The Anglo-Welsh Cup is back for the second week in a row, and once again young players are set to dominate the weekend’s play.
Last week saw some tremendous performances from young players across the country, and the teamsheets this weekend include a host of young names once again, including the Welsh side, who play for the first time in this year’s competition this weekend.
There are three fixtures on Friday, beginning at 19.05 with Scarlets v Bath. Scarlets play their first game in the competition this year, while for Bath it is a second fixture after they narrowly lost to Leicester Tigers last weekend.
Scarlets include some of the Welsh stars from last year’s U20 campaign, including Tom Phillips and Billy McBryde on the bench. Bath have gone with a more experienced lineup than last week but still include the former Dulwich College NatWest Cup winner Beno Obano at loosehead, with the outstanding Zach Mercer also retained, though he moves from number 8 to blindside. The bench includes Adam Hastings covering fly half and Rory Jennings covering the outside backs, with Will Homer set to come on at scrum half and last year’s Millfield captain, Josh Bayliss, covering the back row.
Following that game is another Anglo-Welsh clash, Ospreys v Harlequins. Ospreys includes the 2012 Schools Cup winner with Dulwich College, Tommy O’Flaherty. O’Flaherty played scrum half in that side but starts on the left wing this evening. The outstanding young second row Rory Thorton starts, with young English openside Sam Underhill on the bench.
Harlequins retain former World Rugby U20 Champion Aaron Morris at full back, with the former Whitgift star Henry Cheeseman coming in on the left wing. His former school teammate Stan South keeps his place in the second row, with rising star James Chisholm again at 6. On the bench former Cranleigh star Charlie Piper again covers the second row, with the former Epsom College skipper Archie White involved covering the back five of the pack this week. Trinity School leaver Gabriel Ibitoye covers the outside backs.
The final game on Friday evening takes place at Ashton Gate, with Bristol, desperately in search of a win, hosting Sale Sharks. Bristol have once again gone for an experienced side as they do everything in their power to get that elusive victory, the likes of Tom Varndell and Jordan Crane both start.
Sale in contrast are again trusting youth, U20 World Championship winner George Nott starts in the second row, while the Curry twins, Ben and Tom, both start in the back row after the Oundle leavers played so admirably last week. Curtis Langdon, Jake Pope, and Ciaran Parker are youthful cover for the front row from the bench.
Saturday’s action kicks off at lunchtime with Saracens v Newcastle Falcons. A youthful Saracens side missed out at the death to Gloucester last weekend, but they stick with youth again this week. Former Millfield star Tom Whiteley again starts at fly half, with former Cranleigh and England U20 livewire Henry Taylor moving form the bench to start at scrum half. Nathan Earle comes in on the wing, while Haileybury leaver Nick Isiekwe again starts in the second row. The Bench is again full of youth, with school leavers Jack Nay and Ben Earl set to come on, along with the likes of George Perkins, Matt Gallagher, Billy Walker, Hayden Thompson-Stringer, and Jared Saunders.
Newcastle also opt for a young side, Ireland U20 international Brett Connon is at full back, with Craig Willis again at inside centre. On the bench Berkhamsted leaver Tom Ffitch is set to make his debut for the Falcons.
Gloucester’s remarkable win last week is followed by a trip to Northampton Saints this week. Saints have again named a young side, with former St Joseph’s College skipper Lewis Ludlam one to keep an eye on at openside. Former Stowe star Jordan Onojaife is in the second row, with young England prop Paul Hill also starting. Oundle old boy Sam Olver is again at fly half, with Scotland U20 star Rory Hutchinson at inside centre again.
Gloucester meanwhile move rising star Mat Protheroe to the wing as Lloyd Evans moves to full back to allow Billy Burns to start at outside half. Cheltenham College old boy Ollie Thorley is again on the left wing, with Elliott Creed at inside centre. Bromsgrove leaver, and double NatWest Cup winner, Henry Walker, starts at hooker, with Joe Mullis on the bench. England U20 prop Ciaran Knight is also on the bench.
Another Anglo-Welsh fixture rounds off Saturday’s action, Leicester Tigers v Newport Gwent Dragons. Tigers have opted for a fairly experienced team with the likes of Freddie Burns, Owen Williams, Tom Croft, and Graham Kitchener all starting. There is youth too though, with World U20 Championship winner Will Evans starting at openside, and Harry Wells in the second row. Ellis Genege and Oli Bryant are among the youthful replacement options.
The Dragons have picked some exciting young players too, not least number 8 Harrison Keddie, who starred for Wales U20 last year. Solihull leaver Will Talbot-Davies is on the bench after starring for Wales U18 last year.
