The U18 Academy Premiership sees action for the second weekend in a row as we enter round 3 of the competition.
Four games take place on Saturday lunchtime, with two others on Friday evening, before a weekend off over Christmas ahead of another two weekend’s in a row straight after the New Year.
This weekend’s games all take the form of local derbies. Friday night sees two London derbies, with London Irish hosting Harlequins and Saracens hosting Wasps.
London Irish are looking for a third win in a row having beaten Exeter Chiefs and Wasps, while Quins are looking to get back to winning ways after they backed up a tight win against Saracens with a defeat to Bath last time out.
Reflecting on that loss, and looking ahead to London Irish, Harlequins Assistant Academy Coach Jim Evans said:
“The players were disappointed with their performance down in Bath and we felt we didn’t play anywhere near to our full potential. We had opportunities to score tries but were too inaccurate on the day to finish things off.”
“We have had a thorough review of the game as a group and feel that the players have learnt some important lessons from it. We now have an opportunity to test ourselves against a good London Irish outfit who have won both of their previous matches against Exeter and Wasps. This match will be another good challenge for the players to play at a level above what they are used to at school rugby.”
Saracens return to action having had a bye week last week, their only game in the league has been that October defeat to Harlequins. Wasps have a win to their name, against Bath, and will be desperate to add another after that loss to London Irish last week.
At noon on Saturday we move on to the Midlands derby. Both Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints have played just once so far this campaign, but Northampton perhaps travel as favourites as they recorded a big win over Newcastle Falcons in the opening round, compared to a defeat for Leicester last weekend against Worcester Warriors.
The Warriors will be hoping to make three in a row as they host Gloucester at 12.30 tomorrow, Gloucester are also riding high though, and arrive with a couple of victories of their own. This ought to be a great game of rugby, as Worcester’s Academy Manager Mark Hewitt alluded to, saying:
“We’ve been really pleased with how our Under 18s side have started the season and Saturday provides the players with another opportunity to express themselves and show what they can do against a good Gloucester side.”
At the same time as the Worcester v Gloucester game, Yorkshire Carnegie will host Newcastle Falcons. Neither side has recorded a win yet in their two games yet, so both will be going all out to make sure that it is not a third defeat in a row. Yorkshire Caenegie player development manager, Jon Pendlebury, is happy to focus on performance though, saying:
“Our side will be aiming to emulate the first team performance from last week at Silver Royd and bounce back from their previous two losses this season and will use the game a developmental opportunity to measure their progression through the season. In parts there were some positives from a heavy loss vs Gloucester last week and it has been a good weeks training following review on Monday evening.”
The final game of the weekend sees a brilliant derby in the South West as Bristol, who lost their opener to Exeter last weekend, host Bath, who beat Harlequins last time out after an opening round loss to Wasps.
Looking back at that win over Quins, Bath Assistant Academy Manager, George Tavner, said:
“I was really pleased with the ambition the boys showed. They put some really good stuff together at times.”
“This bodes really well for the upcoming games as we continue to build as a group and continue to get better. I’m looking forward to the boys putting in another strong performance against Bristol.”
Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs have bye weeks in this round.
If you have any photos, reports, results, or videos from this weekend’s U18 Academy Premiership, please do send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org
U18 Academy Premiership Round 3 Fixtures:
London Irish v Harlequins – 19.15, The Avenue
Saracens v Wasps – 19.30, Allianz Park
Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints – 12.00, Oval Park
Worcester Warriors v Gloucester – 12.30, Mortimer Park
Yorkshire Carnegie v Newcastle Falcons – 12.30, Silver Royd
Bristol v Bath – 11.00, Filton College
London Irish v Harlequins
1. Jarrod Leat; 2. Matt Kouris (c); 3. Austin Hay; 4. Harry Butler; 5. Sam Collingridge; 6. Harry Norton; 7. Jack Ingall; 8. Isaac Curtis-Harris; 9. Rory Brand; 10. Sam Evans; 11. Ollie Hassell Collins; 12. Lewis Sampson; 13. Matt Williams; 14. Joe Cokanasiga; 15. Will Attfield.
