The U18 Premiership kicked off in style this weekend with some absolutely brilliant games of rugby featuring the brightest young talents in the country.
Arguably the game of the round was the very first game of the day of Saturday, the midday kick off at Surrey Sports Park, which saw Saracens make the trip to meet Harlequins.
A thrilling contest was eventually won by Harlequins, but only by the tightest of margins, a single point, at 25-24.
Things were a little simpler over at Sixways, where home side Worcester Warriors beat visitors Yorkshire Carnegie by a strong 24-0 scoreline.
Over at Exeter University, London Irish were welcomed by Exeter Chiefs. The Chiefs have a good reputation in their academy right now, such has been the talent of the likes of Slade and Nowell to progress through their ranks, but it was London Irish who were the real stars on Saturday lunchtime, winning 33-15.
Northampton Saints faced one of the longer trips of the weekend, they had to travel up to Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park. However they quickly shrugged off the effects of the long journey and took advantage of the dependable artificial surface as they soared to a 45-15 away win.
The late kick off was Wasps v Bath as they followed the Aviva Premiership game between the two clubs on the same pitch at the Ricoh Arena. It followed the same pattern as that game too, with Wasps running out as 28-12 winners in what was a well fought game.
The final game of the weekend was on Sunday afternoon as Gloucester welcomed Sale Sharks to Hartpury College. Both sides have very strong looking U18 groups and so it proved in a well fought contest. Gloucester led just 6-3 at the break, and though they extended that to a 25-17 win by the end, it was a hard earned win, and one that will please both sets of coaches for the guts shown.
Bristol in the southern division, and Leicester Tigers in the northern division both had bye weeks this week. However for one Leicester Tigers U18 player it was anything but a bye week. Pulled out of the Tigers U18 squad for a friendly v Portugal U18, which Leicester won comfortably, seventeen year old, yes seventeen year old, Ben White was called up to the senior Leicester Tigers 1st XV bench for their thrilling win against Harlequins.
White became the second youngest player in Premiership history when he came on at just 17 years and 151 days old. The former Denstone College and England U16 scrum half certainly looks like a man to keep an eye out for in the future!
Fans of the U18 Premiership may get a chance to see him in action in the next round of the U18 Premiership against Worcester Warriors, though they will have to wait until the 12th December for the privilege.
What a weekend of U18 rugby it has been though!
If you have any photos, reports, or video from the weekend’s action, please send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org
U18 Premiership Results:
Harlequins 25-24 Saracens – Surrey Sports Park
Exeter Chiefs 15-33 London Irish – Exeter University
Worcester Warriors 24-0 Yorkshire Carnegie – Sixways
Newcastle Falcons 15-45 Northampton Saints – Kingston Park
Wasps 28-12 Bath – Ricoh Arena
Gloucester 25-17 Sale Sharks – Hartpury College
Forwards: Suvwe Obano, Alex Bidwell, Callum Tilleray, Sam Gratton, Paul Marshall, Kareem Swandell, John Okafor, Lars Heidrich, Nathan Thomas, James Gulliver, Victor Keunen, Henry Paremain, Dino Lamb-Cona.
Backs: Niall Saunders, Tom Nicole, Sam Morley, Marcus Smith, Jake Hennessy, Cadan Murley, Alex Hogg, Gabriel Ibitoye (Captain), Max Coyle and Matt Harrison.
15 Alex Gilham, 14 Will Kaye, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Nick Ramsey, 11 Jack Longhurst, 10 Tom Ffitch, 9 James Elms, 1 James Gallagher, 2 Harrison King, 3 Taylor Reed, 4 Danny Cutmore, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 6 Oscar Furneaux, 7 Sean Reffell, 8 Ben Earl.
Replacements: 16 Henry Kiely, 17 Adam Piggott, 18 Harry Morgan, 19 Joel Kpoku, 20 Ed Tidy, 21 Bryn McCall, 22 Josh Wright, 23 Liam Batty.
