U18 Academy League Finals Day Preview

The teams for tomorrow’s U18 Academy League Finals day at Sixways Stadium have been announced.


Six teams will be in action at the home of Worcester Warriors, beginning at 12.30pm with Saracens taking on Worcester Warriors on their home patch in the 5th place play off.

Bristol v Saracens (Academy Rugby)
Bristol v Saracens (Academy Rugby)

Saracens finished third in the Southern Conference, just two points off top spot in what was an ultra-competitive conference. They sealed their place in Thursday’s 5th place play-off with a tight 24-23 win at home to Bath on Friday night. Their side contains a number of exciting players, including Harrow fly half Manu Vunupola, and his half back partner Bryn McCall of Haileybury, son of Saracens’ Director of Rugby, Mark. Elsewhere they include New Hall’s Ollie Morris at outside centre, and are skippered by openside Sean Reffell.


Worcester entered the final round of the Northern Conference at the top of the table, however a bye week in the final round left them in third as Wasps and Sale behind them both won. Their side is skippered by Worcester 6th form College’s Ted Hill. The number 8 has been a part of the England U20 6 Nations squad too, showing just what a promising player he is. They also include four Bromsgrove players in their squad, Ollie Lawrence, Christophe Fostier, Lawrence Weston, and Tom Williams, as well as three Warwick players, Oli Thorneywork, Tom Fawcett, and Nick Rigby, both schools will feature in the U18 NatWest Cup semi finals on the 4th March.


The third place play off will see Wasps take on Exeter Chiefs at 2.30pm. Wasps were the standard bearers in the Northern Conference until a surprise defeat to Leicester Tigers in Round 5 when they were shorn of a few players due to Anglo-Welsh Cup commitments. Their side for tomorrow is led by Merchant Taylors’ Will Porter at scrum half. Porter, like number 8 Tom Willis, represented the 1st XV in the Anglo-Welsh. Porter’s half back partner is England U20 fly half Jacob Umaga, while at hooker Wasps have a record breaker in Alfie Barbeary, who scored 24 tries for Bloxham School this year, breaking a try scoring record that had lasted for 32 years.


Exeter Chiefs arrive in high spirits, they finished behind Harlequins in the Southern Conference, but beat Quins 45-0 in the final round on Saturday. It may have been a Quins side with a number of stars left out and who had already secured top spot, but a 45-0 hammering of a previously unbeaten side was still impressive. The Chiefs are captained by scrum half Joe Snow, the Exeter College man has also represented the Exeter 1st XV this season, as has tighthead Marcus Street. Another name familiar to Chiefs fans will be that of their replacement scrum half, Sam Maunder, who is the younger brother of Jack who has captained the Exeter Anglo-Welsh Cup side this season and is part of the England U20 squad.


The big game of the day kicks off at 16.30, the U18 Academy League Final, between Sale Sharks and Harlequins.


Sale made a late charge for their place in the final, usurping Wasps on the final day of the league season after a brilliant 36-0 win away at Yorkshire Carnegie. It was a crucial scoreline as in the end it was points difference that made the difference between top of the table and second. Sale’s team is skippered by second row Charlie Pozniak from Manchester Grammar School, and is dominated by the two great powers of schools rugby in the north of England at the moment, Sedbergh and Kirkham Grammar School. One of the key areas for Sale is the 10/12 link up between players from those two rival schools, with Kirkham’s Kieran Wilkinson at 10 and Sedbergh’s Cameron Redpath, son of Scotland legend Bryan, at 12.


Harlequins’ path to the final was altogether easier, they secured their position with a game to spare, though that did mean taking their foot off the gas in their final game v Exeter, resulting in a 45-0 defeat. They will need to switch back on for this one but they certainly have the players to do so. They have a strong forward pack with the likes of Tonbridge’s NatWest Champions Trophy winning skipper George Head at loosehead, but the real excitement is in their back division, particularly their midfield axis of Brighton College’s Marcus Smith at 10, KCS Wimbledon’s Jake Hennessey at 12, and NatWest Cup semi finalist Cadan Murley, of Bishop Wordsworth’s, at 13. Smith is one to keep a real eye on, he skippered Brighton College to an unbeaten season and was called up to the England U20 training squad despite being an U18 and with England already having the strength of the likes of Max Malins, Jacob Umaga, Jamie Shillcock, and Theo Brophy-Clews in the position.


All in all, it looks likely to be a brilliant day of rugby at Sixways tomorrow, and we will be bringing you updates from the ground throughout the day and hopefully seeing a good many of you on the touchlines!


