A chance to see the stars of the future again in this week’s LV= Cup


The final group round of the LV= Cup takes place this weekend, following last weekend’s games that were packed full of youthful exuberance.

There are not quite so many youngsters involved this weekend, a combination of the U20 6 Nations also taking place this weekend and the fact that a few sides are really pushing for semi final spots means there are less opportunities for the youngsters.

Nevertheless there are plenty of young future stars still on show. Sale Sharks play Llanelli Scarlets on Saturday, and while the Sale team looks to be a pretty experienced one, they have found room on their bench for former England U20 & U18 international, Cameron Neild, who left Manchester Grammar School a couple of years ago.

Leicester Tigers travel to Cardiff for their game, and while like Sale they have named a relatively experienced side, they also name a couple of exciting young talents, including 2013 & 2014 JWC winner George Catchpole at outside centre, and his former age-group international teammate Harry Thacker at openside, an interesting change for Thacker, who usual fills the hooking berth.

Bath, as ever, name a side packed with young talent, though they are without several top players such as Charlie Ewels, Rory Jennings and Max Clark due to U20 commitments.

Nevertheless Bryanston old boy Ollie Devoto starts at 10, with Sherborne 2013 graduate Will Homer at scrum half. Sam Burgess will attract headlines at inside centre, while young wingers Ollie Woodburn and Richard Lane are worth keeping an eye on.

In the pack ex Millfield star Tom Ellis comes in for his former Bryanston opposite man Ewels in the second row, while on the ben double NatWest Cup winner with Dulwich College, Beno Obano, awaits along with fellow youngster Tom Dunn.

Gloucester once again start with a schoolboy on the wing in Cheltenham College’s Ollie Thorley. Billy Burns, who was at fly half for England U20’s JWC win in the summer, is at full back, with his teammates from that title, Ross Moriarty and Henry Purdy at number 8 and outside centre respectively, and his U20 half back partner Callum Braley on the bench.

Harlequins have opted for a very experienced side, with an awful lot of regular first team players. Even double JWC winner Harry Sloan at outside centre has plenty of 1st XV appearances under his belt.

On the bench things are much more youthful though, with three school leavers included, hooker Charlie Piper from Cranleigh School, and the Whitgift School pair of Stan South and Henry Cheeseman covering the second and back rows respectively.

London Irish have likewise named a pretty experienced side, look out for Abingdon School fly half Theo Brophy-Clews on the bench though, who as a schoolboy last week became the youngest ever try scorer for London Irish.

Newcastle Falcons look as though they too have gone for experience, however Northampton Saints look to have opted for more of a blend with two JWC winners from last June, Sam Olver and Tom Stephenson, at fly half and inside centre respectively. Olver is a product of NatWest Cup semi finalists Oundle School.

Wasps and London welsh both name pretty experienced line-ups, as do Exeter Chiefs, however Saracens really have mixed their side up.

Captaining Saracens is Maro Itoje, who last week made his Saxons debut having been a key part of the England U20 JWC win just eight months ago. Itoje is a skilled leader though and led Saracens Storm to A league victory last month.

Also included are his fellow JWC winners Biyi Alo and Hayden Thompson-Stringer, with Millfield leaver Tom Whiteley joining Thompson-Stringer on the bench, where England international Alex Goode will sit alongside them.

As ever, there are plenty of future household names on show in this weekend’s LV= Cup!

LV= Cup Fixtures:


Sale Sharks v Scarlets

Cardiff Blues v Leicester Tigers

Bath v Ospreys

Gloucester v Harlequins

London Irish v Newcastle Falcons

Northampton Saints v Wasps


Newport Gwent Dragons v London Welsh

Saracens v Exeter Chiefs


Sale Sharks:

Mike Haley,  Tom Arscott,  Johnny Leota,  Sammy Tuitupou,  Mark Cueto,  Nick Macleod,  Will Cliff,  Eifion Lewis-Roberts,  Marc Jones,  Vadim Cobilas,  Jonathan Mills,  Nathan Hines,  Dan Braid (c),  David Seymour,  Josh Beaumont.

Replacements: Cameron Neild,  Maxim Cobilas,  Ross Harrison,  Viliami Fihaki,  Mark Easter,  Nathan Fowles,  Joe Ford,  Tom Brady.


15 Kristian Phillips,  14 Kyle Evans,  13 Iolo Evans,  12 Adam Warren,  11 Aaron Warren,  10 Frazier Climo,  9 Rhodri Williams,  1 Rhys Thomas,  2 Darran Harris,  3 Ben Leung,  4 Jack Payne,  5 Shaun Jones,  6 Roy Osborn,  7 Sion Bennett,  8 Rory Pitman.

