Premiership Rugby U18 Academy League: Round 3 Preview & Team News

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Coach Logic

After just over two weeks off, the Premiership Rugby U18 Academy League returns for Round 3 this weekend and six exciting looking fixtures as age-grade rugby in 2022 begins.

There are seven rounds in total, with each side having one bye week and six fixtures. The fourteen sides (the 13 Premiership Rugby academies plus Yorkshire Academy) are split into two conferences of seven, divided north and south, and play each of the other sides in their conference once across the seven rounds. Then, in mid-February, once the league positions are finalised, they play their counterpart from the other conference, meaning that the top two play for the U18 Academy League title, which most recently saw London Irish and Leicester Tigers share the spoils after Tigers had won the previous two titles.

This year we head into Round 3 with three sides in the North Pool unbeaten so far, Sale Sharks, having beaten Worcester Warriors and Leicester Tigers, Northampton Saints, having beaten Leicester Tigers and Yorkshire Academy, and Wasps, having beaten Yorkshire Academy and Newcastle Falcons. In the South Pool there are also three, Bristol Bears, having beaten Bath and Gloucester, and Saracens, having beaten Exeter Chiefs and Bath, while Quins won their sole game against London Irish last time out.

At least one of those records will go this weekend though as Sale Sharks and Northampton Saints meet out Sunday afternoon at Heywood Road.

Round 3 Fixtures and Team News:

North (Bye week for Yorkshire Academy)

Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers – Saturday 8th Jan, 5.15pm, Kingston Park

Both sides are looking for their first victories, Tigers have lost out to Sale Sharks and Northampton Saints in their opening two games, while Newcastle Falcons lost out to Wasps in their only game so far. Newcastle keep a fairly consistent side from that team on the 23rd against Wasps, bringing in Nathan Greenwood and Tom Burton on the wings, while Ewan Venerus moves from 8 to 7 to allow Zach Oldham to move up from the bench at number 8 in Will Gibbons’ absence, Will Murray comes onto the bench. For Tigers Greshams’ George Loose moves from outside centre to full back, with Denstone College’s Oscar van Deventer earning a start at 13 after consecutive bench appearances. Matt Durbridge comes in at 9 with Oscar McCarty taking his place on the bench and it’s a similar swap for Tom Wand and Jack Hurst at loosehead. Denstone College’s George Perkins meanwhile gets a go on the bench, as do Brooksby Melton College’s Kian Carter and Malelili Satala.

Newcastle Falcons

15 Ben Redshaw, 14 Nathan Greenwood, 13 Jez Civil, 12 Will Hindle, 11 Tom Burton, 10 Harry Williams, 9 Ben Douglas, 1 Micky Rewcastle, 2 Charlie Smith, 3 Morgan Hall, 4 Finn Baker, 5 Luke Coulston, 6 Braemar Murray, 7 Ewan Venerus, 8 Zach Oldham.

Replacements: 16 Jacob Oliver, 17 Isaac Keller, 18 Sam Birkbeck, 19 Ayden Knott, 20 Will Murray, 21 Freddie Nickalls, 22 Oz Roberts, 23 Toby Ferguson.

Leicester Tigers

15 George Loose (Gresham’s), 14 Alexander Garrett (Denstone College), 13 Oscar van Deventer (Denstone College), 12 Joseph Woodward (Brooksby Melton College, captain), 11 Samuel Jacques (Brooksby Melton College), 10 Ben Taylor (Oakham), 9 Matt Durbridge (Brooksby Melton College), 1 Tom Wand (Brooksby Melton College), 2 Charlie Barraclough (Denstone College), 3 Oliver Crane (Oakham), 4 Finn Carnduff (Leicester Grammar), 5 Dan Ormerod (Oakham), 6 Simon Koroiyadi (Trent College), 7 Joshua Manz (Northampton School for Boys), 8 Chester Owen (Brooksby Melton College).

