3 games in the A league – all packed with youth


There are just three fixtures in the Aviva A League this evening as sides look to catch up on their fixtures.

They are three eagerly anticipated fixtures though, Bath United v Saracens Storm, Newcastle Falcons A v Gloucester United, and Worcester Cavaliers v Northampton Wanderers.

As ever, the teams all contain a whole host of emerging talent, including a few current schoolboys, with a few wise old heads mixed in for good measure.

Bath United v Saracens Storm

Bath again turn to youth in a big way. The side is lead by former Bryanston captain Charlie Ewels, who made his 1st XV debut on Saturday from the bench. He is partnered by 2012/13 Millfield star Tom Ellis, with Ellis’ former schoolmate Max Northcote-Green linking up with Ewels’ former schoolmate Tom Woolstencroft in the back row, with 2013 JWC winner David Sisi completing that trio.

The backline looks a bit like a Bryanston School old boys club, with Ollie Devoto controlling things at fly half and the younger England U18 duo of Rory Jennings and Max Clark link up in the centres.

2011 Millfield star Richard Lane starts at full back, with one of the stars of the last two years of school rugby, St Joseph’s College’s George Wacokecoke, starts on the left wing. They will be supported by the experienced Matt Banahan on the other wing.

Saracens have gone for a youthful look too, they are led once again by the former Harrow star Maro Itoje, who helped England U20 to JWC victory in June, with his England teammate Hayden Thompson-Stringer starting in the back row.

In the centres, Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School leaver Max Wilkins starts at twelve, white on the bench are a trio of exciting attacking talents.

Millfield leaver Tom Whiteley covers scrum half, he will be looking forward to facing a few of his old teammates and rivals in the Bath United side, while Oaklands College leaver George Perkins is also on the bench. Most impressive of all though is the inclusion of current Whitgift Schools full back Matt Gallagher, whom Fifteen Rugby saw in action against Wellington College on Saturday.

Newcastle Falcons A v Gloucester United

Newcastle Falcons have mixed their side up well, the experience of the likes of Noah Cato, Mike Blair, and Andy Saull ought to bring an air of calm and authority to proceedings, while the inclusion of players such as RGS Newcastle leaver, Tom Penny.

On the bench things get very exciting, Newcastle include Durham’s NatWest Cup semi finalist Jake Elwood as a replacement prop, while 2013/14 Sedbergh captain James Christie will come on for Mike Blair during the course of the second half. Anyone hoping for another evening of Twitter banter from the Falcons account may have their hopes dashed though, the architect of last week’s hilarity, Dan Temm, starts in the back row.

Gloucester United are yet to name their side.

Worcester Cavaliers v Northampton Wanderers

Worcester name a reasonably experienced side but do find room in their team for the likes of Old Swinford Hospital leaver and England U18 international Huw Taylor, who starts in the second row.

They also include exciting back row talent in the form of Sam Harry and Mat Gilbert, as well as two big schoolboy rivals on the bench, in King’s Worcester’s 2012/13 star scrum half George De Cothi, and RGS Worcester leaver Jon Hughes. The two sides meet at Sixways each year in the Modus Cup, a feisty affair.

Northampton Wanderers have named an exceptionally young backline, England U18 vice captain Harry Mallinder starts at inside centre with his colleague Josh Skelcey on the wing. England U20 back three player Howard Packman starts on the other wing with Tom Collins at full back. St Joseph’s College old boy Alex Day starts at scrum half, with Dom Waldouck providing the experience.

The pack looks overall to be much more experienced and is led by the vastly experienced Phil Dowson, but there is still room for England U20 secodn row and former Stowe pupil Jordan Onojaife to start the game.

On the bench the likes of Sam Olver, Rory Hutchinson, and Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi will provide plenty of youthful energy.

Aviva A League Fixtures

Bath United v Saracens Storm

Newcastle Falcons A v Gloucester United

Worcester Cavaliers v Northampton Wanderers

Bath United:

15 Rich Lane 
14 Matt Banahan 
13 Max Clark
 12 Rory Jennings
 11 George Wacokecoke
 10 Ollie Devoto
 9 Micky Young 
1 Nathan Catt  2 Ross Batty 
3 Kane Palma-Newport 
4 Charlie Ewels (c)  5 Tom Ellis 
6 David Sisi 
7 Max Northcote-Green
 8 Tom Woolstencroft.

Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn
 17 Grant Shiells
 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi
 19 Marcus Garrett
 20 Matt Koep
 21 Will Homer
 22 Ludi Hopkinson
 23 Marcus Beer.

Saracens Storm:

15 Ben Ransom
 14 Mike Ellery
 13 Tom Griffiths
 12 Max Wilkins
 11 Jack Wilson 
10 Nils Mordt
 9 Ben Spencer
 1 Tom Williams
 2 Phil Thiel
 3 Petrus Du Plessis
 4 Maro Itoje (c)
 5 Hayden Smith 
6 Hayden Thompson-Stringer 
7 Matt Hankin
 8 Nick De Jager.

Replacements: 16 Jack Culverhouse
 17 Antonio Harris
 18 Biyi Alo
 19 Kennet O’Neill
 20 Don Barrell
 21 Tom Whitley
 22 Matt Gallagher
 23 George Perkins.

Newcastle Falcons A:

15 Lee Smith  14 Noah Cato  13 Tom Penny  12 Jamie Helleur  11 Sean Brown  10 Rory Clegg  9 Mike Blair  1 Eric Fry  2 David Nelson  3 Oliver Tomaszcyck  4 Glen Young  5 Will Witty  6 Dan Temm  7 Andy Saull (c)  8 Richard Mayhew.

Replacements: 16. Andrew Dunn  17. Jake Ellwood  18. Mark Irving  19. Scott McLeod  20. Brian Tuilagi  21. James Christie  22. Tom Catterick  23. Brett Connon.

Gloucester United: TBA

Worcester Cavaliers:

15 Perry Humphreys  14 Josh Drauniniu  13 Alex Grove  12 Ravai Fatiaki  11 James Stephenson  10 Robbie Keith  9 Jean-Baptiste Bruzulier (c)  1 Ofa Fainga’anuku  2 Ben Sowrey  3 Joe Rees  4 Matt Perks  5 Huw Taylor  6 Mat Gilbert  7 Sam Harry  8 Richard de Carpentier.

Replacements:  16 Jack Singleton  17 Jack Cosgrove  18 Rob O’Donnell  19 Miles Edwards  20 Josh Watkins  21 George de Cothi  22 Jon Hughes  23 Marcus Brown.

Northampton Wanderers:

15 Tom Collins  14 Howard Packman  13 Dom Waldouck  12 Harry Mallinder  11 Josh Skelcey  10 Will Hooley  9 Alex Day  1 Ethan Waller  2 Mike Haywood  3 Gareth Denman  4 Alex Woolford  5 Jordan Onojaife  6 Phil Dowson (c)  7 Teimana Harrison  8 Cam Dolan.

Replacements: 16 Ross McMillan  17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi  18 Tom Mercey  19 Matti Williams  20 Ben Nutley  21 Joel Hodgson  22 Sam Olver  23 Rory Hutchinson.

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