A League kicks off again – young guns set to star

The Aviva A league kicks off this evening, having had a delayed start to accommodate the Rugby World Cup at the front end of the season.


Five fixtures take place this evening, with a sixth on Wednesday evening. Bath United and Yorkshire Carnegie A sit this round out.


As ever in the A league, there are a number of exciting young talents named across all the sides, with some schoolboy players even making selection for a few sides. Oddly though, this is perhaps a more experienced set of teams across the board than we got used to at times last year.


Bristol United v London Irish A – Clifton RFC, 19.15


Bristol name an exciting side that includes a couple of Academy starlets and 15 and 10 in Filton College old boy Auguy Slowick and former Millfield captain Callum Sheedy.


Last year’s England U20 loosehead, Ellis Genge, who was a converted number 8, shows his versatility as he is named on the blindside flank.


Among the London Irish team are former RGS High Wycombe skipper Ross Neal, who is named on the wing, and King’s Worcester old boy George De Cothi, currently at Loughborough University, who is named on the bench along with Rosslyn Park’s Harry Broadbent, among others.


Exeter Braves v Saracens Storm – Sandy Park, 19.30


Exeter Braves name an exciting side, former Prior Park College skipper Peter Laverick, who impressed in the 7s this summer, is named on the wing, with England U20 back rower Sam Skinner named at blindside.


Jack Innard is named on the bench, along with Blundell’s leaver Jack Maunder, who skippered England U18 a few times last season.


Champions Saracens were outstanding last year and have named a very experienced side for this opener. There are still plenty of exciting players though, including Junior World Championship winners with England U20, Nathan Earle on the wing, Henry Taylor at scrum half, and Hayden Thompson-Stringer in the second row.


On the bench there are two more U20 champions in Nick Tompkins and former Exeter player Joel Conlon. Also named are the former Millfield scrum half, Tom Whiteley, and Whitgift leaver Matt Gallagher.


Leicester Tigers A v Gloucester United – Welford Road, 19.00


Leicester, as ever, look to have plenty of depth and excitement, perhaps most notably at fly half where the excellent young maestro and former England U16 pivot Jacob Umaga is selected.


Outside him is a World U20 Champion in George Catchpole, and inside him is 17 year old scrum half fro Denstone College, Ben White. Meanwhile in the pack there are plenty of young and exciting players such as Will Owen, Joe Maksymiw, and Harry Thacker.


For Gloucester, England U18 and soon to be U20 starlet Mat Protheroe starts on the wing, with Cheltenham College old boy Olly Thorley on the other wing.


England’s U20 World Champions Billy Burns and Callum Braley start in the half back positions, with other U20 stars in Lloyd Evans and Ben Vellacot on the bench.


Northampton Wanderers v Newcastle Falcons A – Franklin’s Gardens, 19.30


Saints pick an exciting young side for this one. England U18 and U20 player Harry Mallinder, formerly of Rugby School, starts at full back, a change from his usual 10 or 12. In those positions are former England U20 fly half Sam Olver and former England U20 centre Tom Stephenson.


JWC winner Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi is at loosehead with former Stowe man Jordan Onojaife at lock. School leavers in Alex Moon, Will Allman, Alex Mitchell, and Luke Eves are on the bench.


Newcastle Falcons have named a pretty experienced team, but if you are looked for some young stars in their side, look to further than to their academy diamonds in the back row, Joe Craggs and Callum Chick, both of whom played for England U18, with Chick skippering the side on occasion.


Wasps A v Harlequins A – Braywick Road, 19.30


Wasps name an incredibly exciting side for this one, which includes one of our young players to watch at fly half, Alex Lozowski.


On the wing they name Harrow leaver Owain James, but it is at second row where the excitement really builds, with current Abingdon schoolboy Jack Holford named. There are more schoolboys on the bench, with Henley College trio Connor Eastgate, Caleb Shepherd and Jacob Turner all named.


Quins have also named a very exciting side. Former Whitgift and John Fisher schoolboy rivals Stan South and Kieran Treadwell are named in the second row, with South’s former schoolmate Henry Cheeseman at number 8. Epsom College leaver and a star with England U18 last year, Archie White, is on the blindside.


On the bench there are two former Wellington College stars in Seb Adeniran-Olule and Sam Aspland-Robinson, as well as Trinity leaver Mofe Wilkey, and last year’s NatWest Cup winning Bromsgrove skipper, Luke White.


Quins also name a current schoolboy, with Cranleigh number 8 Dino Lamb-Cona named on the bench.



It all looks set to be a superb evening of rugby – which young guns are you most excited about seeing in action?


Aviva A League Fixtures:




Bristol United v London Irish A – Clifton, 19.15

Exeter Braves v Saracens Storm – Sandy Park, 19.30

Leicester Tigers A v Gloucester United – Welford Road, 19.00

Northampton Wanderers v Newcastle Falcons A – Franklin’s Gardens, 19.30

Wasps A v Harlequins A – Braywick Road, 19.30




Worcester Cavaliers v Sale Jets – Sixways, 15.00


A League Teams:


Bristol United v London Irish A


Bristol United:

15 Auguy Slowik; 14 George Watkins, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Nick Carpenter, 11 Charlie Amesbury; 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Craig Hampson; 1 Kyle Traynor, 2 James Stephenson, 3 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 4 Max Cresswell (Bristol Uni), 5 John Hawkins, 6 Ellis Genge, 7 Max Crumpton, 8 Jack Davies (Bath Uni).

Replacements: 16 Ben Gompels (Bristol Uni), 17 James Hall, 18 Louis Wolf (Clifton RFC), 19 Olly Dunn (Bridgwater RFC), 20 Tom Beck (Cardiff Met Uni), 21 Andy Uren, 22 Sam Katz (El Salvador), 23 Darren Hudson.

