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Tense final round of the U18 Premiership set to get underway

The final round of the U18 Academy Premiership takes place this weekend ahead of the finals day at Allianz Park.

Worcester Warriors in the Northern Conference and Wasps in the Southern Conference have already played all of their games and have a rest week this week. Every week one side sits out as there are seven teams in each conference, finals day is the first time the two conferences come together.

Saracens sit at the top of the Northern Conference and kick things off this evening at home to London Irish. Saracens’ lead is slender though, just two points clear of Exeter Chiefs, however the Chiefs are the only side who can overhaul Saracens at the top.

Irish however could realistically finish anywhere from fifth to second. They begin the round in fourth, six points behind Saracens, four behind Exeter and two behind Wasps, while they are level with Bath below them. A bonus point win would give them enough points to overhaul Exeter Chiefs should they lose against Bath, though Irish would need to hope that Bath do not score too many tries in denying Exeter that victory.

Staying with the South, the other big game is that Exeter Chiefs v Bath game, like Irish, Bath could finish anywhere from second to fifth, while Exeter could finish anywhere from top to fifth. Both will know much more about what is and is not attainable by the time they play though as the Saracens v London Irish result will already be known.

Rounding things off in the South is a bottom of the table clash between Harlequins and Bristol. Bristol are yet to win, while Quins have just one victory to their name. In theory Bristol could leapfrog Quins but it would take a bonus point.

Moving over to the Northern Conference, there are again two sides who could win, Northampton Saints and Gloucester. Just to add even more spice to the occasion, they face each other on Saturday lunchtime at Hartpury College, a 12.00 kick off.

Saints have the advantage, they have a four point lead, so Gloucester must win to progress. A win of any kind or a draw would see Saints top the conference, while a losing bonus point would probably also be enough. For Gloucester a bonus point win must really be the aim or the calculators will be needed to separate them.

There is a third side who could shake things up, Leicester Tigers. A Gloucester win without a bonus for either side would see them both tied on 22 points, while a bonus point win for Leicester away at second to bottom Newcastle Falcons would also see them finish on 22 points, meaning that points difference and try count between the three would come into play and could really have an impact.

A win for Newcastle meanwhile could see them into fourth, where Worcester Warriors currently sit. Sale Sharks, level on points with Newcastle, also covet that spot, and with a game against the winless Yorkshire Carnegie, they might just fancy their chances of securing it.

It is all set to be a very exciting couple of days of rugby!

Aviva U18 Academy Premiership Fixtures:

Friday

Saracens v London Irish – 19.00, Allianz Park

Yorkshire Carnegie v Sale Sharks – 19.30, Queen Ethelburga’s College

Saturday

Gloucester v Northampton Saints – 12.00, Hartpury College

Harlequins v Bristol – 13.30, Surrey Sports Park

Bath v Exeter Chiefs – 14.00, Millfield School

Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers – 14.00, Kingston Park

Tables:

Northern Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

BP

Pts

1

Northampton Saints

5

5

0

0

2

22

2

Gloucester

5

3

1

1

4

18

3

Leicester Tigers

5

4

0

1

1

17

4

Worcester Warriors

6

2

0

4

3

11

5

Sale Sharks

5

1

1

3

3

9

6

Newcastle Falcons

5

2

0

3

1

9

7

Yorkshire Carnegie

5

0

0

5

2

2

Southern Conference

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

BP

Pts

1

Saracens

5

4

0

1

5

21

2

Exeter Chiefs

5

4

0

1

3

19

3

Wasps

6

3

0

3

5

17

4

London Irish

5

3

0

2

3

15

5

Bath

5

3

0

2

3

15

6

Harlequins

5

1

0

4

2

6

7

Bristol

5

0

0

5

2

2

Team News:

Saracens – TBA

London Irish:

15. Tom Parton;  14. Ben Loader;  13. Matt Williams;  12. Lewis Smapson;  11. Joe Cokanasiga;  10. Eddie Lewis;  9. Callum Watson;  1. Freddie Boyce;  2. Curtis Langdon;  3. Toby Hill;  4. Luke Frost;  5. Charlie Stonehill;  6. Jared Leat;  7. Jack Ingall;  8. Isaac Curtis-Harris.