Replacements: 16 Max Nolan (Brooksby Melton College), 17 Jack Hurst (Brooksby Melton College), 18 Nathan Hind (Brooksby Melton College), 19 George Perkins (Denstone College), 20 Oliver Arnold (Uppingham), 21 Oscar McCarthy (Leicester Grammar), 22 Kian Carter (Brooksby Melton College), 23 Malelili Satala (Brooksby Melton College).

Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints – Sunday 9th Jan, 2pm, Heywood Road

Sunday’s only game sees these two unbeaten sides go head to head in the 2pm kick off at Heywood Road. Sale Sharks keep faith with much of the side that beat Worcester Warriors and Leicester Tigers, though Efan Edwards gets a go on the left wing, while Will Riley comes in at lock. On the bench Paddy Jones returns, while Tom Campbell, Kieran Kerr, and Henry Harper all get their shot from the bench too. Northampton Saints meanwhile keep an unchanged backline from the side that defeated Yorkshire Academy last tie out, while in the forward back Will Baker of Stamford gets a shot at hooker and James Bennett of Bedford comes back in at lock having previously started back in Round 1. On the bench Yuijan Zou, Aiden Kabi, Henry Pollock, and Kieran Gilmour are all given a chance.

Sale Sharks

15 Leo Zheng, 14 Ben Verbickas, 13 Aaron Pope, 12 Ben Motamed, 11 Efan Edwards, 10 Charlie Wardle, 9 Will Wootton, 1 Jack Ellam, 2 Harry Thompson, 3 Patreece Bell, 4 Will Riley, 5 Ellis Causey, 6 Yande Nkonge, 7 Tristan Woodman, 8 Huw Davies (c).

Replacements: 16 Charlie Bancroft, 17 Gareth Parry, 18 Theo Bishop, 19 Paddy Jones, 20 Tom Campbell, 21 Kieran Kerr, 22 Fin Rogers, 23 Henry Harper.

Northampton Saints

15 Jody Devine (Samuel Whitbread Academy), 14 Ethan Thorne (St Joseph’s College), 13 Toby Cousins (Oakham), 12 Archie Kean (Royal Hospital School), 11 Frankie Sleightholme (Northampton School for Boys), 10 Toby Thame (Radley College), 9 Harry Hall (Ipswich), 1 Callum Smyth (Bedford), 2 Will Baker (Stamford), 3 Nicholas Tarr (Marth Rutherford), 4 Carn Richards-Farr (Birchwood High), 5 James Bennett (Bedford), 6 George Lavender (Colchester RGS), 7 Ted Reid (Colchester RGS), 8 George Patten (Northampton School for Boys, captain).

Replacements: 16 Yuijan Zou (The Perse), 17 Sam Ferrari (Samuel Whitbread Academy), 18 Dave Bennett (Rugby), 19 Aiden Kabi (Oundle), 20 Henry Pollock (Stowe), 21 Kieran Gilmour (Bedford), 22 Tommy Taylor (Rugby), 23 Ewan Baker (Stowe).

Wasps v Worcester Warriors – Saturday 8th Jan, 2pm, Aylesbury RFC

After defeats over Yorkshire Academy and Newcastle Falcons, Wasps now host Worcester Warriors at Aylesbury RFC, a Worcester Warriors side that lost their opener to Sale Sharks ahead of a round 2 bye week. Wasps make a few changes, Kucera returns at full back after missing Round 2, while Evans moves to 12 with Sweeting promoted from the bench to start at 13 and Sinclair, who started at 13 in round 1 moving to the left wing. Up front Silman comes in at hooker, while Farmer is in at tighthead and Jones at lock, Ward meanwhile comes into the side at openside. On the bench O’Driscoll, Marsh, Blunson-Washbrook, Browning, Mason, and Randall all come in. Worcester Warriors meanwhile see Solihull’s Jack Kinder come in at full back, with Jack Condliffe promoted from the bench to start at fly half. Up front Loic Keasey of RGS Worcester starts at hooker, King’s Worcester’s Will Chater comes in at lock, while Owen Boxall of Bishop Vesey’s Grammar starts at openside. On the bench Finn Haynes and Billy Emerick both come in. 


