U18 Academy League: Final round preview as teams jostle for Finals Day positions


The final round of the 2017 U18 Academy League takes place this weekend as teams jostle for places at Finals Day.


The top three teams from each conference, North and South, will travel to Worcester Warriors’ Sixways Stadium on Thursday for the U18 Academy League Finals day, with the two third placed sides meeting at 12.30pm in the 5th place play off, the two second place sides competing in the third place play off at 2.30pm, with the day culminating with the U18 Academy League final at 4.30pm, with top in the north playing top in the south.


Harlequins have already secured their place as the southern champions, but the race for the other five places in very much on, so expect a blockbuster weekend in the U18 Academy League.


Northern Conference


Worcester Warriors currently top the northern conference on 20 points, one clear of Sale Sharks and Wasps in second and third respectively.


Sale travel to Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday, knowing that from their five matches so far, Yorkshire have just one win and a draw, while Sale have won four of five.


Wasps meanwhile are at home to Northampton Saints, who have a chance of making finals day, and a tiny chance of sneaking into the final.


Sale are almost guaranteed of a place at finals day, their only worry being in Saints beat Wasps while Sale themselves fail to beat Yorkshire Carnegie. A win of any sort for Sale will guarantee them at least a third place play-off. Wasps must avoid defeat to Saints or they will miss out on finals day (unless Sale also lose and Wasps gain a losing bonus point), if they better Sale’s result they will leapfrog them.


For Worcester to hold on to top spot they need both Sale and Wasps to lose without a bonus points, and for Saints to fail to get the winning bonus at Wasps.


The final game in the North is a bit of a dead rubber as Newcastle Falcons host Leicester Tigers. For Newcastle this game will have some importance though, they are without a win so far this season so would dearly love to end a tough campaign on a high.


Southern Conference


Harlequins have already sealed top spot after Exeter Chiefs’ unbeaten run came to an end against Saracens last week. That means we are denied the top spot shoot out we were hoping for this weekend, but the two do still meet and there is still a lot riding on it for Exeter Chiefs.


Though the Chiefs lie in second, they are just a point ahead of Saracens and three ahead of Gloucester. With both of those sides capable of leapfrogging them should Exeter lose, the pressure is on Exeter to even make finals day. A good win will guarantee second though, while a win of any kind could be enough and will certainly be enough for third.


Saracens will be pushing hard to claim that second place spot though. They are currently in third and host Bath on Friday night at Allianz Park knowing that any Exeter slip up could see them into second place, something that probably felt a way off after a shaky start to the campaign.


Gloucester are the outsiders of the group but could yet finish in second or third. They will certainly fancy their chances as they travel to face Bristol, a side without a win this season. They need either Exeter or Saracens to slip up in order to make finals day, but they will certainly give do everything that they can in order to be able to strike should that happen.


If you have any photos, videos, or reports from the weekend’s U18 Academy League, please do send them in via email (writers@fifteenrugby.com ), Facebook (www.facebook.com/FifteenRugby ), or via Twitter (@FifteenRugbyXV).


U18 Academy League Round 7 Fixtures:


Northern Conference

Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers

Wasps v Northampton Saints

Yorkshire Carnegie v Sale Sharks


Southern Conference

Bristol v Gloucester

Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins

Saracens v Bath (Friday)


U18 Academy League Finals Day fixtures (all at Sixways Stadium)

12.30pm – 5th place play-off

2.30pm – 3rd place play-off

4.30pm – Final


U18 Academy League Standings – Northern Conference
1Worcester Warriors6402420
2Sale Sharks5401319
4Northampton Saints5302315
5Leicester Tigers511339
6Yorkshire Carnegie511317
7Newcastle Falcons500522


U18 Academy League Standings – Southern Conference
2Exeter Chiefs5401218
5London Irish6204513


Team News:



15 Selman, 14 Atta, 13 Bellis, 12 Spink, 11 Clark, 10 Pietersen, 9 Porter (c), 1 Salkeld, 2 Barbeary, 3 Strainge, 4 Sayer, 5 Tunney, 6 Curran, 7 Seabrook, 8 Willis.

Replacements: 16 Probyn, 17 Leat, 18 Harris, 19 Kiff, 20 Mawdsley, 21 Bishop, 22 Taylor, 23 Wells.


Northampton Saints

15 Joe Green, 14 Tosin Segun, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Fraser Strachan, 11 Ollie Slieghtholme, 10 Connor Tupai, 9 Harry Warn, 1 Rhys Charalambous, 2 Luke Risman, 3 Ehren Painter, 4 Jack West, 5 Alex Coles, 6 Freddie Davies, 7 Joe Britton, 8 Devante Onojaife.

Replacements: 16 Fraser Thompson, 17 Josaia Wacokecoke, 18 Jasper Dix, 19 Connor Finch, 20 Joe Wallace, 21 Fin Creighton, 22 Sam Cappaert, 23 Zac Bean.


Yorkshire Carnegie

15 Louis Brown, 14 George Bastow, 13 Jonny Ashman, 12 Will Fordy, 11 Rian Hamilton, 10 Sam Brooker, 9 Oli Fox (c), 1 Billy Nicholls, 2 Will Henshall, 3 Will Booth, 4 Tom Williams, 5 Elliot Ward, 6 Max Hanson, 7.Hugo Tasker, 8 Luke Harrison.

Replacements: 16 Ollie Rayner, 17 Nathan Youngs, 18 Peris Michael, 19 Barnaby Teasdale, 20 Harry Davey, 21 Sam Wolstenholme, 22 Jack Bodman, 23 Morgan Bunting.