Replacements:  Torin Myhill,  Jacobie Adriaanse,  Javan Sebastian,  Josh Middleton, Ellis Lloyd,  Justin James,  Lee Williams,  Richard Williams.

Cardiff Blues:

15 Geraint Walsh,  14 Owen Jenkins,  13 Joaquin Tuculet,  12 Adam Thomas,  11 Lucas Amorosino,  10 Gareth Davies,  9 Tavis Knoyle;  1 Thomas Davies,  2 Rhys Williams,  3 Craig Mitchell,  4 Miles Normandale,  5 Lou Reed,  6 Macauley Cook,  7 Ellis Jenkins (c),  8 James Sheekey.

Replacements:  16 Ethan Lewis,  17 Brad Thyer,  18 Taufa’ao Filise,  19 Ben Roach,  20 Craig Lodge,  21 Lloyd Williams,  22 Rhys Patchell,  23 Jack Phillips.

Leicester Tigers:

15 Tommy Bell  14 Niall Morris   13 George Catchpole  12 Jack Roberts  11 Adam Thompstone  10 Owen Williams  9 David Mele  1 Michele Rizzo  2 Neil Briggs  3 Fraser Balmain  4 Jack Whetton  5 Sebastian De Chaves (c)  6 Jamie Gibson  7 Harry Thacker  8 Laurence Pearce.

Replacements:  16 George Nairn  17 Tom Bristow  18 Logovi’i Mulipola  19 Greg Peterson  20 Tom Price  21 Sam Harrison  22 Matt Smith  23 Terrence Hepetema.


15. Horacio Agulla  14. Olly Woodburn  13. Matt Banahan  12. Sam Burgess  11. Richard Lane  10. Ollie Devoto  9. Will Homer  1. Max Lahiff  2. Rob Webber  3. Kane Palma-Newport  4. Stuart Hooper (c)  5. Tom Ellis  6. David Sisi  7. Guy Mercer  8. Carl Fearns.

Replacements:  16. Tom Dunn  17. Beno Obano  18. Henry Thomas  19. Alafoti Fa’osiliva  20. Leroy Houston  21. Chris Cook  22. Luke Arscott  23. Semesa Rokoduguni.


15 Richard Fussell  14 Tom Grabham  13 Jonathan Spratt (c)  12 Josh Matavesi  11 Aisea Natoga  10 Sam Davies  9 Martin Roberts  1 Marc Thomas  2 Scott Otten  3 Cai Griffiths  4 Tevita Cavubati  5 Rhodri Hughes  6 Olly Cracknell  7 Sam Lewis  8 Joe Bearman.

Replacements:  16 Matthew Dwyer  17 Duncan Jones  18 Daniel Suter  19 Tyler Ardron  20 Ieuan Jones  21 Tom Habberfield  22 Ben John  23 Hanno Dirksen.


Billy Burns;  Ollie Thorley,  Henry Purdy,  Bill Meakes,  Steph Reynolds;  Aled Thomas (c),  Dan Robson;  Dan Murphy,  Aleki Lutui,  Sila Puafisi;  Elliott Stooke,  Tom Hicks;  Jacob Rowan,  Dan Thomas,  Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Luke Cole,  Yann Thomas,  Shaun Knight,  James Hudson,  Lewis Ludlow,  Callum Braley,  Elliott Creed,  Kai Little.


15. Ross Chisholm  14. Ollie Lindsay-Hague  13. Harry Sloan  12. Jordan Turner-Hall  11. Ugo Monye  10. Ben Botica  9. Karl Dickson  1. Darryl Marfo  2. Rob Buchanan  3. Matt Shields  4. George Merrick  5. Sam Twomey  6. Joe Trayfoot  7. Luke Wallace (c)  8. Netani Talei.

Replacements: 16. Charlie Piper  17. Mark Lambert  18. Joe Gray  19. Stan South  20. Henry Cheeseman  21. Jordan Burns  22. Tim Swiel  23. Aseli Tikoirotuma.

London Irish:

15. Tom Homer;  14. Topsy Ojo;  13. Eamonn Sheridan;  12. Eoin Griffin;  11. James Short;  10. Myles Dorrian;  9. Tomás O’Leary;  1. Leo Halavatau;  2. Jimmy Stevens;  3. Halani Aulika;  4. Nic Rouse (c);  5. Sean Cox;  6. Kieran Low;  7. Conor Gilsenan;  8. Daniel Leo.