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


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

12.30pm – Worcester Warriors v Saracens – 5th place play-off

2.30pm – Wasps v Exeter Chiefs – 3rd place play-off

4.30pm – Sale Sharks v Harlequins – Final


Team News:


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 (c), 6 Ciaran Booth, 7 Teddy Leatherbarrow, 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 Max Coyle (Reigate Grammar), 14 Harry Barlow (Cranleigh), 13 Cadan Murley (Bishop Wordsworth), 12 Jake Hennessey (KCS Wimbledon), 11 Miles McDuffus (Lord Wandsworth), 10 Marcus Smith (Brighton College), 9 Tom Nicole (Cranleigh), 1 George Head (Tonbridge), 2 Callum Tilleray (Wellington College), 3 Kareem Swandells (St John’s Leatherhead), 4 Hugh Tizard (Cranleigh), 5 Henry Paremain (RGS Guildford), 6 Vincent Everitt (Hartpury College), 7 Luke James (Brighton College), 8 Jack Kenningham (Reeds).

Replacements: 16 Paul Marshall (Reigate Grammar), 17 Jacob Morris (Whitgift), 18 Kieran Sassone (Sevenoaks), 19 George Hammond (Whitgift), 20 Jack Glover (Harrow), 21 Lennox Anywanwu (Christ’s Hospital), 22 Sunni Jardine (Dulwich College), 23 Jon Searle (Brighton College).



15 Matt Wells, 14 Taju Atta, 13 Murray Bellis, 12 Sam Spink, 11 Brendan Clark, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Will Porter (c), 1 Joe Salkeld, 2 Alfie Barbeary, 3 George Strainge, 4 Harry Sayer, 5 Joe Tunney, 6 Alfred Mawdsley, 7 James Seabrook, 8 Tom Willis.

Replacements: 16 George Probyn, 17 Jarod Leat, 18 Paddy Harris, 19 Frazer Kiff, 20 Tom Guthrie, 21 Tom Bishop, 22 Finn Pietersen, 23 Aaron O’Sullivan.


Exeter Chiefs

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

Replacements: 16 Will Ridout, 17 Alfie Petch, 18 Jack Hodge, 19 Torin Clarke, 20 Will Gibson, 21 Max Norey, 22 Sam Maunder, 23 Angus Hallam.


Worcester Warriors

15 Jake Leonard (Worcester 6th Form College), 14 Alex Bartley (Solihull), 13 Dion King (King’s Worcester), 12 Ollie Lawrence (Bromsgrove), 11 Christophe Fostier (Bromsgrove), 10 Alex Forrester (Hartpury College), 9 George Hawkes (Solihull), 1 Kai Owen (Telford College of Arts & Technology), 2 Cameron Harrison (St John’s College, Zimbabwe), 3 Nick Rigby (Warwick), 4 Lawrence Weston (Bromsgrove), 5 James Scott (Malvern College), 6 Tom Fawcett (Warwick), 7 Charlie Jeavons-Fellows (Scots College, Australia), 8 Ted Hill (c) (Worcester 6th Form College).

Replacements: 17 Tom Furnival (Worcester 6th Form College), 18 Max Baggs (Cheltenham College), 19 George Butler (Hereford Cathedral), 20 Oli Thorneywork (Warwick), 21 Tom Williams (Bromsgrove), 22 Lewis Dorey (Worcester 6th Form College), 23 Rob Lester (Worcester 6th Form College).



15 Elliot Obitiyembo, 14 Ollie Bluck, 13 Ollie Morris, 12 Josh Hallett, 11 Chris Annous, 10 Manu Vunipola, 9 Bryn McCall, 1 Tavis Hunter, 2 Sam Crean, 3 Andy Boye, 4 Joel Kpoku, 5 Alfie Scopes, 6 Oscar Furneaux, 7 Sean Reffell (c), 8 Tobias Munday.

Replacements: 16 Billy Young, 17 Kapeli Pifeleti, 18 Harry Morgan, 19 Dec Sinclair, 20 Greg Oxlade, 21 James Elms, 22 Alex Noot, 23 David Jimoh-Ibrahim.


U18 Academy League Final Standings – Northern Conference
1Sale Sharks6501424
3Worcester Warriors6402420
4Northampton Saints6303517
5Leicester Tigers611439
6Yorkshire Carnegie611417
7Newcastle Falcons610537


U18 Academy League Final Standings – Southern Conference
2Exeter Chiefs6501323
5London Irish6204513


U18 Academy League Round 7 Results:


Bristol 44-10 Gloucester

Exeter Chiefs 45-0 Harlequins

Newcastle Falcons 25-12 Leicester Tigers

Saracens 24-23 Bath

Wasps 32-26 Northampton Saints

Yorkshire Carnegie 0-36 Sale Sharks


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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