The U18 Academy Premiership returns this weekend, and it is now that the competition really begins in earnest.
Though there was a round during the October half term, it is always somewhat disjointed from the rest of the league. We now enter a stage where on four of the next five weekend’s we have U18 Academy Premiership Fixtures, followed by another two over the final two weekend’s in January.
Bristol and Leicester Tigers make their first foray’s into this year’s competition. Bristol are away to Exeter Chiefs, who lost 33-15 to London Irish last time out, while Leicester Tigers host Worcester Warriors, 24-0 winners over Yorkshire Carnegie in October.
Northampton Saints and Saracens have weekend’s off this week. Saints won their opener 45-15 against Newcastle Falcons, Newcastle this week host Sale Sharks, who also lost their opener, 24-17 to Gloucester, who host Yorkshire Carnegie this weekend.
Saracens lost by a point, 25-24, to Harlequins last time, and Quins are looking for a second win of the competition as they travel to Bath, who went down 28-12 to Wasps in the first round. Wasps host London Irish this evening in the opening game of the round.
Speaking ahead of that game, Wasps Academy Manager Matt Davies said:
“We have had some really tight games against Irish at this age group over the past two seasons, and they will pose a real threat to us on Friday. However, our main aim is see an improvement from our last performance, and continue to build week-on-week through the Christmas period and beyond through to the end of the Academy League season. “
“We are giving an opportunity to two of our U16s on Friday. Playing in this type of fixture can only enhance their development and, alongside the U18s who featured in the A League side v Quins two weeks ago, I am really looking forward to seeing them express themselves and continue their learning in this game.”
Harlequins were equally keen to express the need to give players a chance, with Assistant Academy Coach Jim Evans saying:
“We try and give everybody in our Elite Player Development Squad (EPDG) a chance to play in the six or seven U18 games that we play in the season. This gives us the opportunity to take a look at everybody and make a decision on whether we think their future lies in professional rugby.”
If you have photos, reports, or any highlights from the weekend U18 Academy Premiership matches, please do send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org
U18 Academy Premiership Fixtures:
Wasps v London Irish – Braywick Road, 19.30
Exeter Chiefs v Bristol – Sandy Park, 10.30
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors – Oval Park, 12.00
Gloucester v Yorkshire Carnegie – Hartpury College, 14.00
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks – Kingston Park, 14.00
Bath v Harlequins – The Rec, 14.00
Wasps v London Irish
15 Harry Hanley, 14 Matt Ilube, 13 Caleb Shepherd, 12 Finn Pietersen, 11 Will Simmonds, 10 Connor Eastgate (c), 9 Will Porter, 1 George Probyn, 2 Tom Guthrie, 3 George Strainge, 4 Ehize Ehizode, 5 Jacob Tuner, 6 Will Glover, 7 Seun Coker, 8 Tom Willis.
Replacements: 16 Jamie Cox, 17 Osman Dimen, 18 Joe McNamara, 19 Joe Tunney, 20 Matt Handcock, 21 Alex Crocker, 22 Nico Petros, 23 Toni Kuku.
15 Will Attfield, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Connor Hayhow, 12 Lewis Sampson, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Sam Evans, 9 Rory Brand, 1 Jarod Leat, 2 Matt Kouris (c), 3 Dan Winning, 4 Harry Butler, 5 Angus Southon, 6 Harry Norton, 7 Will Verdan, 8 Isaac Curtis-Harris.
Replacements: 16 Freddie Boyce, 17 Callum Torpey, 18 Austin Hay, 19 Sam Collingridge, 20 Max Clementson, 21 Dan Grant-Adamson, 22 Connor Burns, 23 Russell Bennett.
Exeter Chiefs v Bristol
15 Joe Elderkin, 14 Aaron Chapman, 13 Declan Matthews, 12 Sam Brown, 11 AJ Cant, 10 Harvey Skinner, 9 Joe Snow, 1 James Kenny, 2 Matt Symons, 3 Marcus Street, 4 Louis Groves, 5 Dan Swain, 6 Will Gibson, 7 Sam Daly, 8 Charlie Wright (c).
Replacemsnts: 16 Louis Powell, 17 Adam Wright, 18 Jed Kerkin, 19 Dan Head, 20 Aaron Thompson, 21 Matt Marsh, 22 Ryan Lee, 23 Matt Morrish.