1 James Kenny, 2 Matt Symons, 3 Marcus Street, 4 Dan Swain, 5 Huge Culverhouse, 6 Sam Daly, 7 Charlie Wright, 8 Dan Head, 9 Joe Snow, 10 Harvey Skinner, 11 A J Cant, 12 Declan Mathews, 13 Harry Strong, 14 Matt Morrish, 15 Toby Williams.
Replacements: 16 Louis Powell, 17 Jed Kerkin, 18 Adam Wright, 19 Charlie Fetney, 20 Aaron Thompson, 21 Matt Marsh, 22 Sam Brown, 23 Ryan Lee.
15 Tom Parton (Captain); 14 Joe Cokanasiga; 13 Roman Malin-Hiscock; 12 Lewis Sampson; 11 Ben Loader; 10 Jacob Atkins; 9 Dan Grant-Adamson; 1 Jarod Leat; 2 Matt Kouris; 3 Dan Winning; 4 Josh Basham; 5 Angus Southon; 6 Jack Cooke; 7 Jack Ingall; 8 Harry Norton.
Replacements: 16 Freddie Boyce; 17 Johnson Chandigree; 18 Austin Hay; 19 Sam Collingridge; 20 Callum Torpey; 21 Luca Cericola; 22 Sam Evans; 23 Connor Hayhow; 24 Joe Murrey.
15 Alex Nisbet (Bromsgrove School), 14 Stan Maine (Worcester Sixth Form College/Warriors AASE), 13 Robbie Smith (Hartpury College), 12 Will Butler (Hereford Cathedral School), 11 Alex Hearle (Church Stretton), 10 Ollie Allsopp (Malvern College), 9 George Wootten (Bromsgrove School), 1 Freddie Hemmingway (John Kyrle High School), 2 George Newman (Worcester Sixth Form College/Warriors AASE), 3 Joe Morris (King’s Aston), 4 Ted Hill (Worcester Sixth Form College/Warriors AASE), 5 James Scott (Malvern College), 6 Tom Ford (Bromsgrove School), 7 Zac Xiourouppa (C) (Warriors Academy), 8 Tom Dodd (Warwick School).
Replacements: 16 Bec Cutting (Bromsgrove School), 17 James Page (Warriors Academy), 18 Charlie Morgan (Solihull School), 19 Max Hill (Worcester Sixth Form College/Warriors AASE), 20 Sam Hollingsworth (Worcester Sixth Form College/Warriors AASE), 21 Josh Nott (RGS Worcester), 22 Blake Edwards (Bromsgrove School).
1. Jack Wafer, 2. Luke Chadwick, 3. Will Dennis, 4. Shaun Crouch, 5. Ben Longton, 6. Ross Kirtland, 7. Lewis Wilson, 8. James Sanderson, 9. Ollie Fox (c), 10. Harry Davey, 11. George Bastow, 12. Connor Field, 13. Suva Ma’asi, 14. Harry Boyd, 15. James Pinder.
Replacements: 16. Jordon Poole, 17. Cole Wilson, 18. Eddie Brown, 19. Hugo Tasker, 20. Sam Pocklington, 21. Will Fordy, 22. Charlie Rae.
1 Jamie Blamire (Gosforth Academy), 2 Ralph Johnston (Gosforth Academy), 3 Tristan Grant (Gosforth Academy), 4 Will Scott (Hartlepool 6th Form College), 5 Josh Williams (Hartlepool 6th Form College), 6 Lewis Roxby (Hartlepool 6th Form College), 7 Drew Davison (Gosforth Academy), 8 Jack Johnson (Gosforth Academy), 9 Charlie Gowling (c) (Sedbergh School), 10 Ran Foreman (Hartlepool 6th Form College), 11 Adam Radwan (Hartlepool 6th Form College), 12 Charlie Wilson (RGS Newcastle), 13 Ben Stevenson (Yarm School), 14 Garry Izomor (Durham School), 15 Ali Crossdale (Sedbergh School).