15 B Kucera, 14 E Rokodrava, 13 R Sweeting, 12 W Evans, 11 S Sinclair, 10 J Annand, 9 M Winterburn, 1 C Aitchison, 2 H Silman, 3 J Farmer, 4 M Hornby (c), 5 L Jones, 6 R Logan, 7 G Ward, 8 B Pogson.

Replacements: 16 A O’Driscoll, 17 R Marsh, 18 C Bell, 19 Z Newcombe, 20 O Blunsom-Washbrook, 22 S Browning, 23 C Mason, 23 J Randall.

Worcester Warriors

15 Jack Kinder (Solihull), 14 Ollie Smith (Hartpury College), 13 Will Pugh (Stourport High, co-captain), 12 Archie Jones (Stourport High), 11 Alex Wills (Hartpury College), 10 Jack Condliffe (Stourport High), 9 Alex Terry (King’s Worcester ), 1 Lewys Walsh (Hartpury College), 2 Loic Keasey (RGS Worcester), 3 Will Couch (Hartpury College), 4 Will Chater (King’s Worcester), 5 Harvey Cuckson (Ellesmere College), 6 Will Owen (Ellesmere College), 7 Owen Boxall (Bishop Vesey’s Grammar), 8 Theo Mayell (Monmouth, co-captain).

Replacements: 16 Ethan Allen (Stourport High), 17 Aaron Hackett (Stourport High), 18 Finn Haynes (Stourport High), 19 George Boyle (King’s Worcester), 20 Sam Hawes (King’s Worcester), 21 Woody Facey (Hartpury College), 22 Billy McDonough (Bromsgrove), 23 Dan Chambers (Stourport High), 24 Billy Emerick (Stourport High).

South (Bye week for Bristol Bears)

Bath v Exeter Chiefs – Saturday 8th Jan, 1pm, Marlborough College

Bath and Exeter Chiefs are both looking for first victories of the season, indeed Bath are looking for a first victory for the club full stop this season. Bath make a few changes to the side that lost to Saracens last time out, Beechen Cliff’s James Redman starts at full back so Marlborough College’s Byron Lloyd-Gilmour, on home soil, moves from full back to the right wing. Sam Harris returns at inside centre after injury and shares the captaincy will with hooker Max Pearce, a fellow Millfield star. Max Jenkins, another one of the seven Millfield pupils in the side, also returns from injury, coming into the second row for the injured Will Jeanes, having started at 6 in the opening round. Downside’s Max Surry, KES Bath’s Alex Salah, and Beechen Cliff’s JJ O’Connell-Wozniak all get a go from the bench. Exeter Chiefs make sweeping changes from the side that lost out to Saracens in Round 1. Dan Hamilton Strong moves from wing to full back with Jack Statton moving from outside centre to the right wing, meanwhile Louie Drennan and George Edson are promoted from the bench to start in the centres. Nat Dart comes in to start at outside half, while Morgan Stone comes in at scrum half. Up front Jago Sheppard moves from number 8 to lock, with Ellis Kershaw coming in at number 8, Barnaby Elderkin is promoted from the bench to start at blindside. Coming in on the bench are Henry Roberts, Jake Salvi, Will Saltmarsh, and Sam James.


15 James Redman (Beechen Cliff), 14 Byron Lloyd-Gilmour (Marlborough College), 13 Will Parry (Sherborne), 12 Sam Harris (Millfield, co-captain), 11 Max Ashton (Beechen Cliff), 10 Raff Weston (Beechen Cliff), 9 Ieuan Davies (Millfield), 1 Tom Hill (Wells Cathedral), 2 Max Pearce (Millfield, co-captain), 3 Billy Sela (Beechen Cliff), 4 Eddie Erskine (Millfield), 5 Max Jenkins (Millfield), 6 George Timmins (Millfield), 7 Archie McKibben (Millfield), 8 Kacey Pike (Beechen Cliff).

