The final round of the U18 Academy League takes place this weekend, with the Finals Day places still to be decided.
The top three sides from each conference, North and South, will head to finals day. The top side from each meet in the U18 Academy League final, those finishing second compete for the third, and those in third compete for 5th place.
Leicester Tigers are currently top of the table, five points clear of Wasps with five to play for and with a vastly superior points difference. It would take something spectacular for them to miss the final.
Tigers are skippered for Saturday’s clash against Newcastle Falcons by Oakham second row Cameron Jordan. Newcastle are going to be a tough outfit though and include all of their big guns, including Josh Hodge, Morgan Passman, and Cameron Kelemeti, all of whom have senior contracts for next year. They are playing for a place in the top 3, a slip up from Wasps or Sale Sharks above them would see Newcastle at finals day – provided they beat Leicester. Barring a miracle, Leicester will be facing the Southern champions, Gloucester, in the final.
Wasps hopes of securing top spot will rest on them at least beating Northampton Saints away at Bedford School with a bonus point before they even worry about Leicester’s result. Once again they are skippered by England U18 hooker Alfie Barbeary, while at outside half they have selected and U16 from Abingdon School, Charlie Atkinson, a real star of the future. Saints meanwhile move Haileybury star Sam Cappaert from the centres to outside half, with England wing Ollie Sleightholme moving from the wing to the vacant centre spot.
Sale Sharks are currently sitting in the third of the three finals day spots in the Northern Conference, they are just a point behind Wasps and three ahead of Newcastle in fourth. Having reached last year’s final, they will be desperate to get as high a final placing this year as possible. They host Yorkshire Carnegie in the final game of the league stage, on Sunday at 2pm.
Sale are without Sedbergh star Cameron Redpath, who is with England U20, but can call on the likes of Bevan Rodd, Tom Curtis, and Kieran Wilkinson, just three of a host of future stars in the side. Yorkshire Carnegie, meanwhile, are yet to name their side.
Gloucester are already confirmed as the Southern Champions, and will head to the main U18 Academy League final. They will want to finish their league campaign in style though when they host bottom of the table Bristol at Hartpury College on Saturday lunchtime.
Cheltenham College’s Tom Stanton again skippers the Cherry and Whites, but moves from outside centre to wing, with Jack Reeves coming back in at outside centre. Bristol meanwhile are again headed by Bristol Grammar School and England U18 hooker Will Capon, one of three Bristol Grammar School players in the squad.
The race for the other two spots at finals day in the South is wide open though. Saracens are currently second on 18 points, with Exeter just a point behind, and Harlequins a further two behind them.
The key game is Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs at 3pm on Saturday. The winner will head to finals day in either second or third, depending on the Saracens result, while the loser will miss out. Quins, last year’s champions, select the Champions Trophy winning Sunni Jardine of Dulwich College at fly half, with St John’s Leatherhead star Jordan Bond forming part of a mesmeric back three alongside Jon Searle and Femi Sofolarin. Exeter Chiefs meanwhile look fairly settled again, with Blundell’s scrum half Sam Maunder again the skipper. Ollie Toomey is at outside half.
Saracens are almost certain of qualification, unless Quins win, Saracens lose, and Exeter come away with a couple of bonus points. They are yet to name their side for Saturday’s 1.30pm trip to Bath, who appear to have a huge eye on the future. They have brought in the outstanding Orlando Bailey from Thomas Hardye, and U16, at fly half. A move that shows just how highly they regard him as it moves their star of the season so far, Beechen Cliff’s Tom De Glanville, to full back. He is one of a stunning nine Beechen Cliff players in the starting fifteen.
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U18 Academy League Round 7 Fixtures:
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons – Saturday, 12.30pm, Loughborough Uni
Northampton Saints v Wasps –Saturday, 1pm, Bedford School
Sale Sharks v Yorkshire Carnegie – Sunday, 2pm, Manchester Met Uni
Bath v Saracens – Saturday, 1.30pm, Melksham RFC
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs – Saturday, 3pm, Surrey Sports Park
Gloucester v Bristol – Saturday, 12.15pm, Hartpury College
|U18 Academy League Table – Northern Conference|
|U18 Academy League Table – Southern Conference|
15 Freddie Steward (Norwich), 14 Zack Godfrey (Stamford), 13 Sam Wager (Wyggeston & QE College), 12 Andre Dunn (Langley), 11 Will Poland (Bishop Vesey’s GS), 10 Jacob Fewtrell (Denstone College), 9 Will Yarnell (Loughborough GS), 1 Keston Lines (Wyggeston & QE College), 2 Jamie Harding (Denstone College), 3 Joe Latham (Wyggeston & QE College), 4 George Martin (Brooksby Melton College), 5 Cameron Jordan (Oakham, captain), 6 Henri Lavin (Wyggeston & QE College), 7 Taylor Gough (Wyggeston & QE College), 8 Thom Smith (Langley).
