Aviva A League: Youngsters take the lead again ahead of Round 2


The Aviva A League continues this evening with plenty of the future stars of the English game in action.


Last week certainly saw plenty of young players making their mark, and this week looks likely to be no different, particularly as one game has already taken place, Saracens Storm v Exeter Braves, where the likes of Tom Whiteley, Jack Maunder, and Rotimi Segun starred.




Action in the North begins with Leicester Tigers A v Newcastle Falcons A, the two sides 1st XVs met at the weekend, with only a missed late drop goal denying Newcastle victory.


For tonight’s match Leicester continue to edge the likes of Logovi’I Mulipola back to fitness, and are led by Harry Thacker, who starts at openside. His younger brother Charlie is at inside centre, with youngster Harry Simmons at full back, while the youngest of the Tuilagi clan, Fred, is at 8. Young wingers Sam Yawayawa and Jordan Olowofela are both on the bench, along with fellow England U18 international, Ben White.


Newcastle look reasonably experienced, ex Yarm wing Zach Kibirige gets more game time, as does Craig Willis at 10. Scotland U20 second row Andrew Davidson starts, while Sedbergh leaver Max Davies departs from his usual second row to start at openside. The bench meanwhile has room for the likes of Archie Erskine, Sam Edgerley, and Brett Connon.


Wasps, who have moved from the South Division to the North Division following their move to Coventry, face Sale Jets. Wasps like many have mixed experience with youth. In terms of youth, ex Harrow star Owain James is at full back, and completes a young back three with former Shiplake College student Tom Howe on the right, and Conor Dolan, ex Wellington College, on the left.


Henley College leaver Connor Eastgate starts at 10, with former Scotland U20 international Sam James at hooker, alongside England U20 prop Will Stuart. His England U20 teammate Jack Willis starts at openside.


On the bench school leavers Jarod Leat, Ehize Ehizode and Jacob Umaga are all selected, alongside other youngsters such as George Edgson and Tom Willis.


The Sale Jets side sees former England U20 players James Mitchell and Curtis Langdon at scrum half and hooker respectively, with on of England’s stars of the 2016 U20 tournament, George Nott, in the second row. Oundle leaver Ben Curry gets a start this week, with twin brother Tom on the bench alongside the likes of Jake Pope and Matt Postlethwaite.


The final game in the North sees Worcester Cavaliers take on Northampton Wanderers. The Cavaliers are led by England U20 international Huw Taylor, who is part of a young back row including Zac Xiourouppa and Tom Dodd.


Taylor is joined by his U20 teammates Andrew Kitchener in the second row, and Jack Singleton at hooker, with ex England U20 prop Biyi Alo at loosehead.


In the backline youth is also prevelant, particularly in the back three with current Shrewsbury 6th form College pupil Alex Hearle on the left wing, Oxford University’s Basil Strange at full back, and Loughborough University’s Jon Hughes on the right.


Hughes is joined in the squad by two fellow Loughborough students, Jack Stapley and Pip Dickinson, with Durham Univeristy’s Robbie Keith also on the bench alongside another schoolboy, RGS Worcester’s Josh Nott.


Northampton Wanderers meanwhile pick a familiarly youthful side. Calum Clark is the most experienced as he continues his return from injury. The former St Joseph’s College skipper, Lewis Ludlam, joins him in the back row, with Sedbergh old boy Alex Moon joining Stowe old boy Jordan Onojaife in the second row.


In the backline Oundle old boy Sam Olver is at fly half with Scotland U20 international Rory Hutchinson at inside centre. Yougnsters Howard Packman and Tom Collins are on the wing, with another St Joseph’s old boy, George Furbank, at full back.


Saints pick an extensive bench, with several England U18 internationals from last season, including Alex Rayment, Devante Onojaife, and James Grayson, as well as another recent St Joseph’s leaver, Tom Emery.




As mentioned, one game in the South has already taken place, with Saracens Brave beating Exeter Braves 27-17 on Sunday.


Saracens’ Tom Whiteley, formerly of Millfield School, starred in the unfamiliar position of fly half. He scored along with scrum half on the night Henry Taylor, ex Cranleigh, Rotimi Segun, ex Stowe, and the old timer Neil De Kock, who came on as a replacement. Exeter Braves were led by the former Blundell’s scrum half Jack Maunder, who scored a try but then went off injured.


That leaves just two further games to be played in the South on Monday evening, Bath United v Bristol United, and Harlequins A v Gloucester United.


Bath United are skippered by Bryanston old boy Rory Jennings, who starts at inside centre. He leads a young side, including ex Millfield star Darren Atkins at full back, with his old schoolmate Adam Hastings at fly half, and Sherborne old boy Will Homer at scrum half.