Replacements: 16 Tommy McLean (Beechen Cliff), 17 Max Surry (Downside), 18 Ellis Baker (Millfield), 19 Alex Salah (KES Bath), 20 Jack Haythornthwaite (Beechen Cliff), 21 Sam Curwen (Millfield, 22 Rory Crum (Beechen Cliff), 23 JJ O’Connell-Wozniak (Beechen Cliff).

Exeter Chiefs

15 Dan Hamilton-Strong, 14 Jack Statton, 13 Louie Drennan, 12 George Edson, 11 Jude Baker-Hands, 10 Nat Dart, 9 Morgan Stone, 1 Joe Thomson, 2 Pete Harris, 3 Tom Gulley, 4 Jago Sheppard, 5 Joe Bailey (c), 6 Barnaby Elderkin, 7 Seth Findlay, 8 Ellis Kershaw.

Replacement: 16 Henry Roberts, 17 Jack Ballett, 18 Archie Rolls, 19 Jake Salvi, 20 Will Saltmarsh, 21 Joe Walker, 22 Matt Smale, 23 Sam James.

Gloucester v Harlequins – Saturday 8th Jan, 12pm, Kingsholm

Gloucester host Harlequins at Kingsholm in a midday kick off on Sunday and are looking for their first victory of the campaign so far, meanwhile Quins are looking to back up their Round 2 victory over London Irish, which was their first game of the season after a week 1 bye. Gloucester’s side sees Nathan Thomson-Lee return to the side on the right wing after missing round 2, while Tom Cabot comes in at loosehead, Will Hurn starts from the bench, similarly Casey Williams goes from the bench to the 7 shirt with Jack Hall going the other way. Tom Worts is also promoted from the bench, having started in Round 1, with Fred Ma’a returning to the bench. Sam Vince and Ben Peters get a shot from the bench. Harlequins bring in Trinity’s Josh Bellamy, a former Alred Trophy winner, at full back, with schoolmate Ollie Bailey coming in on the right wing, and Wellington College’s Finn Tawse on the left. Meanwhile Ben Waghorn and Ludo Kolade swap positions in the centres and Sean Kerr of Whitgift is promoted from the bench at fly half, leaving Charlie Clare at 9 as the only member of the backline wearing the same shirt as last time out. Up front Seaford College’s Jack Wadman comes in at loosehead with jack Doorey-Palmer of Worthing College starting at hooker, while one of the biggest bits of news is that Dulwich College’s Zach Carr is fit again, he starts at number 8 with Brighton College’s Jonathan Smith moving to blindside. On the bench Claudius Wheeler, Guy Rogers, and Ben Elsey all come in.


15 Will Gilderson, 14 Nathan Thomson-Lee, 13 Dave Samak, 12 Tom Riman, 11 Ioan Jones, 10 Keillen Cullen, 9 Joe Adams, 1 Tom Cabot, 2 George Merritt (c), 3 Henry Pearson, 4 Sam Anson, 5 Mikey Nixon, 6 Freddie Stevens, 7 Casey Williams, 8 Tom Worts.

Replacements: 16 Fred Ma’a, 17 Will Hurn, 18 Sam Vince, 19 Jack Hall, 20 Rhys Ford, 21 Stan Folks-Underhill, 22 Archie Hossack, 23 Ben Peters.