Replacements: 16. Jake Waterman;  17. Matt Kouris;  18. Tyler White;  19. Hugo McPeherson;  20. Sam Collingridge;  21. Dan Grant Adamson;  22. Jacob Atkins;  23. Conor Burns .

Yorkshire Carnegie:

15 Ben Smith  14 James Pinder  13 Tom Bullough  12 Connor Field  11 Suva Ma’asi  10 Sam Allan (c)  9 Jimmy McDaniel  1 Charlie Capps  2 Jordon Poole  3 Nathan Smith  4 Raffen Cherrington  5 Elliot Ward  6 Ross Kirtland  7 Lewis Wilson  8 Brandon Staples.

Replacements:16 Luke Chadwick  17 Will Dennis  18 Will Bowie  19 James Sanderson  20 Tom Gorman  21 Will Smith  22 Sam Harrison.

Sale Sharks:

15 Alex Mitchell  14 Mark Dixon  13 Dan Greer  12 Harry Blackwell  11 Charlie Venables  10 Ali Crossdale  9 Conor Dever  1 George Williams  2 Christian Taylor  3 Jake Pope  4 Matt Postlethwaite  5 Sam Haley  6 Tom Curry  7 Ben Curry  8 Joe McGrail.

Replacements: 16 Lewis Bradley  17 Jordan Grass  18 Max Davies  19 Druw Fray  20 Tom MacCuish  21 Callum Emery  22 Ali Wealthall.

Gloucester:

Robbie Forbes,  Eric White,  Mason Tonks,  Clayton Dee,  Terrance Barbarinsa,  Robbie Faulkner,  Harry Bassett;  Alex Chaklin,  Joe Mullis,  Alex Serville,  Tyler Jerrum,  Fergus Taylor,  Hanco Germishuys,  Tobin Reynolds,  Gareth Jones.

Replacements: Henry Walker,  Guy Toye,  Dewi Wilcox,  Will Haly,  Miles Churcher,  Jack Combs,  George Clair,  AN Other.

Northampton Saints:

15 George Furbank  14 Adam Shaw  13 Jamel Hamilton  12 Freddie McKibbin  11 Rotimi Segun  10 James Grayson  9 Ben Richardson  1 Ryan Eveleigh  2 Rob Marmion  3 Luc Jeannot  4 Alex Moon  5 John Hawkins (c)  6 Tim Cardall  7 Will Allman  8 George Cox.

Replacements:  16 Alex Rayment  17 Jake Byrne  18 Ehren Painter  19 Toby Trinder  20 Jake Carter  21 Robert Smith  22 Tosin Segun  23 Charlton Kerr.

Harlequins – TBA

Bristol:

1.Harvey  2.Gompels  3.Ap’pton  4.Cooksey  5.Ball  6.Kean  7.Capon  8.Beck 9.Fournier  10.Hy’man  11.Caven  12.Newey  13.Mayes  14.Green  15.Clements.

Replacements: 16.Mustoe  17.Joseph  18.Watson  19.Ryan  20.Gibson  21.Boyland  22.Leaker  23.Hayward.

Bath:

1. Vaughan  2. Frost  3. John  4. Ransom  5. Britton  6. Bayliss (c)  7. Blackmore  8. Mean  9. Shrestha  10. Hastings  11. Atkins  12. Waters  13. Mackenzie  14. Rees  15. Graham.

Replacements: 16. Starks  17. Oghre  18. Carter  19. Rice  20. Vecchio  21. Dabell  22. Kelly  23. Martin.

Exeter Chiefs:

15. Matt Butler  14. Aaron Chapman  13. Harry Strong  12. Noah Sixton  11. Harrison Cully  10. James McFarlane  9. Jack Maunder  1. Oli Daw  2. Luke Trewhella  3. Billy Keast  4. Kieran Westlake  5. Connor O’Shaunnesy  6. Josh Caulfield  7. Nat Bayett  8. Declan Matthews.

Replacements: 16. Charlie Gibbings  17. Liam Hilliar  18. Jack Stanley  19. Angus Brown  20. Toby Papp  21. Oli Avery Wright  22. Tom Putt  23. Ethan Tyler.

Newcastle Falcons – TBA

Leicester Tigers – TBA

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