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Premiership Rugby U18 Academy League: Summer Kick Off for Academy League this Weekend

The 2022/23 Premiership Rugby U18 Academy League kicks off this weekend in a departure from the historical schedule for the tournament.

 

In previous years the Academy League would kick off following the conclusion of the main school season, with game running through the Christmas holidays and into the new year with the finals in mid-February (on occasion a game would be held during the October half term).

 

This year however, in a move that will allow young players a proper rest over the Christmas period, the first two rounds of the competition take place in August, with Round 1 this weekend and Round 2 next weekend, before a complete rest until 2023 when Round 3 takes place on the 6th, 7th, and 8th January.

 

Round 4, 5, 6, and 7 take place through the rest of January and early February, with the Finals scheduled for either the 18th or 19th February.

 

As ever, the league is split into two conferences of 7 (the thirteen Gallagher Premiership clubs plus the Yorkshire Academy), split North/South. The finals will see sides from the Northern Conference taking on their counterpart in the Southern Conference.

Round 1 Fixtures (19th/20th August):

 

Northern Conference

Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints – Friday, 2pm, Oval Park

Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors – Friday, 3pm, CorpAcq Stadium

Wasps v Yorkshire Academy – Saturday, 2pm, Ostler’s Field

 

Southern Conference

Bristol Bears v Bath – Saturday, 7.30pm, Shaftesbury Park

Gloucester v London Irish – Saturday, 2.30pm, Kingsholm

Saracens v Exeter Chiefs – Friday, 4.30pm, StoneX Stadium

 

Bristol Bears won the 2021/22 title after topping a thrilling Southern Conference to set up a final against Northampton Saints. The Champions kick off their campaign on Saturday night at Shaftesbury Park against old rivals Bath, who finished 7th last year after a fourth placed finish in the Southern Conference before beating Newcastle Falcons in their play off.

 

Runners up Northampton Saints also begin their campaign with a big derby, and indeed they kick off the campaign as a whole with the first kick off of the season on Friday at 2pm. They head to Oval Park to take on Leicester Tigers, whom they just pipped to the top of the Northern Conference last season. Tigers in the end finished third with a victory over Harlequins in their play off.

 

Quins have a bye week to begin, so too Newcastle Falcons, with there being an odd number of sides in each conference there is a bye for one side in each conference every round. However the two will actually meet each other in a friendly on Thursday at Loughborough University and will also play an U17 game.

 

Joining Tigers and Saints with a Friday kick off at Sale Sharks and Worcester Warriors, who go head to head in the Northern Conference at CropAcq Stadium, kicking off at 3pm. Then at 4.30pm in the Southern Conference Saracens and Exeter Chiefs meet at the StoneX Stadium.

 

On Saturday Wasps host Yorkshire Academy in the Northern Conference at Ostler’s Field in a 2pm kick off, while in the Southern Conference Gloucester host London Irish at 2.30pm in what should be a special occasion, in front of hopefully a strong crowd at Kingsholm.

 

It promises to be a fantastic opening round, teams will be shorn of a few players on England U18 duty, but that should only serve to give more players to wear the shirt in an Academy League season like none before it.

 

2022/23 Premiership Rugby U18 Academy League Fixtures:

 

Round 1 (19th/20th August)

 

Northern Conference

Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints – Friday, 2pm, Oval Park

Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors – Friday, 3pm, CorpAcq Stadium

Wasps v Yorkshire Academy – Saturday, 2pm, Ostler’s Field

 

Southern Conference

Bristol Bears v Bath – Saturday, 7.30pm, Shaftesbury Park

Gloucester v London Irish – Saturday, 2.30pm, Kingsholm

Saracens v Exeter Chiefs – Friday, 4.30pm, StoneX Stadium

 

Round 2 (25th/26th/27th August)

 

Northern Conference

Newcastle Falcons v Wasps – Saturday 27th, 6pm, Kingston Park

Sale Sharks v Leicester Tigers – Friday 26th, 3pm, CorpAcq Stadium

Yorkshire Academy v Northampton Saints – Friday 26th, 5pm, TBC

 

Southern Conference

Bath v Saracens – Saturday 27th, 1.15pm, Allington Fields

Gloucester v Bristol Bears – Thursday 25th, 7.30pm, Kingsholm

London Irish v Harlequins – Thursday 25th, 5.30pm, Hazelwood

 

Round 3 (6th/7th/8th January)

 

Northern Conference

Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons

Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks

Worcester Warriors v Wasps

 

Southern Conference

Exeter Chiefs v Bath

Harlequins v Gloucester

London Irish v Saracens

 

Round 4 (13th/14th/15th January)

 

Northern Conference

Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks

Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors

Yorkshire Academy v Leicester Tigers

 

Southern Conference

Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs

London Irish v Bath

Saracens v Bristol Bears

 

Round 5 (20th/21st/22nd January)

 

Northern Conference

Northampton Saints v Wasps

Sale Sharks v Yorkshire Academy

Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons

 

Southern Conference

Bath v Harlequins

Bristol Bears v London Irish

Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs

 

Round 6 (3rd/4th/5th February)

 

Northern Conference

Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors
Wasps v Sale Sharks

Yorkshire Academy v Newcastle Falcons

 

Southern Conference

Bristol Bears v Harlequins

Exeter Chiefs v London Irish

Saracens v Gloucester

 

Round 7 (10th/11th/12th February)

 

Northern Conference

Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints

Wasps v Leicester Tigers

Worcester Warriors

 

Southern Conference

Bath v Gloucester

Exeter Chiefs v Bristol Bears

Harlequins v Saracens

 

Finals: 18th/19th February

SHARING IS CARING!
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