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Aviva A League returns & stays as youthful as ever

The Aviva A League returns tonight with a full fixture list across both conferences and plenty of young players in every starting squad.

Despite the U18 Academy league being played over the weekend, many players are doubling up to play in both games, including Millfield’s Adam Hastings and Darren Atkins for Bath United and Wellington College captain Will Wilson for Wasps A.

Bath United have named a very youthful side for their away trip to London Welsh, who are doing rather better than their 1st XV counterparts having won two of their four games, while Bath have won two from three. The Bath side is superbly young though, with Atkins starting on the wing, Ed Coulson at full back, Ollie Devoto and Will Homer at full back, and Rich Lane, Olly Woodburn, and Marcus Beer completing the backline. Meanwhile in the pack they are once again led by young Charlie Ewels, while two time Schools Cup winner Beno Obano starts at loosehead.

Those two sit third and fourth in the Southern Conference, three points ahead of London Irish in 5th, the Exiles play bottom of the table Harlequins A, who have won one from five, this evening. Irish name a young side with the likes of Theo Vukasinovic, Ross Neal, and Cam Cowell all starting, as do Quins who start Henry Cheeseman, James Chisholm, Kieran Treadwell, and Stan South in the pack and have plenty of youth elsewhere.

Between those two sides in the table are Wasps, who include the likes of Alex Lundberg, Piers O’Connor, and Tom Howe. However it is their bench that really excites, with three U18s; James Small-Edwards, Mike Dewar, and the previously mentioned Wilson.

They face the runaway league leaders, Saracens Storm. Saracens include Ben Spencer and George Perkins in the backs and are once again led by JWC winner Maro Itoje, with his JWC winning colleagues Biyi Alo and Hayden Thompson-Stringer alongside him.

Moving over to the Northern Conference, the oddity of Bristol being a ‘northern’ side again appears. They travel to Leicester Tigers A, who have had a poor start with just one win from four. Tigers have opted for experience but there is still an opportunity for the likes of George Catchpole and Harry Thacker. Bristol are also marginally more experienced than normal, though with last year’s Millfield captain Callum Sheedy at 10 and Jake Polledri in the pack as well as a host of youngsters on the bench, it is only marginally more.

Worcester Cavaliers and Newcastle Falcons are the pace-setters in the Northern Conference, both having won four from four. That unbeaten run will end tonight though for one of them presumably as they face each other at Worcester.

Worcester include a number of exciting players including former King’s Worcester captain Andrew Boyce, while Newcastle include two Tuilagi’s, including young Brian on the bench, former Durham prop Jake Ellwood, young flyer Tom Penny, and last year’s Sedberhg captain James Christie is on the bench.

That leaves Northampton Wanderers v Sale Jets these two lie 5th and 7th respectively and will be looking to pick up points and momentum. Sale’s side includes youngsters Cameron Nield and Liam Parfitt in the backs, with Lymm High School old boy James Mitchell on the bench.

Northampton include plenty of youth, with Harry Mallinder, Josh Skelcey, and Tom Collins all starting in the backs, with Jordan Onojaife in the back and the likes of Sam Olver, Lewis Ludlum, and Rory Hutchinson on the bench.

Who are your players to watch in the A League tonight? Let us know via @FifteenRugbyXV or via the comment box below.

A League

London Irish A v Harlequins A

Leicester Tigers A v Bristol United

Northampton Wanderers v Sale Jets

Worcester Cavaliers v Newcastle Falcons A

London Welsh A v Bath United

Saracens Storm v Wasps A

Teams:

London Irish:

15. Cameron Cowell;  14. James Short;  13. Tom Fowlie;  12. Ross Neal;  11. Harry Lightfoot-Brown;  10. Myles Dorrian (c);  9. Connor Murphy;  1. Johnny Harris;  2. Harry Allen;  3. Ken Dowding;  4. Theo Vukasinovic;  5. Dave Lyons;  6. Ollie Currie;  7. Greg Brown;  8. Armand Roux.

Replacements:  16. James Catton;  17. Ben Knight;  18. Toby Salmon;  19. Luke Frost;  20. Seb Rodwell;  21. Matt Jarvis;  22. Tom Chalcroft;  23. Ollie Phillips. 

Harlequins:

15 Ollie Lindsay-Hague  14 Charlie Walker  13 Harry Sloan  12 Tom Casson  11 Ugo Monye  10 Louis Grimoldby  9 Tito Tebaldi  1 Darryl Marfo  2 Rob Buchanan  3 Kyle Sinckler  4 Stan South  5 Sam Twomey  6 Kieran Treadwell  7 James Chisholm 8 Henry Cheeseman.

Replacements:  16 Charlie Piper  17 Seb Adeniran-Olule  18 TBA  19 George Merrick  20 Harry Rowland  21 Jordan Burns  22 Ross Chisholm  23 Gareth Stoppani.

Leicester Tigers A:

15 Tommy Bell 14 Adam Thompstone 13 George Catchpole 12 Jack Roberts  11 Miles Benjamin 10 Freddie Burns 9 David Mele 1 Tom Bristow 2 Harry Thacker (c) 3 Tiziano Pasquali  4 Gregory Peterson 5 Tom Price 6 Jack Whetton 7 Charlie Beckett 8 Ed Milne.

Replacements:16 Neil Briggs 17 Aniseko Sio 18 Riccardo Brugnara  19 Charlie Harvey 20 Jake Farnworth 21 George Prince 22 Oli Bryant 23 Rhys Williams.

