Bath, Exeter, Gloucester & Irish all name school leavers for Premiership 7s Group B

With the release of the Premiership 7s fixtures, we wrote about the potential for teams to use the competition as a testing ground for young players, and the teams have certainly done so for the first English leg of the competition at Kingsholm on Thursday evening.

Exeter Chiefs, Bath, and London Irish all join hosts Gloucester in Group B, with the top two joining Group A’s Newport Gwent Dragons and Cardiff Blues in the finals at the Stoop on the 9th August along with the top two from both Group C and D.

All four sides in the group have picked several young players, including many recent school leavers.

Gloucester have been particularly youthful in their outlook. They have included the England U18 captian and Sir Thomas Rich’s leaver Sam Underhill in their squad, along with fellow England U18s Ollie Thorley and Lloyd Evans, while Marlborough College leaver Charlie Norman is on the reserve list.

They also include England U20 captain Callum Braley and his JWC winning teammate Henry Purdy, as well as Scotland U20 international Ben Vellacott on the reserve list.

Bath also include a whole host of youngsters, including a few that are in with a strong chance of being named in our fictional Fifteen Rugby All Star Schools 7s Squad tomorrow.

Perhaps the most exciting inclusion in their squad is that of St Joseph’s College leaver George Wacokecoke, who only recently joined the club after leaving Northampton Saints.

Alongside him are the Bryanston duo and his England U18 teammates, Rory Jennings and Max Clark, as well as 2013 Bryanston leaver and 2014 England U20 JWC winner Tom Woolstencroft.

Bath also include the Sherborne pair of Will Homer and Ed Coulson as well as former Millfield back rower Max Northcote-Green, in a twelve man squad packed with youthful exuberance.

Exeter Chiefs include two members of the England U20 JWC winning group. Joel Conlon was a key figure in the back row and was also part of the 2013 winning squad too, while scrum half Stuart Townsend travelled with the squad as an analyst after just missing out on selection to Henry Taylor and captain Callum Braley.

Perhaps the most exciting inclusion in the Chiefs squad, in terms of names that have not been seen for a little while, is that of 2013 Tonbridge School leaver Matt Eliet, who is now a student at Exeter University. He is joined by his Exeter University colleagues Harry Ledger, Rob Coote, and former Whitgift star, Adam Worth.

London Irish include perhaps the greatest number of school leavers of all. They have included a whole host of St Paul’s Catholic College (the London Irish AASE College) graduates, including the likes of Cameron Cowell, Connor Murphy, Ollie Curry, and captain Ollie Adams.

Also in the London Irish squad are John Fisher’s 2013/14 captain, Declan Williams, who played a strong part in his side’s Twickenham victory over Millfield, and RGS High Wycombe’s NatWest Cup semi finalist captain, Ross Neale.

Looking at those four squads it looks certain to be a festival of youthful exuberance at Kingsholm on Thursday evening, and a first real chance to see many of last year’s schools stars make their first tentative steps in to full on professional rugby, as well as a good chance to see some of the heroes of the JWC winning U20s side make a welcome return to action.

Having seen the squads for the Franklin’s Gardens and Darlington Arena legs for Groups C and D, it looks likely to be the same for the rest of the week.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing in Premiership 7s? Let us know what you think via the comment box below or via @FifteenRugbyXV

Premiership 7s Group B – Thursday 31st July, Kingsholm:

Fixtures

19.15 Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs

19.40 Bath v London Irish

20.10 Exeter Chiefs v Bath

20.35 Gloucester v London Irish

21.05 Exeter Chiefs v London Irish

21.30 Gloucester v Bath

Squads

Bath:

Max Northcote-Green,  Tom Woolstencroft,  Will Homer,  Iferimi Vuki,  George Wacokecoke,  Junior Bulumakau,  Chris Cook,  Ed Coulson,  Rory Jennings,  Max Clark,  Olly Woodburn,  Richard Lane.

Exeter Chiefs:

Harry Ledger,  Sam Simmonds (c),  Joel Conlon,  Stuart Townsend,  Max Bodily,  Rob Coote,  Adam Worth,  Tom Dowding,  Matt Eliet,  Tom Hendrickson,  Laurence May,  Jamie Forrester.

Gloucester:

Sam Showering,  Jacob Rowan,  Dan Thomas,  Bill Meakes,  Sam Underhill,  Rhodri McAtee,  Aled Thomas (c),  Lloyd Evans,  Henry Purdy,  Ollie Thorley,  Callum Braley,  Steph Reynolds.

Reserves: Charlie Norman,  Ben Vellacott.

London Irish:

Ross Neale,  Ollie Adams (c),  Max Berry,  Connor Murphy,  Scott Steele,  Jonny Williams,  Declan Williams,  Simon Hunt,  Ollie Curry,  Paddy O’Grady,  Cameron Cowell,  Harry Broadbent.

Group A Qualifiers – Cardiff Blues & Newport Gwent Dragons.

Premiership 7s Finals – Saturday 9th August, Twickenham Stoop.

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