London Irish:

15 Andrew Fenby; 14 Ross Neal; 13 Fergus Mulchrone; 12 Dom Wauldock; 11 Ciaran Hearn; 10 Christian Lewis-Pratt; 9 Connor Murphy; 1 Harry Elrington; 2 Jimmy Stevens; 3 Geoff Cross; 4 Gavin Bilton; 5 Adam Sinclair; 6 Ollie Curry; 7 Luke Frost; 8 Sentiki Nayoko.

Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon; 17 Johnny Harris; 18 Ken Dowding; 19 Tom Cruse; 20 Harry Broadbent; 21 Seb Rodwell; 22 Jacob Atkins; 23 George De Cothi.


Exeter Braves v Saracens Storm


Exeter Braves:

15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Byron McGuigan, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Josh Jones, 11 Pete Laverick, 10 Will Hooley, 9 Haydn Thomas, 1 Brett Sturgess, 2 Shaun Malton, 3 Harry Williams, 4 Ollie Atkins, 5 Jonny Hill, 6 Sam Skinner, 7 Sam Simmonds, 8 Kai Horstmann (c).

Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Jerry Sexton, 20 Ed Holmes, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Harrison Cully.

Saracens Storm:

15 Catalan Fercu, 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Tim Streather, 12 Nils Mordt (c), 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Baden Kerr, 9 Henry Taylor, 1 Richard Barrington, 2 David Porecki, 3 Titi Lamositele, 4 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 5 Jack Tredrea, 6 Anthony Maka, 7 Kelly Brown, 8 Samuel Vunisa.

Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Ralph Adams-Hale, 18 Jack Culverhouse, 19 Ollie Marriott, 20 Joel Conlon, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Nick Tompkins, 23 Matt Gallagher.


Leicester Tigers A v Gloucester United


Leicester Tigers A:

15 George Worth, 14 Christian Loamanu, 13 Jack Roberts, 12 George Catchpole, 11 Gonzalo Camacho, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Ben White, 1 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Harry Thacker, 3 Aniseko Sio, 4 Joe Maksymiw, 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Will Owen, 7 Will Evans, 8 Laurence Pearce.

Replacements: 16 Jake Farnworth, 17 Matt Parr, 18 Dan Hogan, 19 Sebastian de Chaves, 20 Fred Tuilagi, 21 George Tresidder, 22 Oli Bryant, 23 Paolo Odogwu.

Gloucester United:

15 Steve McColl; 14 Ollie Thorley, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 David Halaifonua, 11 Mat Protheroe; 10 Billy Burns, 9 Callum Braley; 1 Nick Wood, 2 Tom Lindsay, 3 Nicky Thomas; 4 Joe Latta, 5 Tom Hicks; 6 Elliott Stooke, 7 Dan Thomas, 8 Lewis Ludlow.

Replacements: 16 Jack Spencer, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Josh McNulty, 19 Alex Craig, 20 Harry Wilson, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Lloyd Evans, 23 Jack Evans.


Northampton Wanderers v Newcastle Falcons A


Northampton Wanderers: 

15 Harry Mallinder, 14 Howard Packman, 13 Pat Howard, 12 Tom Stephenson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Sam Olver, 9 Tom Kessell, 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 2 Matti Williams, 3 Gareth Denman, 4 Jordan Onojaife, 5 Alex Woolford (c), 6 Jon Fisher, 7 Teimana Harrison, 8 Sion Bennett.

Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Ricky Stout, 18 Adam Parkins, 19 Alex Moon, 20 Will Allman, 21 Alex Mitchel, 22 Luke Eves, 23 Jamie Elliott.

Newcastle Falcons A:

15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Dan Marshall, 13 Bellisario Agulla, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Alessana Tuilagi, 10 Craig Willis, 9 Sonatane Takulua, 1 Ben Harris, 2 Rob Hawkins, 3 Paddy Ryan, 4 Seb Ferreira, 5 Glen Young, 6 Callum Chick, 7 Joe Craggs, 8 Ally Hogg (c).

Replacements: 16 David Nelson, 17 Eric Fry, 18 Andrew Foster, 19 Josh Williams, 20 Santiago Socino, 21 Ruaridh Dawson, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Joe Luca-Smith.


Wasps A v Harelquins A


Wasps A: 

15. Rob Miller, 14. Owain James, 13. Brendan Macken, 12. James Downey, 11. Josh Bassett, 10. Alex Lozowski, 9. Jamie Stevenson, 1. Tom Bristow, 2. George Edgson, 3. Phil Swainston, 4. Jack Holford, 5. James Cannon, 6. Alex Rieder, 7. Thomas Young, 8. Guy Thompson.

Replacements: 16. Lewis Grinsell, 17. Tom West, 18. James Johnston, 19. Chris Sewell, 20. Jacob Turner, 21. Tom Bliss, 22. Conor Eastgate, 23. Caleb Shepherd.

Harlequins A: 

15. Tim Swiel, 14. Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 13. Ross Chisholm, 12. Winston Stanley, 11. Charlie Walker, 10. Ben Botica, 9. Tito Tebaldi, 1. Owen Evans, 2. Joe Gray (c), 3. Will Collier, 4. Stan South, 5. Kieran Treadwell, 6. Archie White, 7. Victor Keunan, 8. Henry Cheeseman.

Replacements: 16. Seb Adeniran-Olule, 17. Mofe Wilkey, 18. Matt Shields, 19. TBC, 20. Dino Lamb-Cona, 21. Calum Waters, 22. Luke White, 23. Sam Aspland-Robinson.

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