Aviva A League: Sensational opening night as youngsters shine


The delayed start to the Aviva A League season only served to make the opening evening all the more special, and what an opening night it was.


Almost 250 points were spread across five thrilling games of rugby, with plenty of stars of the future mixed in with a few wise old heads, and those young guns really shone on a night of superb rugby.


Bristol United 24-14 London Irish A


Bristol United kicked off their campaign in style, with tries from James Stephenson and future star Auguy Slowik, formerly of Filton College. Callum Sheedy, the former Millfield School captain landed eight points with the boot, and Sam Katz, a trialist from El Salvador, landed a further six.


London Irish scored tries through Jimmy Stevens and Connor Murphy but could not fight back against what was a highly impressive Bristol performance.


Exeter Braves 20-25 Saracens Storm


A stunning chargedown try from the former Millfield star Tom Whiteley helped to seal the points for last year’s champions in this classic A league encounter.


Both sides have had famously impressive academies in recent years, and that showed last night as they slugged it out in impressive style. Saracens were 13-11 down after 50 minutes but then took the lead and pulled away to 25-13 only for Exeter to come fighting back with a late charge, coming oh so close to winning, only for Saracens to manage to hold the ball up as Exeter drove over line from a lineout.


Tries came from wingers Mike Ellery and England U20 star Nathan Earle, as well as Whiteley, for Saracens, while Joe Simmonds and Byron McGuigan scored for Exeter.


Leicester Tigers A 18-31 Gloucester United


Both Leicester and Gloucester had a real mix of experience and youth in their sides, with both using it to give gametime to players on the comeback from injury, including Graham Kitchener for Leicester and Henry Trinder for Gloucester.


It was Gloucester who took the spoils though with a brilliant bonus point 31-18 victory. Tries came from captain on the night, Nick Wood, David Halaifonua, a penalty, and Fifteen Rugby’s one to watch, Lewis Ludlow. Tigers also secured a penalty try, while the latest of the Tuilagi production line, Freddie, was also on the scoresheet.


Northampton Wanderers 24-20 Newcastle Falcons A


A young Northampton Wanderers got off to a good start in the A league as they secured a victory against an experienced and physical Newcastle Falcons side.


Newcastle opened the scoring through Andy Tuilagi but three tries from Northampton, through fly half Luke Eves and twice through wing Tom Collins, gave Saints a healthy lead along with nine Sam Olver points, before a late Bellisario Agulla try for Newcastle tightened the scoreline up.


Wasps A 28-38 Harlequins A


Arguably the game of the night was this classic between Wasps A and Harlequins A at Maidenhead RFC.


At 42 minutes in Wasps had already secured their bonus point and were 28-10 up. Quins had taken an early 10-0 lead through Tim Swiel and Owen Evans tries, but from then until the break, Wasps scored twenty-eight unanswered points. Tries came through an Alex Riedar brace, Thomas Young, and a try from the forwards off a driven lineout, with all four converted by Alex Lozowski.


Things looked bleak for Quins, but tries from Ollie Linday-Hague and one of their own from a maul, both converted by Swiel, quickly brought the game back into competitiveness at 28-24.


Quins then rang the changes, bringing on plenty of youth, and with ten minutes to go they secured a penalty try before former Wellington Collge star Seb Adeniran-Olule went crashing over to seal a superb 28-28 victory.


Aviva A League Results:




Bristol United 24-14 London Irish A

Exeter Braves 20-25 Saracens Storm

Leicester Tigers A 18-31 Gloucester United

Northampton Wanderers 24-20 Newcastle Falcons A

Wasps A 28-38 Harlequins A




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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