Replacements: 16 Finlay Gibson (Brooksby Melton College), 17 Dave Koelman (Stamford), 18 James Whitcombe (Woodhouse Grove), 19 Sam Eveleigh (Leicester GS), 20 Ronnie Du Randt (Denstone College), 21 Jonny Law (Rugby), 22 Sam Costelow (Oakham), 23 Luke Phoenix (Langley).
15 Josh Hodge, 14 Morgan Passman, 13 Chidera Obonna, 12 Theo Manihera, 11 Harry Jackson, 10 Callum Pascoe, 9 Cameron Kelemeti, 1 Will Elliott, 2 Alistair Blackett, 3 Reece Amir, 4 Tom Marshall, 5 Ethan Clarke, 6 Joe Lashley, 7 Mason Lewthwaite, 8 Jamie Adamson.
Replacements: 16 Adam Hay, 17 Phil Brantingham, 18 Freddy Lockwood, 19 Patrick Cooper, 20 Will Petiffer, 21 Jack Peter, 22 Will Roberts, 23 Ratu Bavadra.
15 Cameron Sharpe, 14 Josh Gillespie, 13 Ollie Slieghtholme, 12 Connor Tupai, 11 Jordan Milburn, 10 Sam Cappaert, 9 Fin Creighton, 1 Fraser Thompson, 2 Samson Ma’asi, 3 Jack Hughes, 4 George Whalley, 5 Freddie Betteridge, 6 Tom Addison, 7 Joe Wallace (c), 8 Emmauel Iyogun.
Replacements: 16 Ed McDowell, 17 Elliott Chivers, 18 Mitchell Brown, 19 Harry Charter, 20 Connor Finch, 21 Sam Connor, 22 Lewie Evans, 23 Morgan Dayes.
15 Simonds, 14 Atta, 13 Anderson, 12 Spink, 11 Bacon, 10 Atkinson, 9 Chilcott, 1 Nearchou, 2 Barbeary (c), 3 Roche, 4 Ademuwagun, 5 Mawdsley, 6 Curran, 7 Tunney, 8 Jakobsen.
Replacements: 16 Delaney, 17 Pleasants, 18 Harris, 19 Spicer, 20 Stoker, 21 Kay, 22 Lowe, 23 Fosuhene Gray.
15 Nathan Pope, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Connor Doherty, 12 Tom Curtis, 11 Tom Walsh, 10 Kieran Wilkinson, 9 Gus Warr, 1 Bevan Rodd, 2 Ewan Ashman, 3 Cal Ford, 4 Rouban Birch, 5 Conor James, 6 Charlie Papworth, 7 Teddy Leatherbarrow, 8 Jack Hill.
Replacements: 16 Liam Davies, 17 Alex Brooks, 18 James Harper, 19 Joe Murphy, 20 Owen Roberts, 21 Joe Johnson, 22 Jacob Ainscough, 23 James Rooney, 24 Sam Higginson.
Yorkshire Carnegie – TBA
15 Tom de Glanville (Beechen Cliff), 14 Ethan Hutt (Beechen Cliff), 13 Miles Gilbert (Beechen Cliff), 12 Will Butt (Canford), 11 Oran McNulty (Millfield), 10 Orlando Bailey (Thomas Hardye), 9 Ben Mead (Beechen Cliff), 1 Jamie Guest (Richard Huish College), 2 Sam Elrick (Bryanston), 3 Si Elrick (Bryanston), 4 Chris Moore (Beechen Cliff), 5 Oli Cattell (Beechen Cliff), 6 Ayden Chenoweth (Beechen Cliff), 7 Will Hendy (Beechen Cliff), 8 Nahum Merigan (Beechen Cliff).
Replacements: 16 Rory Murchison (Kingswood), 17 Leroy Stephenson (Chilton Trinity), 18 Jack Bertinet (KES, Bath), 19 Frankie Read (Thomas Hardye), 20 Toby Gerrish (Prior Park), 21 George Worboys (Beechen Cliff), 22 Max Ojomoh (KES, Bath), 23 Gabriel Hamer-Webb (Beechen Cliff).
Saracens – TBA
15 Jordan Bond, 14 Femi Sofolarin, 13 Hayden Hyde, 12 Jack Potter, 11 Jon Searle , 10 Sunny Jardine, 9 Caolon Englefield, 1 Jacob Morris, 2 Sam Reiley, 3 Kieran Sassone, 4 Hugh Tizzard, 5 George Hammond, 6 Jack Glover, 7 Vince Everitt, 8 Jack Kenningham.
