Aviva A League: Youngsters selected across the board, with school stars given a chance

The delayed Aviva A League returns again for the second round again tonight.


Once again the teams have packed their sides full of young stars, and there are a huge number of current school players selected for this evening’s games too.


Bath United v Exeter Braves


Bath sat out last week, so this is their first entrance into this year’s A League. They do so with a very young side. School leavers Darren Atkins and Adam Hastings, both from Millfield, start on the wing and at fly half respectively, while up front there are more June 2015 leavers in Merchiston Castle’s number 8 Zach Mercer and Filton College hooker Dan Frost.


The former Bryanston trio of Max Clark, Rory Jennings, and Charlie Ewels all start, Jennings in an unfamiliar full back role, with the former Wellington College man Brett Herron at inside centre and former Dulwich College star Beno Obano at loosehead, among other youngsters.


Exeter Braves include the likes of Will Hooley and Jack Innard, while Blundell’s leaver and scrum half, Jack Maunder, who captained England U18 a number of times, is on the bench.


Harlequins A v Bristol United


Harlequins have really gone with the youth card this evening, picked a huge number of academy stars.


Former Wellington College man Seb Adeniran-Olule starts at hooker, with ex-John Fisher star Kieran Treadwell in the second row. Former Whitgift lock Stan South starts at blindside, with Epsom College leaver Archie White at number 8.


In the backs, South’s old Whitgift teammate, Henry Cheeseman, starts on the wing having played in the back row last week. Cheeseman will then head off to the Dubai 7s with England Royals. Last year’s Tonbridge School skipper, Theo Buffini, is drafted in as replacement hooker.


The bench includes current Cranleigh School number 8, Dino Lamb-Cona.


Bristol United unfortunately suffered the retirement of star youngster Lucas Slowik this week, a player who was a real star of the future. His brother Auguy starts at full back, with former Millfield captain Callum Sheedy at fly half.


Max Crumpton is at openside, with a number of university students on the bench, and one, Jack Davies of Bath University, starting at number 8.


Leicester Tigers v Sale Jets


Leicester opt for a very young backline with the likes of Sam Yawayama, Paolo Odogwu, and Jacob Umaga all selected. In the pack, Harry Thacker, Will Owen, and Joe Maksymiw are all junior internationals and could be real future stars.


Like Harlequins, Leicester also include a school player on the bench, the Oakham School fly half, Matt Riddington.


Sale Jets include a number of recent school stars, particularly in the pack with Cameron Neild, Ciaran Parker, and George Nott.


In the back division James Mitchell is one to keep an eye on, the scum half has played both England U18 and U20. Like so many others, Sale also include a school star, Kirkham Grammar School fly half Connor Wilkinson, on the bench.


Newcastle Falcons A v Worcester Cavaliers


Newcastle Falcons opt for a more experienced side than a lot of others, though look out for recent school leavers in Tom Penny and Craig Willis in the backline, from RGS Newcastle and Durham.


Former Yarm flyer Zack Kibirige is finally fit again and starts on the wing. On the bench last year’s England U18 duo of Joe Craggs and Callum Chick will likely enter fray.


Worcester Cavaliers have taken a youthful approach, last year’s Warwick School fly half, Jamie Shillcock, stars, the young pivot appears to be one of the fastest rising stars around.


Former Adams Grammar lock Andrew Kitchener stars as do the ex Old Swinford Hospital pair of Max Stelling, 13, and Huw Taylor, 8.


On the bench there are two schoolboys in Hereford Cathedral School’s Will Butler, and Malvern College’s Ollie Alsopp, as well as a member of last year’s NatWest Cup winning Bromsgrove side, Justin Clegg.


Northampton Wanderers v Gloucester United


Northampton Wanderers again pick a young side, with former Rugby School fly half Harry Mallinder, who is part of the England U20 set up now, continuing to be tested out at full back. Former England U20 stand off Sam Olver is in the 10 shirt, with fellow U20 World Championship winner Tom Stephenson outside him at 12.


Will Allman, who started every game for England U18 last year, the only man to do so, starts at openside, and U20 World Championship winner Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi and Jordan Onojaife start at loosehead and lock respectively.


Recent school leavers such as James Fish, Alex Moon, and Alex Mitchell are all on the bench.


Gloucester United look fairly youthful, but the U20 World Championship winning half back pair of Callum Braley and Billy Burns start, with their teammate in that win, Henry Purdy, on the wing.


Another winner in Lewis Ludlum, starts at number 8, with a former Scotland U20 star, Ben Vellacott, on the bench. Current England U20 pair, Mat Protheroe and Olly Thorley, are on the bench.