Sunday is the quietest of the weekend with just two Anglo-Welsh fixtures. Exeter Chiefs kick off looking for a win at home to Cardiff Blues. Exeter name a reasonably experienced side as they go in search of some form, but there is still a fair smattering of youth, not least at fly half, where Joe Simmonds starts. On the bench there is room for an U18 player in the form of the outstanding prop Marcus Street, while Stuart Townsend and Harvey Skinner also make the cut.
Cardiff have gone for a young side, with a host of recent U20 internationals in the side, including the elusive Jarrod Evans at fly half.
The final game of the weekend sees Wasps host Worcester Warriors. Wasps select former England U20 star Piers O’Connor at full back, with Shiplake College old boy Tom Howe on the wing, and last year’s U18 star at Henley College, Connor Eastgate, at fly half. Tom West starts at loosehead, while on the bench rising stars Jacob Umaga and Owain James both wait in the wings, along with Will Stuart and Jack Willis.
Worcester have added a bit of experience to their side but still stick with former Old Swinford Hospital skipper Max Stelling in the centres. England U20 hooker Jack Singleton is at hooker, with his U20 teammate Andrew Kitchener in the second row. Huw Taylor is on the bench, Biyi Alo, Justin Clegg, Sam Ripper-Smith, and George De Cothi adding extra youth there alongside him.
Anglo-Welsh Cup Fixtures:
Scarlets v Bath – 19.05
Ospreys v Harlequins – 19.35
Bristol v Sale Sharks – 19.45
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons – 13.00
Northampton Saints v Gloucester – 15.00
Leicester Tigers v Newport Gwent Dragons – 15.00
Exeter Chiefs v Cardiff Blues – 15.00
Wasps v Worcester Warriors – 15.00
15 Tom Williams, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Ioan Nicholas, 12 Gareth Owen, 11 Ryan Conbeer, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Aled Davies, 1 Dylan Evans, 2 Emyr Phillips (c), 3 Peter Edwards, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 6 Jack Condy, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Morgan Allen.
Replacements: 16 Taylor Davies, 17 Luke Garrett, 18 Nicky Thomas, 19 Josh Helps, 20 Tom Phillips, 21 Declan Smith, 22 Jack Maynard, 23 Billy McBryde.
15 Tom Homer, 14 Jeff Williams, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Jack Wilson, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Darren Allinson, 1 Beno Obano, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 Max Lahiff, 4 Matt Garvey, 5 Elliott Stooke, 6 Zach Mercer, 7 Guy Mercer (c), 8 Paul Grant.
Replacements: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Alex Humfrey, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 Will Homer, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Rory Jennings.
15 Dafydd Howells, 14 Tom Grabham, 13 Joe Thomas, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Luke Price, 9 Matthew Aubrey, 1 Gareth Thomas, 2 Scott Otten, 3 Rhodri Jones, 4 James Ratti, 5 Rory Thornton, 6 Rob McCusker (c), 7 Joe Tomalin-Reeves, 8 Dan Baker.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Rowan Jenkins, 18 Dan Suter, 19 Rhys Jones, 20 Sam Underhill, 21 Phil Jones, 22 Kieran Williams, 23 Jay Baker.
15 Aaron Morris, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Winston Stanley, 12 James Lang, 11 Henry Cheeseman, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Luc Jones, 1 Owen Evans, 2 Joe Gray, 3 Adam Jones, 4 Stan South, 5 Charlie Matthews, 6 James Chisholm, 7 Dave Ward (c), 8 George Naoupu.
Replacements: 16 Charlie Piper, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Matt Shields, 19 Archie White, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Gabriel Ibitoye.
- Jack Wallace, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Jason Woodward, 12 Will Hurrell, 11 Jack Tovey, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Rhodri Williams, 1 Kyle Traynor, 2 Rob Hawkins 3 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 4 Ian Evans, 5 Mark Sorenson, 6 Mitch Eadie, 7 Nick Fenton-Wells, 8 Jordan Crane (c).
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Soane Tonga’uiha, 18 James Hall, 19 James Phillips, 20 Nick Koster, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Luke Arscott.
15 Tom Arscott, 14 Charlie Ingall, 13 Sam Bedlow, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Dan Mugford, 9 James Mitchell, 1 James Flynn, 2 Rob Webber, 3 Halani Aulika, 4 George Nott, 5 Lou Reed, 6 Ben Curry, 7 Tom Curry, 8 Laurence Pearce.
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Jake Pope, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 TJ Ioane, 20 David Seymour, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Sam Tuitupou, 23 Josh Charnley.
15 Andrew Fenby, 14 Mike Ellery, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Tom Griffiths, 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Tom Whiteley, 9 Henry Taylor, 1 Richard Barrington, 2 Scott Spurling, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 4 Nick Iwiekwe, 5 Mark Flanagan, 6 Joel Conlon, 7 Kelly Brown (c), 8 Samu Vunisa.