15 Josh Bellamy (Trinity), 14 Ollie Bailey (Trinity), 13 Ben Waghorn (John Fisher), 12 Ludo Kolade (King’s Canterbury), 11 Finn Tawse (Wellington College), 10 Sean Kerr (Whitgift), 9 Charlie Clare (Brighton College), 1 Jack Wadman (Seaford College), 2 Jack Doorey-Palmer (Worthing College), 3 Caleb Ashworth (Gordon’s), 4 Jonny Green (Seaford College), 5 Harry Browne (Brighton College), 6 Jonathan Smith (Brighton College), 7 Seb Driscoll (Whitgift), 8 Zach Carr (Dulwich College).

Replacements: 16 Will Ayton (Wellington College), 17 Claudius Wheeler (St Paul’s), 18 Theo Martin (Gordon’s), 19 Tom Golder (Gordon’s), 20 Ben Elsey (Gordon’s), 21 Murdoch Lock (Wellington College), 22 Guy Rogers (Gordon’s).

Saracens v London Irish – Saturday 8th Jan, 12pm, Harpenden RFC

Saracens are flying so far, with strong victories over first Exeter Chiefs and then bath, now they host a London Irish side that started their campaign brilliantly against Gloucester, and then just missed out in their local derby at Harlequins last time out. Saracens have an unchanged backline from the side that defeated Bath, and there are just a handful of changes up front too, with Berkhamsted’s Charlie Keith coming in at tighthead, and Ashford’s Anthony Mark in the second row, while Sutton Valence’s Barnaby Merrett comes in at 6. On the bench Ikhi Osebor, and Tom Barton both come in. London Irish, meanwhile, see Henley College’s George Cubitt-Makepeace return at full back, meaning a move from there to the right wing for Bishop Wand’s Matt Salisbury, while Mill Hill’s Oscar Daniel also returns, he starts at outside centre. Up front Round 1 skipper Louie Kirkham returns after missing Round 2, the Bishop Wand man starts at openside and will once again captain the side. Elsewhere in the pack Jarlaith Gleeson of City of London Freemen’s comes in at lock. Wellington College’s Thierry White and Solomon Arbuthnot-Whittaker both get an opportunity from the bench, as do Hinchley Wood’s Oran Murphy and Claire’s Court’s Will Dempster.


15 Jack Cullen (St Albans), 14 Micaal McFarlane (Skinners’), 13 Tyler Weeks (Sutton Valence), 12 Tobias Elliott (Berkhamsted), 11 Charlie Reynolds-West (Oaklands College), 10 Harry Legg (Simon Langton), 9 Charlie Bracken (St Albans), 1 Freddie Chapman (Oaklands College), 2 James Isaacs (Berkhamsted), 3 Charlie Keith (Berkhamsted), 4 Anthony Mark (Ashford), 5 Max Eke (St George’s, Harpenden), 6 Barnaby Merrett (Sutton Valence), 7 Luca Fahy (Berkhamsted), 8 Nathan Michelow (Sutton Valence).

Replacements: 16 Alex Witchell (Langley Park), 17 Ikhi Osebor (Haileybury), 18 Tony Erhawah (St Olave’s Grammar), 19 Olamide Sodeke (Gravesend Grammar), 20 Kennedy Sylvester (Simon Langton), 21 Jacob Ray (Sutton Valence), 22 Tom Barton (Sutton Valence), 23 Toby Clinch (Finborough).

London Irish

15 George Cubitt Makepeace (Henley College), 14 Matt Salisbury (Bishop Wand), 13 Oscar Daniel (Mill Hill), 12 Connor Cross (Hampton), 11 Sam Rockley (Bishop Wand), 10 Rory Taylor (Wellington College), 9 Ollie Allan (Bishop Wand), 1 Tolii Reeves-Hall (Bishop Wand), 2 Rhys Day (Epsom College), 3 Afolabi Fasogbon (Bishop Wand), 4 Oliver Stirling (Harrow), 5 Jarlaith Gleeson (City of London Freemen’s), 6 Roman Barton-Knott (Bishop Wand), 7 Louie Kirkham (Bishop Wand, captain), 8 Kade Bird (Epsom College).

