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Northampton Saints U18s name strong side as they prepare for U18 Premiership showdown with a Friendly v Bedford

Northampton Saints have named and U18 team to play Bedford Blues’ Academy on Saturday afternoon.

The game serves as a warm up game ahead of their crucial fixture against Gloucester U18s in the Under 18 Premiership.

That tie will serve as a decider for the Northern Conference, with the winner going on to take the Northern title and then battle the Southern champions, Exeter Chiefs, for the U18 Aviva Premiership title.

There is an outside chance that someone other than these two sides could snatch the Northern gong though – if Leicester Tigers manage a bonus point victory over Newcastle Falcons while Saints and Gloucester hold each other to a draw then the Tigers would finish on top.

Saints are determined that such an eventuality will not occur though, and are keen to be as well prepared as possible, hence the friendly on Saturday afternoon.

Saints U18s have already played the Bedford Academy this season, winning 48-7 at Franklin’s Gardens. However with Bedford at home this time around, and with far more game time under their belts, you can be sure that this one will be fiercely competitive.

A number of familiar names from the 2013/14 school season feature in the Saints line up, including the likes of Rugby World player of the month Bedford’s Ollie Lyons at number 8, Stowe School pair Rotimi Segun and Jordan Onojaife, as well as the Rugby School and Northampton Saints U18s top points scorer Harry Mallinder, among others.

Northampton Saints U18s v Bedford Academy – Bedford International Athletic Stadium, Kick Off 13.00, Saturday 1st February.

Do you think that Saints will beat Gloucester and top the Northern Conference next week? Let us know via the comment box below, or via @FifteenRugbyXV

Northampton Saints U18s:

15 Tristan Rawcliffe
14 Austin Beckett
13 Rory Hutchinson 
12 Harry Mallinder
11 Rotimi Segun 
10 Harry Sheppard 
9 Cameron Lee-Everton; 
1 Harrison Marshall
2 James Fish 
3 Luc Jannot
4 Karl Wilkins
5 Jordan Onojaife
6 George Cox
7 Will Allman 
8 Ollie Lyons. 

Replacements:
16 Owen Griffiths
17 Jake Byrne 18 Jack Strong 
19 Tim Cardall
20 John Hawkins 
21 James Pollard
22 Michael Morris
23 Nico Defeo
24 George Furbank 
25 Conor Bullivant 
26 Paddy McDuell.

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