’s weather-affected form is difficult to read.

With only two tight defeats this season, King’s romped to an 8-2 win over Sir Thomas Rich’s School from Gloucester who fielded a stronger side to inflict the only loss of the campaign so far for RGS.

King’s coach Jon Sarriegui said: “It will be difficult. In the last five years there has only been one goal in it.

“We’ve had fewer matches to prepare because of the weather.

“It’s quite a different team with only four players from last season’s squad.

“They are a younger group with more fifth formers but we’ve got a decent footballing side.

“They’ve all chipped in with goals over the season.

“The crowd was just under 1,000 last year and we’re hoping for around the same this year.”

Pershore Town midfielder Cameron Mathewson will captain King’s again but last season’s match winner Newton has left the school.

RGS will be led by skipper Max Hawksworth.

Their director of sport Gareth Roots said: “It’s a fantastic occasion for the boys and great for them to play in front of large crowds.

“Some of last season’s team have left but there’s still a bit of experience there.

“The match could go either way and it’s good there hasn’t been a landslide victory either way in recent years.

“We’ve had some promising results and just lost one game. Confidence is high going into it.”