Two time Schools Cup winner with Dulwich College, Beno Obano, starts at loosehead, with former England U20 star Elliott Stooke in the second row, and last year’s Millfield skipper Josh Bayliss at openside. His schoolmate Gabriel Oghre is on the bench, along with current Millfield scrum half Cameron Brown, along with other young stars such as Will Vaughan, and Levi Davis.


Bristol meanwhile pick another reasonably experienced lineup after the tactic helped them to victory last week. There is room for a couple of students in the starting line up though, with Cardiff Met’s Robbie Smith at outside centre and Hartpury College’s Maliq Holden on the left wing. Holden’s fellow Hartpury players Nathan Taylor, Craig Bachurzewski, and Robbie Forbes are all on the bench, alongside Bromsgrove leaver and two time NatWets Cup winner, Blake Edwards.


Harlequins again pick a side with a good mix of youth and experience, new signing Aaron Morris is at full back, while ex Whitgift star Stan South starts at blindside despite ordinarily behind a second row.


On the bench Cranleigh old boy Charlie Piper waits at hooker, with South’s ex Whitgift mate Henry Cheeseman alongside him, as well as England U20 and ex Wellington College wing Sam Aspland-Robinson, and the Scotland U20 winger Robbie Nairn.


Gloucester select England U20 star Mat Protheroe at full back again, with Elliott Creed and Lloyd Evans again at inside centre and fly half. Ex England U20 skipper Callum Braley captains the side at 9, with former Scotland U20 star Ben Vellacott on the wing.


In the pack there is room for the likes of Dan Thomas and ex Millfield star Freddie Clarke, while on the bench the likes of Ciran Knigth, Alex Craig, and Tom Seabrook all have a chance, along with the man who played for both England U18 and England U20 last year, Harry Randall.


Aviva A League Round 2 Fixtures:



Leicester Tigers A v Newcastle Falcons A

Wasps A v Sale Jets

Worcester Cavaliers v Northampton Wanderers


Bath United v Bristol United

Harlequins A v Gloucester United

Saracens Storm 27-17 Exeter Braves (Took place on Sunday)


Team News:


Leicester Tigers A v Newcastle Falcons A

Tigers A

15 Harry Simmons, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Charlie Thacker, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 George Worth, 9 Jono Kitto, 1 Logovi’i Mulipola, 2 Greg Bateman, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Sam Lewis, 6 Will Owen, 7 Harry Thacker (c), 8 Fred Tuilagi.

Replacements:16 Harry Mahoney, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Ben Betts, 19 Sam Grahamslaw, 20 Ben White, 21 Sam Yawayawa, 22 Jordan Olowofela, 23 Andy Brown.

Falcons A

15 Tom Catterick, 14 Dan Marshall, 13 Ben Stevenson, 12 Fred Burdon, 11 Zach Kibirige, 10 Craig Willis, 9 Sam Egerton; 1 Adam Brocklebank, 2 Kyle Cooper, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Andrew Davidson, 5 Nick Civetta, 6 David Nelson, 7 Max Davies, 8 Joshua Chisanga

Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Piers Goodwill, 18 Joe Sproston, 19 Ed Falkingham, 20 Archie Erskine, 21 Sam Edgerley, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Adam Radwan


Wasps A v Sale Jets

Wasps A

15 Owain James, 14 Tom Howe, 13 Guy Armitage, 12 Nick De Luca, 11 Conor Dolan, 10 Connor Eastgate, 9 Craig Hampson, 1 Tom Bristow, 2 Sam James, 3 Will Stuart, 4 James Cannon, 5 Will Rowlands, 6 Sam Harry, 7 Jack Willis, 8 Marcus Garrett.

Replacements: 16 George Edgson, 17 Jarod Leat, 18 Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, 19 Ehize Ehizode, 20 Tom Willis, 21 Alex Smit, 22 Jacob Umaga, 23 Jay Heath.


15 Charlie Ingall, 14 George Peel, 13 Nick Scott, 12 Sam Bedlow, 11 Caetano Branco, 10 Tom Morton, 9 James Mitchell, 1 James Flynn, 2 Curtis Langdon, 3 Brian Mujati, 4 Lou Reed, 5 George Nott, 6 Ben Curry, 7 Andy Hughes, 8 Laurence Pearce.

Replacements: 16 Johnny Matthews, 17 Jake Pope, 18 Elliot Miller Mills, 19 Matt Postlethwaite, 20 Tom Curry, 21 Matt Rogerson, 22 Connor Dever, 23 Henry Hadfield.


Worcester Cavaliers v Northampton Wanderers


15 Basil Strange, 14 Jon Hughes, 13 Max Stelling, 12 Will Butler, 11 Alex Hearle, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Alex Glashan, 1 Ryan Bower, 2 Jack Singleton , 3 Biyi Alo, 4 Andrew Kitchener, 5 Christian Scotland-Williamson, 6 Huw Taylor (c), 7 Zac Xiourouppa, 8 Tom Dodd.

