Aviva A League teams named ahead of tonight’s semi finals


The Aviva A league semi finals take place tonight following an exciting final couple of rounds over the Christmas period.

Saracens Storm and Worcester Cavaliers are finished top of the Southern and Northern Conferences respectively and therefore go through as top seeds, giving them home ties this evening.

Saracens Storm welcome Newcastle Falcons A, who finished second in the Northern Conference, to Allianz Park from a 19.30 kick off, while Worcester Cavaliers welcome the second placed team form the Southern Conference, Bath United, to Sixways, again kicking off at 19.30.

Saracens are again captained by England U20 international and ex Harrow School pupil Maro Itoje, who is joined in the side by fellow England U20 teammates Hayden Thompson-Stringer and Biyi Alo.

There is plenty of experience around him though, with the likes of Ernst Joubert, Ben Ransom, and Nils Mordt all starting.

On the bench the likes of Millfield School leaver Tom Whiteley and Oaklands College leaver George Perkins add an extra layer of youthful exuberance too.

Newcastle Falcons A are yet to announce their starting line up but have announded their squad. They are led by the ex-Saracens man Andy Saull, whois supported by plenty of experienced men in the form of Phl Godman, Rory Clegg, Scott MacLeod, and Gonzalo Tiesi among others.

Like Saracens, Newcastle have plenty of youth in their ranks, last year’s Sedbergh School 1st XV captain James Christie is in the squad, as is the latest in the Tuilagi dynasty, Brian Tuilagi, while the much talked about prop Scott Wilson is also I the squad.

Twitter commentary sensation Dan Temm is included, as is Tom Penny, who made his 1st XV debut at the weekend.

Worcester Cavaliers look to be very keen to progress to the Aviva A league final, they are led by scrum half JB Bruzulier, and include the likes of Ben Howard, Richard De Carpentier, and Ignacio Mieres.

On the bench former King’s Worcester openside and captain Andrew Boyce will be eager to get on, as will ex Tigers Academy man Perry Humphreys.

Bath United once against name an incredibly young and exciting side. The team is dominated by Millfield and Bryanston leavers, with one current Millfield pupil, Darren Atkins, also starting.

The side is led from the second row by Charlie Ewels, the England U20 international only in his second year after leaving Bryanston, his former school colleagues Rory Jennings and Max Clark start at fly half and inside centre respectively, with another of his former school teammates, Tom Woolstencroft, on the bench.

Woolstencroft is on the bench because the hugely promising Tom Dunn starts at hooker, with the twice Schools Cup winner with Dulwich College, Beno Obano, packing down at loosehead.

Alongside Ewels in the second row is his former Millfield adversary Tom Ellis, who is joined in the pack by another Millfield old boy is Max Northcote-Green, who starts at six, with David Sisi and Guy Mercer adding a touch of experience.

The wings are an all Millfield affair, old boy Rich Lane starts on the right, with the current Millfield full back, Atkins, starting on the left. Atkins has been consistently selected for the ‘A’ team rather than the U18s over Christmas, proving just how highly he is rated.

There is also room for a couple of recent Sherborne leavers in the Bath side, with Will Homer starting at scrum half and Ed Coulson starting at full back.

It ought to be a superb evening of rugby!

A League Semi Finals:

Saracens Storm v Newcastle Falcons A (19.30 – Allianz Park)

Worcester Cavaliers v Bath United (19.30 – Sixways)


Saracens Storm:

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

Replacements:  16. Josh Taylor,  17. Jack Culverhouse,  18. Ben Feathertone.  19. Jack Tredrea,  20. Kennett O’Neill,  21. Tom Whiteley,  22. Max Wilkins,  23. George Perkins,  24. Max Malins.

Newcastle Falcons A (from):

Adam Brocklebank,  Rory Clegg,  Brett Connon,  James Christie,  Andy Davies,  Andrew Dunn,  Phil Godman,  Rob Hawkins,  Mark Irving,  Scott Macleod,  Ben Morris,  Tom Penny,  Alex Rogers,  Andy Saull (c),  Harry Snowdon,  Dan Taylor,  Dan Temm,  Gonzalo Tiesi,  Brian Tuilagi,  Peter Weightman,  Scott Wilson,  Will Witty,  Chris York.

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 Ofa Fainga’anuku 2 Niall Annett 3 Mike Daniels 4 James Percival 5 Dan Sanderson 6 Rich de Carpentier 7 Mat Gilbert 8 Leonardo Senatore.

Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey 17 Ryan Bower 18 Alex Gordas 19 Shay Kerry 20 Andrew Boyce 21 Charlie Mulchrone 22 Robbie Keith 23 Perry Humphreys.

Bath United:

1 Beno Obano 2 Tom Dunn 3 Kane Palma-Newport 4 Tom Ellis 5 Charlie Ewels (c) 6 Max Northcote-Green 7 Guy Mercer 8 David Sisi 9 Will Homer 10 Rory Jennings 11 Darren Atkins 12 Max Clark 13 Olly Woodburn 14 Rich Lane15 Ed Coulson.

Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft 17 Matt Shields 18 Dan Keat 19 Charlie Davey 20 Matt Koep 21 Micky Young 22 Ludi Hopkinson 23 Marcus Beer.

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