Replacements: 16 Artisot Benz-Soloman, 17 TBC, 18 Jon Benz-Soloman, 19 Harry Dunmore, 20 Jack Reid, 21 Lennox Anyanwu, 22 Luc Smith, 23 Harry Barlow.
15 Dan Lilley, 14 Devon Jewsbury, 13 Luke Flack, 12 Robbie Weeks, 11 Archie Hill, 10 Ollie Toomey, 9 Sam Maunder (c), 1 Ollie Andrews, 2 Will Ridout, 3 Alfie Petch, 4 Lewis Pearson, 5 Cory Teague, 6 Joseph Parker-Cooke, 7 Richard Capstick, 8 Rus Tuima.
Replacements: 16 Scott Butterworth, 17 Henry Trudgill, 18 Elliot Salt, 19 Jake Clemson, 20 Bryn-Lee Jago, 21 James Tait, 22 Alex Gozzard, 23 Kian Atkinson.
15 Reece Dunn, 14 Tom Stanton (c), 13 Jack Reeves, 12 Isaac Marsh, 11 Jacob Morris, 10 George Barton, 9 Ewan Fenley, 1 Olly Adkins, 2 Bertie Stretch, 3 Jack Bartlett, 4 Jonny Holliday, 5 Joe Howard, 6 JJ Tonks, 7 Dec Fissenden, 8 Josh Gray.
Replacements: 16 Ethan Hunt, 17 Shay O’Malley, 18 Harry Daynes, 19 Archie Tarbuck, 20 Bailey Watts, 21 Jack Curtis, 22 Tommy Mathew, 23 Louis Rees-Zammit.
15 Iwan Hughes (Bristol Academy) 14 Jack Bates (SGS Filton), 13 Charlie Powell (Bristol GS), 12 Soloman Hutchings (Clifton College), 11 Bertie Scoble (St Marys Uni), 10 Nathan Chamberlain (SGS Filton), 9 Ben Roach (SGS Filton), 1 Sean Ihegie (Cabot LF), 2 Will Capon (Bristol GS), 3 Jay Burley (SGS Filton), 4 George Brazier (Clifton College), 5 Ned Smith (Bristol GS), 6 Ethan Organ (Clifton College), 7 Tomi Adegbite (Cabot LF), 8 Ben Tothill (SGS Filton).
Replacements: 16 James Jackson (SGS Filton), 17 Harry Samuel (Hartpury College), 18 Ben Morgan (Cotham), 19 Chris Moseley (SGS Filton), 20 Finn Langford (SGS Filton), 21 Blake Boyland (SGS Filton), 22 Ethan Smith (SGS Filton), 23 Will Hines (Redland Green).
Round 6 Results:
Northampton Saints 12-26 Sale Sharks
Worcester Warriors 26-35 Newcastle Falcons
Yorkshire Carnegie 7-36 Leicester Tigers
Bristol 17-33 London Irish
Harlequins 31-34 Gloucester
Saracens 31-26 Exeter Chiefs
Round 5 Results:
Sale Sharks 66-17 Worcester Warriors
Wasps 5-52 Leicester Tigers
Yorkshire Carnegie 15-15 Northampton Saints
Bristol 19-36 Harlequins
Exeter Chiefs 19-14 Bath
London Irish 21-21 Saracens
Round 4 Results:
Leicester Tigers 42-12 Worcester Warriors
Newcastle Falcons 14-33 Sale Sharks
Wasps 26-14 Yorkshire Carnegie
Bath 36-36 Harlequins
Exeter Chiefs 38-19 Bristol
Gloucester 20-19 London Irish
Round 3 Results:
Newcastle Falcons 41-27 Northampton Saints
Wasps 22-19 Sale Sharks
Worcester Warriors 20-19 Yorkshire Carnegie
Gloucester 41-33 Exeter Chiefs
London Irish 41-50 Bath
Saracens 38-25 Bristol
Round 2 Results:
Sale Sharks 6-16 Leicester Tigers
Newcastle Falcons 24-24 Wasps
Northampton Saints 20-26 Worcester Warriors
Bath 10-66 Gloucester
Exeter Chiefs 48-17 London Irish
Harlequins 12-23 Saracens
Round 1 Results:
Leicester Tigers 31-31 Northampton Saints
Worcester Warriors 12-55 Wasps
Yorkshire Carnegie 33-19 Newcastle Falcons
Bristol 32-14 Bath
London Irish 29-43 Harlequins
Saracens 31-34 Gloucester