Replacements: 16 Pip Dickinson, 17 Derrick Appiah, 18 Joe White, 19 Charlie Hewitt, 20 Ben Fowles, 21 Josh Nott, 22 Robbie Keith, 23 Jack Stapley.


15 George Furbank, 14 Tom Collins, 13 Juan Pablo Estelles, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Howard Packman, 10 Sam Olver, 9 Tom Kessell, 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Charlie Clare, 3 Paul Hill, 4 Jordan Onojaife, 5 Alex Moon, 6 Calum Clark, 7 Lewis Ludlam, 8 Sion Bennett.

Replacements from: Reece Marshall, Gareth Denman, Matt Beesley, Adam Parkins, James Fish, Alex Rayment, Devante Onojaife, Tom Emery, James Grayson.


Bath United v Bristol United


15 Darren Atkins, 14 Harry Davies, 13 Aled Brew, 12 Rory Jennings (c), 11 Jeff Williams, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Will Homer, 1 Beno Obano, 2 Michael van Vuuren, 3 Max Lahiff, 4 Elliott Stooke, 5 Alex Humfrey, 6 Levi Douglas, 7 Josh Bayliss, 8 Mat Gilbert.

Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Will Vaughan, 18 Alex Wood, 19 Will Britton, 20 Alex Weighton, 21 Cameron Brown, 22 Levi Davis, 23 Liam Forsyth.


15 Luke Arscott, 14 Elias Caven, 13 Robbie Smith, 12 Nick Carpenter, 11 Maliq Holden, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Rhodri Williams, 1 Jack O’Connell, 2 Rob Hawkins, 3 James Hall, 4 Giorgi Nemsadze, 5 Sam Jeffries, 6 Nick Koster, 7 Nick Fenton-Wells (c), 8 Rayn Smid.

Replacements: 16 Nathan Taylor, 17 Ollie Dawe, 18 Craig Bachurzewksi, 19 John Hawkins, 20 BJ Edwards, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Robbie Forbes, 23 Blake Edwards.


Harlequins A v Gloucester United

Quins A

15 Aaron Morris, 14 Ross Chisholm, 13 Alofa Alofa, 12 Matt Hopper (c), 11 Tim Visser, 10 James Lang, 9 Karl Dickson, 1 Owen Evans, 2 Joe Gray , 3 Adam Jones, 4 George Merrick, 5 Charlie Matthews, 6 Stan South, 7 Nathan Thomas, 8 George Naoupu.

Replacements: 16 Charlie Piper, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Matt Shields, 19 Harry Hudson, 20 Charlie Mulchrone, 21 Henry Cheeseman, 22 Sam Aspland-Robinson, 23 Robbie Nairn.


15 Mat Protheroe, 14 David Halaifonua, 13 Tom Hudson, 12 Elliott Creed, 11 Ben Vellacott, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Callum Braley (c), 1 Cameron Orr, 2 Greg Jackson, 3 Nicky Thomas, 4 Joe Batley, 5 Tom Denton, 6 Freddie Clarke, 7 Dan Thomas, 8 Charlie Beckett.

Replacements: 16 Will Haly, 17 Ciaran Knight, 18 Josh McNulty, 19 Alex Craig, 20 Harry Wilson, 21 Harry Randall, 22 Tom Seabrook, 23 Will Safe.


Saracens Storm v Exeter Braves

Saracens Storm

15 Matt Gallagher, 14 George Perkins, 13 Tim Streather (c), 12 Tom Griffiths, 11 Rotimi Segun, 10 Tom Whiteley, 9 Henry Taylor, 1 Richard Barrington, 2 Scott Spurling, 3 Titi Lamositele, 4 Mark Flanagan, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 6 Kelly Brown, 7 Ben Earl, 8 Samu Vunisa.

Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Ralph Adams-Hale, 18 Billy Walker, 19 Byron Hodge, 20 Anthony Maka, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Adam Fielder, 23 Alex Gliksten.

Exeter Braves

15 Ted Landry, 14 Matt Jess, 13 Pete Laverick, 12 Tom Hendrickson, 11 Max Bodilly, 10 Will Hooley, 9 Jack Maunder (c), 1 Carl Rimmer, 2 Elvis Taione, 3 Moray Low, 4 Sean Lonsdale, 5 Sam Skinner, 6 Tom Johnson, 7 Ben White, 8 Kai Horstmann.

Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Marcus Street, 18 Elliott Roofe, 19 Dan Swain, 20 Tom Lawday, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Richard Bright, 23 Mike Hains.

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