Replacements: 16 Thierry White (Wellington College), 17 Oran Murphy (Hinchley Wood), 18 Kassim Dawud (Bishop Wand), 19 Connor O’Byrne (Wellington College), 20 Will Dempster (Claire’s Court), 21 Oscar Grantham (Bishop Wand), 22 Solomon Arbuthnot-Whittaker (Wellington College).

If you have any photos, video, reports, or any other content from the week’s U18 Academy League rugby then please do send it in via our social media channels or and if you are interested in us live streaming one of your games or an event then please do get in touch!

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Round 2 Results:


Leicester Tigers 15-33 Sale Sharks

Northampton Saints 36-19 Yorkshire Academy

Wasps 20-14 Newcastle Falcons

Worcester Warriors – Bye


Bristol Bears 25-3 Gloucester

Harlequins 21-17 London Irish

Saracens 39-12 Bath

Exeter Chiefs – Bye

Round 1 Results:


Northampton Saints 36-22 Leicester Tigers 

Worcester Warriors 13-40 Sale Sharks

Yorkshire Academy 0-36 Wasps

Newcastle Falcons – Bye


Bath 12-27 Bristol Bears

Exeter Chiefs 12-46 Saracens

London Irish 41-17 Gloucester

Harlequins – Bye

Future Fixtures:

Round 4


Leicester Tigers v Yorkshire Academy – Saturday 15th Jan, 5pm, Loughborough Uni

Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons – Sunday 16th Jan, 2pm, Heywood Road

Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints – Sunday 16th Jan, time TBC, Sixways

Wasps – Bye


Bath v London Irish – Saturday 15th Jan, 12.15pm Chippenham RFC

Bristol Bears v Saracens – Saturday 15th Jan, 1.30pm, Dings Crusaders

Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins – Saturday 15th Jan, 12pm, Truro College

Gloucester – Bye

Round 5


Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors – Saturday 22nd Jan, 2pm, Kingston Park

Wasps v Northampton Saints – Saturday 22nd Jan, 2pm, Aylesbury RFC

Yorkshire Academy v Sale Sharks – Sunday 23rd Jan, 3pm, Keighly RUFC

Leicester Tigers – Bye


Exeter Chiefs v Gloucester – Saturday 22nd Jan, 2pm, Truro College

Harlequins v Bath – Saturday 22nd Jan, 2pm, Venue TBC

London Irish v Bristol Bears – Saturday 22nd Jan, 1pm, Hazelwood

Saracens – Bye

Round 6


Newcastle Falcons v Yorkshire Academy – Saturday 5th Feb, 2pm, Kingston Park

Sale Sharks v Wasps – Sunday 6th Feb, time TBC, Manchester Met Uni

Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers, Saturday 5th Feb, 2pm, Sixways

Northampton Saints – Bye


Harlequins v Bristol Bears – Saturday 5th Feb, 2pm, Cobham RFC

Gloucester v Saracens – Saturday 5th Feb, 2pm, Cheltenham Tigers

London Irish v Exeter Chiefs – Saturday 5th Feb, 1.30pm, Hazelwood

Bath – Bye

Round 7


Leicester Tigers v Wasps – Saturday 12th Feb 5pm, Welford Road

Northampton Saints v Newcastle Falcons – Saturday 12th Feb, 2pm, Franklin’s Gardens

Yorkshire Academy v Worcester Warriors – Saturday 12th Feb, 2pm, Doncaster Knights

Sale Sharks – Bye


Bristol Bears v Exeter Chiefs – Saturday 12th Feb, Dings Crusaders

Gloucester v Bath – Saturday 12th Feb, 2pm, Kingsholm

Saracens v Harlequins – Saturday 12th Feb, 1pm, StoneX

London Irish – Bye

Finals Day: Saturday/Sunday 19th/20th February – Venue TBC (7 games)

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