Saracens Storm v London Irish A


The big news from Saracens is that England U18 lock, and current Haileybury skipper, Nick Isiekwe, starts.


It’s a big test for the schoolboy, but he is joined by other youngsters, Whitgift leaver Matt Gallagher starts on the wing, and the U20 World Championship winning scrum half, Henry Taylor also starts.


Another U20 winner, Hayden Thompson-Stringer, who played and number 8 for England U20, and at lock last week, starts at loosehead tonight. Quite a change.


On the bench two of last year’s England U18 stars, Max Malins and Dom Morris, get their chance. Last year’s England U20 prop, Biyo Alo, is also selected, as is the former Millfield star Tom Whiteley, who will travel to the Dubai 7s with England Royals afterwards.


London Irish A have also really gone for it on the youth front. Their pack is relatively experience, but the give a start to Wellington College star Matt Williams on the wing, with former RGS High Wycombe skipper Ross Neal in the centres.


On the bench they have gone for it too, there are two more current Wellington College stars in Tom Parton and Rory Brand, and they also include the likes of Curtis Langdon, another young star.



It should be a brilliant evening of rugby, and one with plenty of the stars of tomorrow on show!


A League Fixtures:


Bath United v Exeter Braves – 19.30, The Rec

Harlequins A v Bristol United – 19.30, Twickenham Stoop

Leicester Tigers A v Sale Jets – 19.00, Welford Road

Newcastle Falcons A v Worcester Cavaliers – 19.00, Kingston Park

Northampton Wanderers v Gloucester United – 19.30, Franklin’s Gardens

Saracens Storm v London Irish A – 19.00, Allianz Park


Team News:


Bath United v Exeter Braves


Bath United


15 Rory Jennings, 14 Darren Atkins, 13 Max Clark, 12 Brett Herron, 11 Jeff Williams, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Jonathan Evans, 1 Beno Obano, 2 Dan Frost, 3 David Wilson, 4 Charlie Ewels (c), 5 Marcus Garrett, 6 Levi Douglas, 7 Guy Mercer, 8 Zach Mercer.


Replacements: 16 Luke Stratford, 17 Jack Edmondson, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Pat Jenkinson, 20 James Catlin, 21 Will Homer, 22 Owen Waters, 23 Dom McKenzie.


Exeter Braves


15 Chrysander Botha 14 Michele Campagnaro 13 Max Bodily 12 Josh Jones 11 Byron McGuigan 10 Will Hooley 9 Haydn Thomas 1 Carl Rimmer 2 Jack Innard 3 Alex Brown 4 Ollie Atkins 5 Jonny Hill 6 Sam Simmonds 7 Ben White 8 Kai Horstmann (c).


Replacements: 16 Paul Davis 17 Jake Woolmore 18 Brett Sturgess 19 Ed Holmes 20 Jerry Sexton 21 Jack Maunder 22 Joe Simmonds 23 Matt Jess.


Harlequins A v Bristol United


Harlequins A


1 Owen Evans, 2 Seb Adeniran-Olule (Academy), 3 Will Collier, 4 George Merrick, 5 Kieran Treadwell (Academy), 6 Stan South (Academy), 7 Victor Keunen, 8 Archie White (Academy), 9 Tito Tebaldi, 10 Ben Botica, 11 Ross Chisholm, 12 Winston Stanley, 13 Matt Hopper (c), 14 Henry Cheeseman (Academy), 15 Tim Swiel.


Replacements: 16 Theo Buffini, 17 Mofe Wilkey (Academy), 18 Matt Shields, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Dino Lamb-Cona, 21 Calum Waters (Academy), 22 Luke White (Academy), 23 Sam Aspland-Robinson (Academy).


Bristol United


15 Auguy Slowik; 14 Ryan Edwards, 13 George Watkins, 12 Tommaso Benvenuti, 11 Charlie Amesbury; 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Andy Uren; 1 Ellis Genge, 2 Ross McMillan (c), 3 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 4 John Hawkins, 5 Max Cresswell, 6 Josh Ovens, 7 Max Crumpton, 8 Jack Davies (Bath Uni).


Replacements: 16 Ben Gompels (Clifton RFC), 17 Jordan Brodley (Clifton RFC), 18 Louis Wolf (Clifton RFC), 19 John Humphrys (Cardiff Met Uni), 20 Rich Stephens (Old Reds), 21 Darren Hudson, 22 Elias Caven.


