The penultimate round of the U18 Academy Premiership takes place this weekend as teams chase a place at the U18 Academy Competition Finals Day at Allianz Park on Monday 15th February.
For some it is actually the final weekend, thanks to the odd number of teams in each division.
The action all begins with Saracens v Exeter Chiefs this evening at Allianz Park. Both remain mathematically in the hunt for top spot in the division, though it will require bonus points and then dropped points from London Irish, though as this league constantly proves, anything can happen.
On Saturday the bulk of the fixtures take place, including a chance for London Irish to seal top spot with a game to spare as they travel to bottom of the table Bristol, who are without a win. A win of any sort will do for Irish, who have been looking in superb form all year.
That leaves one more fixture in the South, Harlequins v Wasps. It is Wasps’ final game of the campaign, and they are currently level on points with London Irish. A win here could just see them take the title if London Irish fail to do the necessary job in their remaining two games.
In the Northern Division Gloucester are ten points clear of their nearest challengers, Worcester. Gloucester have a weekend off, but Worcester play their final game of the season on Saturday against Newcastle Falcons, even a bonus point though will not be enough to secure more than second.
Northampton Saints and Sale were also due to meet but their game has been postponed, meaning that the only remaining game is Yorkshire Carnegie v Leicester Tigers, a game that Leicester will be highly confident in given Yorkshire’s status at the foot of the table without a win.
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U18 Academy Premiership Fixtures:
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs – Allianz Park, 19.30
Yorkshire Carnegie v Leicester Tigers – West Park, 12.00
Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks – Postponed
Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons – Sixways, 13.00
Bristol v London Irish – Filton College, 13.30
Harlequins v Wasps – Surrey Sports Park, 13.30
Saracens – TBA
Exeter Chiefs – TBA
1. Jack Wafer 2. Harry Newborn 3. Charlie Capps 4. Elliott Ward 5. Shaun Crouch 6. Hugo Tasker 7. Lewis Wilson (c) 8. James Sanderson 9. Ollie Fox 10. Harry Davey 11. Harry Boyd 12. Max Wright 13. Suva Ma’asi 14. George Bastow 15. James Pinder.
Repalcements: 16. Luke Chadwick 17. Will Dennis 18. Tom Williams 19. Ben Longton 20. Sam Wolstenholme 21. Louis Brown.
Leicester Tigers – TBA
15 Max Craven (Worcester Sixth Form College) 14 Alex Hearle (Shrewsbury College) 13 Dion King (King’s Worcester) 12 Alex Nisbet (Bromsgrove) 11 Blake Edwards (Bromsgrove) 10 Ollie Allsopp (Malvern College) 9 Jacob Ham (King’s Worcester) 1 James Page (Academy) 2 Bec Cutting (Bromsgrove) 3 Nick Rigby (Warwick) 4 Lawrence Weston (Bromsgrove) 5 James Scott (Malvern College) 6 Ted Hill (Worcester Sixth Form College) 7 Tom Ford (C) (Bromsgrove) 8 Tom Dodd (Warwick).
Replacements: 16 George Newman (Worcester Sixth Form College) 17 Ben Davies-Moore (Worcester Sixth Form College) 18 Kai Owen (Worcester Sixth Form College) 19 Charlie Morgan (Solihull) 20 Ben Fowles (Solihull) 21 George Wooten (Bromsgrove) 22 Stan Maine (Worcester Sixth Form College) 23 Jack Helme (Hereford Cathedral School).
Newcastle Falcons – TBA
1 Rowland 2 Rye 3 Parsons 4 Dun(c) 5 House 6 Ryan 7 Capon 8 Thurston 9 Leaker 10 Morley 11 Green 12 Jack Wight 13 Murphy 14 Richards 15 D Powell (trialist).
Replacements: 16 Barrow 17 Ross 18 English 19 Smart 20 Taylor 21 Barton 22 Walder 23 Josh Wright.
15. Will Attfield; 14. Connor Hayhow; 13. Matt Williams; 12. Lewis Sampson; 11. Ollie Hassell Collins; 10. Tom Parton; 9. Rory Brand; 1. Freddie Boyce; 2. Matt Kouris (Captain); 3. Austin Hay; 4. Harry Butler; 5. Sam Collingridge; 6. Jack Cooke; 7. Jack Ingall; 8. Issac Curtis Harris.
Replacements: 16. Jarod Leat; 17. Callum Torpey; 18. Dan Winning; 19. Angus Southon; 20. Harry Norton; 21. Dan Grant-Adamson; 22. Sam Evans; 23. Romain Malin Hiscock; 24. Alex Gloster.
Forwards: Paul Marshall, George Head, Callum Tilleray, Alex Bidwell, Sam Gratton, Kareem Swandell, John Okafor, Henry Paremain, Lars Heidrich, Luke James, Mike Gatehouse, James Gulliver and Dino Lamb-Cona.
Backs: Silas-Paul Johnson, Matt Harrison, Zack Santos, Gabriel Ibitoye, Rory McMichael, Cadan Murley, Daniel Loftus, Max Coyle, Niall Saunders and Marcus Smith.
Wasps – TBA