15 Iwan Hughes (SGS College); 14 Finn Murphy (SGS College), 13 Ezra Caven (SGS College), 12 Mitch Mayes (c) (SGS College), 11 Elliot Richards (Merthyr College); 10 James Newey (Christ College Brecon), 9 Lewis Leaker (Gordano RFC); 1 Alex Harvey (SGS College), 2 Jordan Rye (SGS College), 3 Billy Sims (SGS College), 4 James Dun (Millfield), 5 Chris McCann (SGS College), 6 Dan Thurston (SGS College), S7 am Taylor (SGS College), 8 Kean Gannaway-Roberts (Colstons).
Replacements: 16 Tom Honour (SGS College), 17 Scott Parsons (Old Reds), 18 Nick English (SGS College), 19 Dylan Jones (Clifton College), 20 Alex Ryan (Christ College Brecon), 21 Josh Barton (Millfield), 22 Dai Morley (SGS College), 23 Josh Wright (Millfield).
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors
Leicester Tigers – TBA
15 Max Craven (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE), 14 Alex Hearle (Church Stretton), 13 Dion King (King’s Worcester), 12 Will Butler (Hereford Cathedral), 11 Stan Maine (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE), 10 Ollie Allsopp (Malvern College), 9 Jamie Shillcock , 1 Freddie Hemmingway (Riverside School Malvern), 2 George Newman (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE), 3 Joe Morris (King’s Aston), 4 Lawrence Weston (Bromsgrove School), 5 James Scott (Malvern College), 6 Ted Hill (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE), 7 Tom Ford (Bromsgrove School), 8 Ben Fowles (C) (Solihull School).
Replacements: 16 George Radburn (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE), 17 James Page , 18 Ben Davies-Moore (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE), 19 Max Hill (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE), 20 Jacob Ham (King’s Worcester), 21 Sam Hollingsworth (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE), 22 Baron Abraham (Worcester Sixth Form College/AASE).
Gloucester v Yorkshire Carnegie
Gloucester – TBA
15 Henry Wright, 14 Tom Bullough, 13 Suva Ma’asi, 12 Connor Field, 11 George Bastow, 10 Harry Davey, 9 Ollie Fox (c), 1 Jack Wafer, 2 Luke Chadwick, 3 Will Dennis, 4 Shaun Crouch, 5 Elliott Ward, 6 Ben Longton, 7 Lewis Wilson, 8 James Sanderson.
Replacements: 16 Jordon Poole, 17 Cole Wilson, 18 Charlie Capps, 19 Eddie Brown, 20 Hugo Tasker, 21 Sam Pocklington, 22 Jonny Ashman, 23 Louie Brown.
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks
Newcastle Falcons – TBA
15 Calum Owen, 14 Michael Forrest, 13 Arron Reed, 12 Jack Beavers, 11 George Chatterton, 10 Alex Burrage, 9 Will Hodgson, 1 Ben Martin, 2 Ben Gregory, 3 Druw Fray, 4 Charlie Pozniak, 5 George Bordill, 6 Tom Curry, 7 Ben Curry, 8 George Blackwell.
Replacements: 16 Monty Weatherby, 17 Scott Southwell, 18 Sam Dugdale, 19 Luke James, 20 Ali Wealthall, 21 Kieran Wilkinson, 22 Ben Watson, 23 Cameron Redpath
Bath v Harlequins
1 Andrew Peverelle (Trialist), 2 Gabriel Oghre (c) (Millfield), 3 Jack Edmondson (Senior Academy), 4 Matt Solway (King’s Bruton), 5 Rhys Davies (Millfield), 6 Dan Marek (Richard Huish College), 7 Roddy Denness (Bryanston), 8 Miles Reid (Beechen Cliff), 9 Cameron Brown (Millfield), 10 Will Flinn (Bath Uni), 11 Jonny Keh (Sedbergh), 12 Kieran Griffiths (Millfield), 13 James Thorne (Canford), 14 Henry Martin (Marlborough College), 15 Harry Close (Millfield).
Replacements: 16 Jack Hurley (Beechen Cliff), 17 Jamie Bettesworth (Beechen Cliff), 18 Will Vaughan (SGS Filton), 19 George Brophy (Millfield), 20 Harry Short (Beechen Cliff), 21 Joe Jones (KES Bath), 22 Tom Pittman (King’s Taunton), 23 Jack Utton (Corsham School).
Paul Marshall, Alex Bidwell, George Head, Suvwe Gratton, Sam Gratton, Kareem Swandell, John Okafor, Henry Paremain, Mike Gatehouse, Cameron Hyne, Nathan Thomas, James Gulliver and Dino Lamb-Cona.
Zack Santos, Niall Saunders, Alex Hogg, Cadan Murley, Jake Hennessy, Matt Harrison, Max Coyle, Gabriel Ibitoye, Silas-Paul Johnson, A.N. Other.