AASE 2015/16 Round One Preview & Predictions

The AASE league begins today, and it is an exciting year for the College competition, with two new sides entering the league to make it a fourteen team competition.

As ever, it is split into two leagues (of seven), a North Division and a South Division, with a play off system at the end of the league season.

The North sees Myerscough College, Gosforth Academy, Moulton College, Worcester 6th form College, Oaklands College, and the utterly dominant champions, Hartpury College, joined by newcomers Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College.

Wyggeston are affiliated to Leicester Tigers and have long been so, they count the likes of Dan Cole among their former pupils. Despite it being their first foray into the AASE league, it can be expected that they will be a highly competitive outfit.

In the South Ivrbridge, SGS Filton College, Truro College, St Paul’s Catholic College, Henley College, and last year’s newcomers Bicton College, and joined by Beechen Cliff.

Beechen Cliff have teamed up with the Bath Academy, Bath’s first foray into the AASE league, to enter into the competition, but with the bulk of their players coming from lower 6th, they are expecting this year to be a building year as they find their feet at this new level.

There are five fixtures in today’s first round, with the 6th, Oaklands College v Moulton College, postponed as Moulton are yet to start their new term. HArtpury College and St Paul’s have bye weeks.

Northern Division

Myerscough College v Gosforth Academy

Oaklands College v Moulton College – PP

Worcester 6th form College v Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College

The Oaklands postponement leaves just two fixtures in the North this week, and they should be fascinating.

Myerscough v Gosforth ought to be a tight game, with the Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons affiliated sides enjoying some close encounters last year. Both have lost some quality players, especially Gosforth who lose Callum Chick, they England U18 captain, but both have gained experience from last year.

Worcester 6th form College v Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth is the truly fascinating one though, with this being Wyggeston’s first ever AASE game. They are expected to be strong, after all they are Leicester Tigers affiliates, but in this new competition it will be tough to be certain of anything. It will be fascinating to see how it pans out.

Southern Division:

Ivybridge Community College v Beechen Cliff

SGS Filton College v Bicton College

Truro College v Henley College

There are three exciting fixtures in the South. Truro host Henley, a tough trip for any side but especially at the moment, Truro were sensational last year, while Henley struggled, so if last yea’rs form is a guide, Truro ought to hold the upper hand.

Filton College v Bicton College should also be interesting. Both were a touch inconsistent last year but produced some brilliant rugby, they are likely to produce good rugby again this year and on a 3G surface, this could be a game packed with tries – one to watch.

Of course it will be all eyes on the new boys Beechen Cliff over at Ivybridge. It’s a tough first game for the new boys on the block, who are likely to find things tough, but they are well coached and well supported by the Bath Academy and their coaches there, Danny Grewcock and George Tavner. It will be exciting to see them in action for the first time as an AASE side.

Predictions (in bold):

Myerscough College v Gosforth Academy

Oaklands College v Moulton College – PP

Worcester 6th form College v Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College

Ivybridge Community College v Beechen Cliff

SGS Filton College v Bicton College

Truro College v Henley College

Let us know what you think of our midweek predictions, you can do so via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV) or via Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby)

By Angus Savage

@AngusSavageXV

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