Replacements: 16 Michael Newstead (Gosforth Academy), 17 Callum Rafrafi (Middlesbrough RFC,), 18 Larry Mew (Gateshead College), 19 Alex Hayton (Gosforth Academy), 20 Hayden Thompson-Green (Sedbergh School), 21 Alex Pantechis (Gosforth Academy), 22 Ikenna Obonna (RGS Newcastle), 23 Connor Stewart (Durham School).
15 Ollie Burgess, 14 Tosin Segun, 13 Jamel Hamilton, 12 Freddie McKibbin, 11 Adrian Sanday, 10 James Grayson, 9 Alex Mitchell, 1 Devante Onojaife, 2 Alex Rayment, 3 Ehern Painter, 4 Ben Kelland, 5 Alan Gregory, 6 Jake Carter, 7 Matt Watson, 8 Sam Easton.
Replacements: 16 Rob Marmion, 17 George Cave, 18 Rhys Charalambous, 19 Matt Waring, 20 Alex Branson, 21 Harry Warn, 22 Gregor Haldane, 23 Fraser Dingwall.
1 Osman Dimen (Wren Academy), 2 Jamie Cox (Abingdon School), 3 George Strainge (Abingdon School), 4 Joe Tunney (Dr. Challoners), 5 Ehize Ehizode (St. Benedicts), 6 Jacob Turner (Henley College), 7 James Seabrook (Merchant Taylors), 8 Tom Willis (Henley College), 9 Will Porter (Merchant Taylors), 10 Finn Pietersen (Magdelen College), 11 Matt Ilube (St. Benedicts), 12 Nico Petros (Henley College), 13 Caleb Shepherd (Henley College), 14 Toni Kuku (Stowe School), 15 Harry Hanley (St. Benedicts).
Replacements: 16 Tom Guthrie (Abingdon School), 17 George Probyn (The Oratory), 18 Funbi Osuntoki (St. Benedicts), 19 Jack Holford (Abingdon School), 20 Will Glover (Harrow School), 21 Alex Crocker (Henley College), 22 Sam Spink (Hinchley Wood), 23 Caleb Selman (Sir William Borlese’s School).
Bath Rugby U18:
15 Darren Atkins, 14 Tom Lewis, 13 Caspar Bailey, 12 Kieran Griffiths, 11 Henry Martin, 10 Jacob Ford, 9 Cameron Brown, 1 Sam Starks, 2 Jack Hurley, 3 Jamie Bettesworth, 4 Tom Dullage, Ben Lansdown, 6 Zak Smith, 7 Miles Reid, 8 Zach Mercer.
Replacements: 16 Alex Ross, 17 Joe Spiller, 18 Jay Cooke, 19 George Brophy, 20 Charlie Howard, 21 Carl Morgan, 22 James Thorne, 23 Dan Solway.
15. Calum Owen, 14. Ali Wealthall, 13. Harry Blackwell, 12. Jack Beevers, 11. Michael Forrest, 10. Will Hunt, 9. Will Hodgson, 1. George Williams, 2. Ben Martin, 3. Druw Fray, 4. George Bordill, 5. Charlie Pozniak, 6. Tom Curry, 7. Ben Curry, 8. George Blackwell.
Replacements: 16. Ben Gregory, 17. Jamie Ross, 18. Scott Southwell, 19. Sam Dugdale, 20. Kieran Wilkinson, 21. Ben Watson, 22. Arron Reed, 23. George Chatterton
15 Robbie Forbes, 14 Rhys Tudor, 13 Jack Evans, 12 Eric White, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Carwyn Penny, 9 Harry Randall (c), 1 Steff Gibbons, 2 Will Haly, 3 Ciaran Knight, 4 Russell Upton, 5 Alex Craig, 6 Ceri Silvester, 7 Aaron Hinkley, 8 Morgan Morris.
Replacements: 16 Mason Emery, 17 Henry Walker, 18 Harrison Fowke, 19 Ed Bennon, 20 George Humphries, 21 Callum Allen, 22 Charlie Chapman, 23 Mason Tonks.