Replacements: 16. Freddie Boyce; 17. Callum Torpey; 18. Daniel Winning; 19. Alex Gloster; 20. Max Clemenston; 21. Dan Grant Adamson; 22. Tom Parton; 23. Connor Hayhow; 24. Connor Burns.
Paul Marshall, Alex Bidwell, George Head, Suvwe Obano, Callum Tilleray, Kareem Swandell, John Okafor, Henry Paremain, Mike Gatehouse, Cameron Hyne, Nathan Thomas, Lars Heidrich and Dino Lamb-Cona.
Tom Nicole, Niall Saunders, Alex Hogg, Cadan Murley, Jake Hennessy, Matt Harrison, Max Coyle, Gabriel Ibitoye (c), David Olajiga and Rory McMichael.
Saracens v Wasps
Saracens – TBA
Wasps – TBA
Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers – TBA
15 James Grayson 14 Adam Shaw 13 Fraser Dingwall 12 Freddie McKibbin (c) 11 Jamel Hamilton 10 Gregor Haldane 9 Alex Mitchell 1 Devante Onojaife 2 Rob Marmion 3 Ehren Painter 4 Alan Gragory 5 Ben Kelland 6 Jake Carter 7 Matt Watson 8 Sam Easton.
Replacements: 16 Josiaia Wacokecoke 17 Sam Buckley 18 Rhys Charalambous 19 Alex Branson 20 Tom Brown 21 Ben Richardson 22 Fraser Strachan 23 Adrain Sanday.
Worcester Warriors v Gloucester
15 Alex Nisbet (Bromsgrove School) 14 Alex Hearle (Shrewsbury Sixth Form) 13 Robbie Smith (Hartpury College) 12 Will Butler (Hereford Cathedral School) 11 Stan Maine (Worcester Sixth Form/AASE) 10 Ollie Allsopp (Malvern College) 9 Jamie Shillcock 1 Freddie Hemmingway (John Kyrle High School) 2 George Newman (Worcester Sixth Form/AASE) 3 James Page 4 Lawrence Weston (Bromsgrove School) 5 James Scott (Malvern College) 6 Ted Hill (Worcester Sixth Form/AASE) 7 Tom Ford (Bromsgrove School) 8 Ben Fowles (Solihull School).
Replacements: 16 Bec Cutting (Bromsgrove School) 17 Ben Davies Moore (Worcester Sixth Form/AASE) 18 Kia Owen (Worcester Sixth Form/AASE) 19 Ollie Richardson (Warwick School) 20 George Wooten (Bromsgrove School) 21 Dion King (King’s School Worcester) 22 Sam Hollingworth (Worcester Sixth Form/AASE) 23 Max Craven (Worcester Sixth Form/AASE).
Gloucester – TBA
Yorkshire Carnegie v Newcastle Falcons
1. Jack Wafer 2. Luke Chadwick 3. Will Dennis 4. Shaun Crouch 5. Elliott Ward 6. Ben Longton 7. Lewis Wilson 8. James Sanderson 9. Ollie Fox (c) 10. Harry Davey 11. George Bastow 12. Connor Field 13. Suva Ma’asi 14. James Pinder 15. Louis Brown.
Replacements: 16. Jack Davis 17. Adam Leetham 18. Ben Carlile 19. Eddie Brown 20. Hugo Tasker 21. Sam Wolstenholme 22. Jonny Ashman 23. Henry Wright.
Newcaslte Falcons – TBA
Bristol v Bath
Bristol – TBA
1. Andrew Peverelle (Trialist) 2. Gabriel Oghre (c) (Millfield) 3. Jamie Bettesworth (Beechen Cliff) 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. Starks, Sam (Dauntsey’s) 18. Will Vaughan (SGS Filton) 19. George Brophy (Millfield) 20. Harry Short (Beechen Cliff) 21. Joe Jones (KES Bath) 22. Jacob Ford (Harrow) 23. Tom Lewis (Sherborne School).