The ISRFC Lambs have named their side for their third game of the season, versus Nottingham University U19s.
The Lambs have won two from two so far, beating Irish Exiles U18 and Exeter Chiefs Academy ahead of the weekend’s fixture.
The game takes place on Sunday 4th February at the University 1st XV pitch, kicking off at 2pm. The Lambs have made plenty of changes to their side as they continue to rotate through their National Squad before their tour of Italy and Croatia over Easter.
Four players come in for their Lambs debut, including an all new centre partnership of Stamford’s Byron Van Uden and Framlingham College’s Tom Watson. Felsted’s Piers Martin also makes his debut on the left wing, while in the pack Shiplake College’s Oliver Brown makes his debut, while loosehead Didi Vidal-Adegun of Bishop’s Stortford College makes his first Lambs appearance of the season, though he did appear for the side last year.
Completing the front row is Ampleforth College’s Tom Eyston, who makes his second start, having faced Irish Exiles and then had the Exeter game off. Abingdon’s Max Humphreis and Berkhamsted’s Louis Cooper are the second row partnership, neither played last week but both were involved against the Exiles.
In the back row co-captain William Barker of Felsted comes back into the side having been on the bench last time out, he starts at blindside flanker and is one of just two players to feature in all three games, co-captain Alfie Orchard being the other. Berkhamsted’s Oliver Perkins comes in at openside, reprising the role he played against Irish Exiles, while Wisbech Grammar’s Bradley Hutler comes back into the side, moving from the second row last week to number 8 this week.
In the backline Luke Medcraft of Trinity starts back to back games at full back, with King’s College Taunton’s Dan Luedicke doing the same on the right wing. With 11, 12, and 13 all making their debuts, co-captain Alfie Orchard of Bedford will be key, he is the only players in the squad to start all three games. Harrison Emmett-Lee starts at scrum half, the Grammar School at Leeds man makes his second appearance, having also started against Irish Exiles.
On the bench Portsmouth Grammar’s Joe Martin moves from the starting XV to the replacements, with Rugby’s Sam Wright on the bench for the second week running. Stockport Grammar’s William Spendlove missed out last week but returns to the squad this week to cover the front row.
Paddy Langdale also returns to the squad, having started against Irish Exiles, Owen Jones of King’s Macclesfield does the same. Felsted’s Connor Mak moves to the bench having started at scrum half against Exeter Chiefs, with Felsted’s Ollie Hills doing the same. St Peter’s York’s Charlie Hudson returns to the squad after an excellent debut against Irish Exiles at full back.
Speaking ahead of the game, the Lambs’ National Director, Alex Laybourne, said:
“We have had a great start to the season with two ‘Fast and Free’ performances, where the squad have thoroughly brought into the Lambs philosophy. We have a number of new faces again this week so we have a similar challenge to the opening two games where the players get used to each other and the way we play in a short space of time. “
“Nottingham University is another new fixture to our card this season. With the majority of our players going on to play University BUCS rugby it is a great opportunity for them to experience the pace and physicality someone like Nottingham University will bring ahead of them entering those environments themselves.”
“Our playing programme is very much built around giving the players experiences they may not otherwise access, as well as creating memories, and I am sure this fixture will fulfil both of those areas.“
The Nottingham University fixture is not the only noteworthy event on the Lambs’ calendar this weekend though. They also have the final round of U16 trials.
On Sunday the nominated u16s will head to Uppingham School in Rutland for a series of trial games from 10am to 3pm, culminating in the selection of the U16 National Squad.
From that a squad will then be selected to take on the Boys Club of Wales on Sunday 18th February, which should be a fantastic occasion and will be a double header with the U18 side.
Commenting on the U16s, Alex Laybourne said:
“The U16s programme has evolved over the last two seasons and taken great strides forwards. After a fantastic unbeaten season last year this seasons crop will have a lot to live up to, and I am confident that will be the case with the high volume of nominations we have had through and the staff in place to support them in achieving the ‘Fast and Free’ style of rugby.”
ISRFC Lambs XV v Nottingham University U19 (Appearances in brackets):
15 Luke Medcraft (Trinity), 14 Dan Luedicke (King’s College, Taunton), 13 Tom Watson (Framlingham College), 12 Byron Van Uden (Stamford), 11 Piers Martin (Felsted), 10 Alfie Orchard (Bedford, co-captain), 9 Harrison Emmett-Lee (Grammar School at Leeds), 1 Didi Vidal-Adegun (Bishop’s Stortford College), 2 Oliver Brown (Shiplake College), 3 Tom Eyston (Ampleforth College), 4 Max Humphries (Abingdon), 5 Louis Cooper (Berkhamsted), 6 William Barker (Felsted, co-captain), 7 Oliver Perkins (Berkhamsted), 8 Bradley Hutler (Wisbech GS).
Replacements: 16 Joe Martin (Portsmouth GS), 17 Sam Wright (Rugby), 18 William Spendlove (Stockport GS), 19 Paddy Langdale (Radley College), 20 Owen Jones (King’s Macclesfield), 21 Connor Mak (Felsted), 22 Beau Roberts (Reed’s), 23 Ollie Hills (Felsted), 24 Charlie Hudson (St Peter’s, York).