Bristol United:

Charlie Amesbury;  George Watkins,  Jack Tovey,  Mark Cooke,  Ryan Edwards;  Callum Sheedy,  Luke Baldwin;  Matias Diaz,  Rhys Lawrence,  Gaston Cortes,  Chris Pursall (Old Reds),  Joe Joyce (c),  Jake Polledri,  Josh Ovens,  Ben Skirving.

Replacements: James Stephenson,  Ollie Streeter (Weston),  Louis Wolf (Clifton),  Dale Lemon (UWE),  Tim Turner,  Lucas Slowik,  Elias Caven (SGS Filton).

Northampton Wanderers:

15 Tom Collins  14 Josh Skelcey  13 Dom Waldouck  12 Harry Mallinder  11 Jamie Elliott  10 Will Hooley  9 Joel Hodgson  1 Ross McMillan  2 Matti Williams  3 Tom Mercey  4 Jordan Onojaife  5 Alex Woolford  6 Ben Nutley  7 Teimana Harrison  8 Cam Dolan.

Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall  17 Craig Voisey  18 Stefan Thorpp  19 Tom Taylor-Dawes  20 Lewis Ludlum  21 Alex Day  22 Sam Olver  23 Rory Hutchinson.

Sale Jets:

Mark Lawrence, John O’Donnell, Sam James, Sam Bedlow, Phil Mackenzie, Tom Morton, Nathan Fowles, James Flynn, Cameron Neild, George Hymes, Tom Bell, Tom Sanders, Andy Hughes (capt.), Liam Parfitt, Viliami Fihaki,

Replacements: Max Cobilas, Phil Mills, Tom Lanaway, Josh Boland, Mike Quickenden, James Mitchell, Ciaran Connelly, Jack Wise.

Worcester Cavaliers:

15 Ben Howard  14 James Stephenson  13 Alex Grove  12 Ravai Fatiaki  11 Josh Drauniniu  10 Ignacio Mieres  9 JB Bruzulier (c)  1 Ryan Bower  2 Niall Annett  3 Joe Rees  4 Matt Perks  5 Dan Sanderson  6 Richard de Carpentier  7 Andrew Boyce  8 Leo Senatore.

Replacements:  16 Ben Sowrey  17 Jack Cosgrove  18 Alex Gordas  19 Myles Edwards  20 Charlie Mulchrone  21 Andy Symons  22 Perry Humphreys  23 Mat Gilbert.

Newcastle Falcons A:

15 Brett Connon 14 Tom Penny 13 Danny Barnes 12 Aniteli Tuilagi 11 Lee Smith 10 Phil Godman 9 Andy Davies 1 Jake Elwood 2 Rob Hawkins 3 Mark Irving 4 Scott Macleod 5 Josh Hedley 6 Sebastian Ferreira 7 Dan Temm 8 Ben Morris.

Replacements: 16 David Nelson 17 Sam White 18 Andrew Adams 19 Harry Snowdon 20 Brian Tuilagi 21 Dan Taylor 22 James Christie 23 Peter Weightman.

London Welsh A:

1. Nathan Trevett
 2. Koree Britton 
3. Jack Gilding 
4. Josh McNally 
5. Matt Corker 
6. Ben West
 7. Jesse Liston 
8. Ben Pienaar
 9. Ed Hoadley 
10. Will Robinson 
11. Sam Isaacs 
12. James Tincknell 
13. Courtney Morrison 
14. Conor Corrigan 
15. Ben Summers.

Replacements:
 16. Mungo Strachan 
17. Ian Williams
 18. Jimmy Litchfield 
19. Clarke Smith
 20. Ollie Stedman 
21. Paul Rowley 
22. Phil Ellis
 23. Charlie Self.

Bath United:

15 Ed Coulson  14 Darren Atkins  13 Olly Woodburn  12 Marcus Beer  11 Richard Lane  10 Ollie Devoto  9 Will Homer  1 Beno Obano  2 Tom Dunn  3 Kane Palma-Newport  4 Will Spencer  5 Charlie Ewels (c)  6 David Sisi  7 Guy Mercer  8 Carl Fearns.

Replacements:  16 Tom Woolstencroft  17 J.P. Orlandi  18 Dan Keates  19 Tom Ellis  20 Max Northcote-Green  21 Rory Jennings  22 Adam Hastings  23 Kristian Otto.

Saracens Storm:

15. Catalin Fercu;  14. Mike Ellery,  13. Tim Streather,  12. Thretton Palamo,  11. George Perkins;  10. Nils Mordt,  9. Ben Spencer;  1. Richard Barrington,  2. Jared Saunders,  3. Biyi Alo,  4. Maro Itoje (c),  5. Hayden Smith,  6. Hayden Thompson-Stringer,  7. Matt Hankin,  8. Nick De Jager.

Replacements: 16. Josh Taylor,  17. Jack Culverhouse,  18. Billy Walker,  19. Mike Tredrea,  20. Don Barrell,  21. Tom Whiteley,  22. Max Malins,  23. Nick Tompkins.

Wasps A:

1. Alex Lundberg  2. George Edgson  3. Phil Swainston  4. Will Rowlands  5. James Cannon  6. Buster Lawrence  7. Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas  8. Ed Jackson  9. Tom Bliss  10. Glyn Hughes  11. Josh Bassett  12. George Eastwell  13. Ollie Evans  14. Tom Howe  15. Piers O’Conor.

Replacements:  16. Ian Browne (Guest)  17. Tom West  18. Will Taylor  19. Will Wilson (U18)  20. Mike Dewar (U18)  21. James Small-Edwards (U18)  22. TBC  23. Shaquille Jack (Guest).

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