Replacements:  16. Mike Mayhew;  17. Ken Dowding;  18. Richard Palframan;  19. David Lyons;  20. Ollie Curry;  21. Darren Allinson;  22. Theo Brophy-Clews;  23. Fergus Mulchrone.

Newcastle Falcons:

15 Simon Hammersley,  14 Sinoti Sinoti,  13 Adam Powell,  12 Juan Pablo Socino,  11 Alesana Tuilagi,  10 Tom Catterick,  9 Mike Blair,  1 Eric Fry,  2 Scott Lawson,  3 Scott Wilson,  4 Calum Green,  5 Scott MacLeod,  6 Mark Wilson,  7 Will Welch (c),  8 Ally Hogg.

Replacements:  16 Rob Hawkins,  17 Rob Vickers,  18 Alex Rogers,  19 Dom Barrow,  20 Richard Mayhew,  21 Andy Davies,  22 Alex Tait,  23 Jamie Helleur.

Northampton Saints:

15 Ahsee Tuala  14 Ken Pisi  13 Dom Waldouck  12 Tom Stephenson  11 Jamie Elliott  10 Sam Olver  9 Kahn Fotuali’i  1 Alex Corbisiero  2 Matti Williams  3 Gareth Denman  4 Tom Ryder  5 James Craig  6 Phil Dowson (c)  7 Teimana Harrison  8 Sam Dickinson.

Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood  17 Ethan Waller  18 Salesi Ma’afu  19 Alex Woolford  20 Ben Nutley  21 Alex Day  22 Will Hooley  23 George Pisi.


15. Rob Miller  14. Josh Bassett  13. Elliot Daly  12. Will Helu  11. Tom Varndell  10. Alex Lozowski  9. Jack Gash  1. John Yapp  2. Tom Lindsay  3. Will Taylor  4. Will Rowlands  5. James Cannon  6. Ed Jackson (c)  7. Thomas Young  8. Guy Thompson.

Replacements: 16. Carlo Festuccia  17. Simon McIntyre  18. Jake Cooper-Woolley  19. Kearnan Myall  20. Nathan Hughes  21. Andy Goode  22. Glyn Hughes  23. George Eastwell.

Newport Gwent Dragons:

Tom Prydie,  Matthew Pewtner,  Pat Leach,  Ashley Smith,  Ashton Hewitt,  Angus O’Brien,  Luc Jones;  Phil Price,  Thomas Rhys Thomas,  Brok Harris,  Andrew Coombs,  Rynard Landman (c),  Lewis Evans,  James Benjamin,  Nick Crosswell.

Replacements:  Rhys Buckley,  Boris Stankovich,  Dan Way,  Ian Gough,  Scott Matthews,  Richie Rees,  Jason Tovey,  Jack Dixon.

London Welsh:

15. Will Robinson,  14. Elliot Kear,  13. Nic Reynolds,  12. Seb Jewell (c),  11. Nick Scott,  10. Tristan Roberts,  9. Piri Weepu,  1. Nathan Trevett,  2. Nathan Morris,  3. Taione Vea,  4. Ben West,  5. James Down,  6. Peter Browne,  7. Richard Thorpe,  8. Opeti Fonua.

Replacements: 16. Rob Elloway,  17. Eddie Aholelei,  18. Jack Gilding,  19. Matt Corker,  20. Jesse Liston,  21. Alex Davies,  22. Olly Barkley,  23. James Tincknell.


15. Ben Ransom;  14. Mike Ellery,  13. Tim Streather,  12. Max Wilkins,  11. Catalin Fercu;  10. Nils Mordt,  9. Ben Spencer;  1. Rhys Gill,  2. Jared Saunders;  3. Biyi Alo,  4. Maro Itoje (c),  5. Hayden Smith;  6. Nick De Jager,  7. Matt Hankin,  8. Jackson Wray.

Replacements:  16. Brett Sharman,  17. Richard Barrington,  18. Ben Featherstone,  19. Kennett Sharples,  20. Hayden Thompson-Stringer,  21. Tom Whiteley,  22. Thretton Palamo,  23. Alex Goode.

Exeter Chiefs:

15 Byron McGuigan  14 Fetu’u Vainikolo  13 Max Bodilly  12 Adam Hughes  11 Tom James  10 Ceri Sweeney (c)  9 Dave Lewis  1 Brett Sturgess  2 Elvis Taione  3 Tomas Francis  4 Jerry Sexton  5 Will Carrick-Smith  6 Tom Johnson  7 Sam Simmonds  8 Sam Skinner.

Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman  17 Carl Rimmer  18 Alex Brown  19 Ed Holmes  20 Ben White  21 Will Chudley  22 Laurence May  23 Jack Arnott.

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