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Aviva A League: All change at the top in both conferences

The Aviva A League returned last night after a long absence, as ever though, the high scoring and exciting rugby was in full evidence.

 

There was also an even more youthful look to the A League team sheets than usual. The A League is always packed full of young rising stars, and the England U20 squad is no stranger to seeing its players in action, but this week there were also plenty of the England U18 squad in action, as well as some even younger players in action.

 

Cameron Brown, and U17 from Millfield, was on the bench for Bath, along with Levi Davies, a Denstone College England U18 international. St Benedict’s Ehize Ehizode started in the second row for Wasps, with Alex Craig starting in the same position for Gloucester, who included England U18 scrum half Harry Randall on the bench.

 

England U18 wing Joe Cockanasiga started for London Irish, with Seaford’s Lewis Sampson and Wellington College’s Isaac Curtis-Harris on the bench. Leicester Tigers also started an England U18 wing, Sam Yawayawa, along with another U18 international, Leicester Grammar School scrum half Ben White.

 

The youthful outlook for teams did not mean that results were not important though, far from it. For many this was the final round of games, while for the rest there is just one game remaining.

 

Saracens Storm went top of the Southern Conference after beating Harlequins, who had been top, in a thrilling 28-21 encounter at Allianz Park.

 

Exeter Braves meanwhile beat London Irish 36-0, putting them above Harlequins too, on points difference. It means that Saracens and Exeter are in first and second, with Saracens two points clear. Both have one game left to play, Saracens travel to Bristol, while Exeter host Wasps.

 

Quins are in third, two points behind Saracens and having completed their full fixture list.

 

Wasps are down in fourth, and out of the hunt for a semi final spot (the top two qualify for the semi finals), after they lost 20-17 to a very young Bath side at the Rec, Bath are in fifth.

 

Bristol did not play last night, but remain in sixth with four points after another loss for London Irish saw them rooted to the foot of the table, still without a point to their name.

 

In the Northern Conference, a 24-15 win for Newcastle Falcons A at Kingsholm over Gloucester United saw them leapfrog their hosts into top spot. Both have completed all of their games, but only Northampton Wanderers can realistically overtake them.

 

The Wanderers play Worcester Cavaliers next Monday in the final game of the Northern Conference. Any sort of win would see Northampton top the conference, while Worcester Cavaliers, who beat Leicester Tigers 23-21 last night, could theoretically finish second, but they would need a bonus point win and a hatful of points.

 

Leicester and Sale are confirmed in 5th and 6th after completing their final gmes last night.

 

Aviva A League Results:

 

Bath United 20-17 Wasps A

Gloucester United 15-24 Newcastle Falcons A

London Irish A 0-36 Exeter Braves

Sale Jets 10-34 Northampton Wanderers

Saracens Storm 28-21 Harlequins A

Worcester Cavaliers 23-21 Leicester Tigers A

 

Team News

 

Bath United:

15 Darren Atkins 14 Liam Forsyth 13 Max Clark 12 Brett Herron 11 Jeff Williams 10 Laurence May 9 Will Homer 1 Nick Auterac 2 Dan Frost 3 Kane Palma-Newport ( c ) 4 Alex Humfrey 5 Dave Attwood 6 Levi Douglas 7 Max Northcote-Green 8 Aaron Carpenter.

Replacements: 16 Billy Harding 17 Beno Obano 18 Jack Edmondson 19 Will Britton 20 Pat Jenkinson 21 Cameron Brown 22 Chay Smith 23 Levi Davis.

Wasps:

15 Owain James 14 Sailosi Tagicakibau 13 Ben Jacobs 12 James Downey 11 Tom Stileman 10 Alex Lozowski 9 Jamie Stevenson 1 Tom West 2 George Edgson 3 Will Stuart 4 Ehize Ehizode 5 Will Rowlands 6 Alex Rieder 7 Jack Willis 8 Guy Thompson.

Replacements: 16 Jamie Cox 17 Alex Lundberg 18 Jake Charters 19 Ryan Gue 20 Will Wilson 21 Will Porter 22 Connor Eastgate 23 George Cullen.

 

Gloucester United:

15 Lloyd Evans 14 Ollie Thorley 13 Elliott Creed 12 Luke Eves 11 Harry Robinson 10 Mat Protheroe 9 Callum Braley (c) 1 Nick Wood 2 Luke Cole 3 Nicky Thomas 4 Alex Craig 5 Tom Hicks 6 Lewis Ludlow 7 Dan Thomas 8 Harry Wilson.

Replacements: 16 Joe Mullis 17 James Gibbons 18 Josh McNulty 19 Seb Mummery 20 Mike Luxton 21 Harry Randall 22 Mason Tonks 23 Tom Seabrook.

Newcastle Falcons:

15 Brett Connon 14 Tom Penny 13 Gonzalo Tiesi 12 Andy Tuilagi 11 Alesana Tuilagi 10 Tom Catterick 9 Ruki Tipuna 1 Ben Harris 2 David Nelson 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama 4 Will Witty 5 Harry Snowdon 6 Richard Mayhew (captain) 7 Dan Temm 8 Callum Chick.

Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino 17 Eric Fry 18 Andrew Foster 19 Seb Ferreira 20 Joshua Chisanga 21 Ruaridh Dawson 22 Dan Marshall 23 Darcy Graham.

 

London Irish:

15 Christian Lewis-Pratt 14 Tom Farrell 13 Tom Fowlie 12 Tom Halse 11 Joe Cockanasiga 10 Shane Gerraghty 9 Darren Allinson 1 Johnny Harris 2 Gerard Ellis 3 Geoff Cross 4 Ollie Curry 5 David Sisi 6 Tom Preece 7 Joe Trayfoot 8 Tom Guest.

Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens 17 Harry Elrington 18 Joe Tarrant 19 Luke Frost 20 Isaac Curtis Harris 21 Connor Murphy 22 Ross Neal 23 Lewis Sampson.

Exeter Braves:

15 Chrysander Botha 14 Byron McGuigan 13 Max Bodilly 12 Tom Hendrickson 11 Matt Jess 10 Will Hooley 9 Haydn Thomas 1 Brett Sturgess 2 Shaun Malton 3 Carl Rimmer 4 Lewis Stevenson 5 Sam Skinner 6 Sam Simmonds 7 Ben White 8 Tom Johnson.

Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione 17 Jake Woolmore 18 Alex Brown 19 Ed Holmes 20 Tom Lawday 21 Stuart Townsend 22 Joe Simmonds 23 Harrison Cully.

 

Sale Jets:

15 Jeffers 14 O’Donnell 13 Edwards 12 Bedlow 11 Ingall 10 Morton 9 Dever 1 Flynn 2 Matthews 3 Parker 4 Nott 5 Postlethwaite 6 Rogerson 7 Hughes (capt) 8 Fihaki.

Replacements: 16 Stagg 17 Pope 18 Ferreira 19 Sanders 20 Parfitt 21 Connolly 22 Bailey 23 Squirrel.

Northampton Wanderers:

15 Wilson 14 Collins 13 Hutchinson 12 Olver 11 Elliott 10 Hanrahan 9 Kessell 1 E Waller 2 Marshall 3 Denman 4 Moon 5 Onojaife 6 Williams 7 Nutley 8 Bennett.

Replacements: 16 Fish 17 Beesley 18 Parkins 19 Peters 20 Tiki Harrison 21 Duchesne 22 Furbank 23 Packman.

 

Saracens Storm:

15 Matt Gallagher 14 Ben Ransom 13 Nick Tompkins 12 Nils Mordt (c) 11 Nathan Earle 10 Baden Kerr 9 Ben Spencer 1 Hayden Thompson-Stringer 2 Dave Porecki 3 Biyi Alo 4 Hayden Smith 5 Kieran Low 6 Jack Nay 7 Anthony Maka 8 Samu Vunisa.

Replacements: 16 Josh Taylor 17 Jack Culverhouse 18 James Currie 19 Kennett O’Neill 20 Seb Nagle-Taylor 21 Tom Whiteley 22 Aaron Morris 23 George Perkins.

Harlequins:

15 Ollie Lindsay-Hague 14 Henry Cheeseman 13 Matt Hopper 12 Harry Sloan 11 Ross Chisholm 10 Tito Tebaldi 9 Karl Dickson (c) 1 Owen Evans 2 Charlie Piper 3 Adam Jones 4 Sam Twomey 5 Charlie Matthews 6 Archie White 7 Beau Robinson 8 James Chisholm.

Replacements: 16 Seb Adeniran-Olule 17 Mofe Wilkey 18 Matt Shields 19 Kieran Treadwell 20 Mat Luamanu 21 Sam Egerton 22 Calum Waters 23 Sam Aspland-Robinson.

 

Worcester Cavaliers:

15 Ben Howard 14 Dean Hammond 13 Andy Short 12 Alex Grove 11 Perry Humphreys 10 Tiff Eden 9 Luke Baldwin 1 Ryan Bower 2 Jack Singleton 3 Gareth Milasinovich 4 Dan Sanderson 5 Darren O’Shea 6 Mat Gilbert 7 Sam Ripper-Smith 8 Huw Taylor (c).

Replacements: 16 Ben Sowrey 17 Derrick Appiah 18 Joe Rees 19 Charlie Hewitt 20 Andrew Kitchener 21 JB Bruzulier 22 Jamie Shillcock 23 Josh Adams.

Leicester Tigers:

15 Tom Hardwick 14 Sam Yawayawa 13 Matt Smith 12 Seremaia Bai 11 Gonzalo Camacho 10 Oli Bryant 9 Ben White 1 Ellis Genge 2 Michael van Vuuren 3 Tiziano Pasquali 4 Joe Maksymiw 5 Sebastian de Chaves (c) 6 Ed Milne 7 Will Evans 8 Christian Loamanu.

Replacements: 16 Jake Farnworth 17 Riccardo Brugnara 18 Aniseko Sio 19 Charlie Beckett 20 Harry Wells 21 Harry Simmons 22 Jack Roberts 23 Charlie Thacker.

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