Sale Sharks

15 Calum Owen, 14 Arron Reed, 13 Conor Doherty, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 George Chatterton, 10 Kieran Wilkinson, 9 Matt Sturgess, 1 Bevan Rodd, 2 Nic Dolly, 3 Monty Weatherby, 4 Josef Murphy, 5 Charlie Pozniak, 6 Ciaran Booth, 7 Charlie Papworth, 8 Sam Dugdale.

Replacements: 16 Sol Neild, 17 John Blanchard, 18 Rouban Birch, 19 Charlie Papworth, 20 Luke James, 21 Tom Walsh, 22 Alex Burrage.



15 Dunn, 14 Morgan, 13 Seabrook, 12 Cole, 11 Stanton, 10 Penny, 9 Chapman, 1 O’Malley, 2 Haly (c), 3 Bartlett, 4 Dyke, 5 Allen, 6 North, 7 Watts, 8 Hinkley.

Replacements: 16 Thor, 17 Nelson, 18 E Seville, 19 Bennion, 20 Adkins, 21 Davies, 22 Fenley, 23 Reeves.


Exeter Chiefs

15 Finn Marks, 14 Jake Penprase, 13 Ollie Gibbon, 12 Joe Elderkin, 11 AJ Cant, 10 Gwyn Parks, 9 Joe Snow, 1 Danny Southworth, 2 Ben Phillips, 3 Marcus Street, 4 Joseph Parker Cooke, 5 Lewis Pearson, 6 Charlie Wright, 7 Will Gibson, 8 Rusi Tuima.

Replacements: 16 Will Ridout, 17 Alfie Petch, 18 Danny Martin, 19 Torin Clarke, 20 Max Norey, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Angus Hallum, 23 Devon Jewsbury.


Harlequins (from)


George Head (Tonbridge), Jacob Morris (Whitgift), Callum Tilleray (Wellington College), Kieran Sassone (Sevenoaks), Kareem Swandells (St John’s), George Hammond (Whitgift), Hugh Tizard (Cranleigh), Henry Paremain (RGS Guildford), Tom Davison (St John’s), Jack Glover (Harrow), Vincent Everitt (Hartpury College), Jack Kenningham (Reeds School).


Tom Nicole (Cranleigh), Caolan Englefield (St Paul’s, Sunbury), Harry Barlow (Cranleigh), Sunni Jardine (Dulwich College), Jake Hennessey (KCS Wimbledon), Will Sanders (St John’s), Miles McDuffus (Lord Wandsworth College), Josh Jones (Brighton College), Jon Searle (Brighton College), Lennox Anyanwu (Christ’s Hospital).



15 Elliot Obatoyinbo, 14 Oliver Bluck, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Josh Hallett, 11 Chriis Annous, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Bryn McCall, 1 Kapeli Pifeleti, 2 Billy Young, 3 Najee Mundicha, 4 Zach Conley, 5 Joel Kpoku, 6 Tobias Munday, 7 Sean Reffell, 8 Ned Potter.

Replacements: 16 Sam Crean, 17 Andrew Boye, 18 Tavis Hunter, 19 Alfie Scopes, 20 Oscar Fernaux, 21 James Elms, 22 Liam Batty, 23 Matt Gilham.



15 Will Partington, 14 Luke Mehson, 13 Miles Gilbert, 12 Tom de Glanville, 11 Oran McNulty, 10 Al MacKenzie, 9 Ed Rimmer, 1 Arthur Cordwell, 2 Gabriel Oghre, 3 Toby Thurston, 4 Rhys Davies (c), 5 Tom Jeanes, 6 Connor Beer, 7 Harry Short, 8 George Hobbs.

Replacements: 16 George Costard, 17 George Bamsey, 18 Simone Elrick, 19 Tom Boxer, 20 Dan Curry, 21 Cameron Brown, 22 Will Butt, 23 Ethan Hutt.


U18 Academy League Round 6 Results:


Exeter Chiefs 17-34 Saracens

Gloucester 33-38 Harlequins

Leicester Tigers 20-20 Yorkshire Carnegie

London Irish 34-26 Bristol

Sale Sharks 43-27 Northampton Saints

Newcastle Falcons 17-34 Worcester Warriors


U18 Academy League Round 5 Results:


Bath 28-35 Exeter Chiefs

Harlequins 55-12 Bristol

Leicester Tigers 31-5 Wasps

Northampton Saints 43-19 Yorkshire Carnegie

Saracens 38-31 London Irish

Worcester Warriors 0-27 Sale Sharks


U18 Academy League Round 4 Results:

Bath 19-20 London Irish

Bristol 21-59 Saracens

Exeter Chiefs 34-26 Gloucester

Leicester Tigers 19-29 Sale Sharks

Wasps 30-3 Newcastle Falcons

Worcester Warriors 43-16 Northampton Saints


U18 Academy League Round 3 Results:

Gloucester 38-41 Bath

London Irish 21-24 Exeter Chiefs

Northampton Saints 39-19 Newcastle Falcons

Sale Sharks 12-22 Wasps

Saracens v Harlequins

Yorkshire Carnegie 10-39 Worcester Warriors


U18 Academy League Round 2 Results:

Bristol 17-21 Exeter Chiefs

Harlequins 40-5 Bath

London Irish 32-43 Gloucester

Sale Sharks 37-15 Newcastle Falcons

Worcester Warriors 27-26 Leicester Tigers

Yorkshire Carnegie 14-38 Wasps


U18 Academy League Round 1 Results:

Bath 22-22 Bristol

Gloucester 59-26 Saracens

Harlequins 30-21 London Irish

Newcastle Falcons 29-34 Yorkshire Carnegie

Northampton Saints 41-13 Leicester Tigers

Wasps 28-17 Worcester Warriors

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