Leicester Tigers A v Sale Jets


Leicester Tigers A


15 George Worth, 14 Sam Yawayawa, 13 Jack Roberts, 12 Oli Bryant, 11 Paolo Odogwu, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Jono Kitto (c), 1 Riccardo Brugnara, 2 Harry Thacker, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 4 Joe Maksymiw, 5 Sebastian De Chaves, 6 Will Owen, 7 Will Evans, 8 Laurence Pearce.


Replacements: 16 Jake Farnworth, 17 Aniseko Sio, 18 Dan Hogan, 19 Harry Wells, 20 Fred Tuilagi, 21 George Tresidder, 22 Matt Riddington, 23 Lewis Winterbottom.


Sale Jets

15. Tim Jeffers, 14. John O’Donnell, 13. Phil Mackenzie, 12. Mark Jennings, 11. Tom Brady, 10. Tom Morton, 9. James Mitchell, 1. James Flynn, 2. Cameron Neild, 3. Ciaran Parker, 4. George Nott, 5. Matt Postlethwaite, 6. Andy Hughes (c), 7. Liam Parfitt, 8. Matt Rogerson,


Replacements: 16. Jake Pope, 17. Neil Briggs, 18. Shaun Strudwick, 19. Tom Sanders, 20. Brendan Barry, 21. Conor Dever, 22. Connor Wilkinson, 23. Charlie Ingall.


Newcastle Falcons A v Worcester Cavaliers


Newcastle Falcons A


15 Simon Hammersley, 14 Belisario Agulla, 13 Tom Penny, 12 Anitelea Tuilagi, 11 Zach Kibirige, 10 Craig Willis, 9 Ruki Tipuna, 1 Alex Rogers, 2 Scott Lawson, 3 Taione Vea, 4 Glen Young, 5 Sebastian Ferreira, 6 Richard Mayhew, 7 Daniel Temm, 8 Todd Clever (c).


Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Eric Fry, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19, Joe Craggs, 20 Callum Chick, 21 Sonatane Takulua, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Dan Marshall.


Worcester Cavaliers


15 Perry Humphreys, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Max Stelling, 12 Ravai Fatiaki, 11 Dean Hammond, 10 Jamie Shillcock, 9 JB Bruzulier (c), 1 Ryan Bower, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Gareth Milasinovich, 4 Andrew Kitchener, 5 Darren O’Shea, 6 Mat Gilbert , 7 Sam Ripper-Smith, 8 Huw Taylor.


Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey, 17 Derrick Appiah, 18 Joe Sproston (Doncaster Knights), 19 James Page, 20 Charlie Hewitt, 21 Justin Clegg, 22 Will Butler (Hereford Cathedral School), 23 Ollie Allsopp (Malvern College).


Northampton Wanderers v Gloucester United


Northampton Wanderers


15 Harry Mallinder, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Jamie Elliott, 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 Reece Marshall, 7 Will Allman, 8 Sion Bennett.


Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Ricky Stout, 18 Adam Parkins, 19 Alex Moon, 20 Tim Cardall, 21 Alex Mitchell, 22 Luke Eves, 23 Howard Packman.


Gloucester United


15 Steve McColl, 14 David Halaifonua, 13 Henry Trinder (c), 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Callum Braley, 1 Dan Murphy, 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 James Gibbons, 18 Josh McNulty, 19 Harry Wilson, 20 Joe Mullis, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Mat Protheroe, 23 Ollie Thorley.


Saracens Storm v London Irish A


Saracens Storm


15 Catalin Fercu; 14 Matt Gallagher, 13 Tim Streather, 12 Nils Mordt (c), 11 Nathan Earle; 10 Baden Kerr, 9 Henry Taylor; 1 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 2 Jared Saunders, 3 Titi Lamositele, 4 Jack Tredrea, 5 Nick Isiekwe; 6 Jack Nay, 7 Jacques Burger, 8 Anthony Maka.


Replacements: 16 Tyrone Moran, 17 Ralph Adams-Hale, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 Danny Cutmore, 20 Kennett Sharples, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Dominic Morris, 23 Max Malins.


London Irish A


15. Andrew Fenby; 14. Matt Williams; 13. Dom Waldouck; 12. Ross Neal; 11. Joe Cokanasiga; 10. Christian Lewis-Pratt; 9. Connor Murphy; 1. Johnny Harris; 2. Jimmy Stevens; 3. Geoff Cross; 4. Adam Sinclair; 5. Stephen Gardiner; 6. Luke Frost; 7. Conor Gilsenan; 8. Sentiki Nayoko.


Replacements: 16. Curtis Langdon; 17. Thomas Gregory; 18. Joe Tarrant; 19. Gavin Bilton; 20. Jarod Leat; 21. Connor Hayhow; 22. Tom Parton; 23. Rory Brand.

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