Replacements: 16 Jared Saunders, 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 18 Billy Walker, 19 Jack Nay, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Neil De Kock, 22 Matt Gallagher, 23 George Perkins.
15 Brett Connon, 14 Dan Marshall, 13 Fred Burdon (c), 12 Craig Willis, 11 Adam Radwan, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Sam Egerton, 1 Alex Rogers, 2 David Nelson, 3 Scott Wilson, 4 Mouritz Botha, 5 Glen Young, 6 Joshua Chisanga, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 8 Opeti Fonua.
Replacements: 16 Santiago Socino, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Harrison Orr, 20 Daniel Temm, 21 Ruaridh Dawson, 22 Ben Stevenson, 23 Tom Ffitch.
15 James Wilson, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Sam Olver, 9 Tom Kessell, 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Charlie Clare, 3 Paul Hill, 4 Jordan Onojaife, 5 James Craig, 6 Jamie Gibson, 7 Lewis Ludlam, 8 Sam Dickinson (c).
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Matt Beesley, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Michael Paterson, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Ben Nutley, 22 Lee Dickson, 23 Ben Foden.
15 Lloyd Evans, 14 Mat Protheroe, 13 Henry Purdy, 12 Elliott Creed, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Callum Braley, 1 Yann Thomas, 2 Henry Walker, 3 Salesi Ma’afu, 4 Joe Batley, 5 Joe Latta, 6 Lewis Ludlow (c), 7 Dan Thomas, 8 Gareth Evans.
Replacements: 16 Joe Mullis, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Charlie Beckett, 20 Freddie Clarke, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Tom Hudson, 23 Will Safe.
15 George Worth, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Jack Roberts, 12 Owen Williams, 11 Peter Betham, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Sam Harrison (c), 1 Marcos Ayerza, 2 Harry Thacker, 3 Greg Bateman, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Tom Croft, 7 Will Evans, 8 Luke Hamilton.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Brendon O’Connor, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Oli Bryant, 23 Mathew Tait.
15 Carl Meyer, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Jack Dixon (c), 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Geraint Rhys Jones, 9 Tavis Knoyle; 1 Phil Price, 2 Darran Harris, 3 Craig Mitchell, 4 Joe Davies, 5 Matthew Screech, 6 James Thomas, 7 Nic Cudd, 8 Harri Keddie.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Robson Blake, 20 Josh Skinner, 21 Owen Davies, 22 Arwel Robson, 23 Will Talbot-Davies.
15 Phil Dollman, 14 Max Bodilly, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Tom Hendrickson, 11 Ian Whitten, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Will Chudley, 1 Billy Keast, 2 Shaun Malton, 3 Jack Owlett, 4 Ollie Atkins, 5 Damian Welch, 6 Ben White, 7 Sam Simmonds, 8 Tom Johnson (c).
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 Will Norton, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Josh Caulfield, 20 Tom Lawday, 21 Stuart Townsend, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Harry Strong.
15 Rhun Williams, 14 Aled Summerhill, 13 Harri Millard, 12 Garyn Smith (c), 11 James Beal, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Dane Blacker, 1 Brad Thyer, 2 Kirby Myhill, 3 Dillon Lewis, 4 Jack Davies, 5 James Down, 6 Seb Davies, 7 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 8 James Sheekey.
Replacements: 16 Liam Belcher, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Anton Peikrishvili, 19 Hemi Barnes, 20 Morgan Sienawski, 21 Rhodri Davies, 22 Ben Jones, 23 Owen Lane.
15 Piers O’Conor, 14 Tom Howe, 13 Alapati Leiua, 12 Brendan Macken, 11 Guy Armitage, 10 Connor Eastgate, 9 Joe Simpson, 1 Tom West, 2 Tom Cruse, 3 Phil Swainston, 4 Marcus Garratt, 5 Will Rowlands, 6 James Gaskell (c), 7 Thomas Young, 8 Alex Rieder.
Replacements: 16 Ashley Johnson, 17 Ben Harris, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Jack Willis, 20 Sam Harry, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Owain James, 23 Jacob Umaga.
15 Josh Adams, 14 Afeafe Haisila Lokotui, 13 Andy Short, 12 Max Stelling, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Tom Heathcote (c), 9 Michael Dowsett, 1 Derrick Appiah, 2 Jack Singleton, 3 Mike Daniels, 4 Andrew Kitchener, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 6 Sam Betty, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Matt Cox.
Replacements: 16 Matti Williams, 17 Ryan Bower, 18 Biyi Alo, 19 Justin Clegg, 20 Sam Ripper-Smith, 21 Huw Taylor, 22 George de Cothi, 23 Alex Hearle.