26 January 2017
London Irish Academy Manager Patrick O’Grady is hoping his under-18’s charges can build on last weekend’s victory over Bath when they take on Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday (kick-off 12pm).
Tries from Ben Donnell, Brandon Baker and Fergus Guiry secured a morale-boosting win against the West Countrymen.
O’Grady, a former player with the Exiles, admits he is happy with the development of the Gold Group.
“We played some expansive rugby against Bath and got used to the physicality right from the word go which was pleasing,” said O’Grady, 29.
“We scored a range of tries and played from deep, another pleasing aspect of the game. For me it’s all about performance and it’s important that key individuals keep improving.
“Each game that we have played has been outstanding from a performance point of view – it was great to win against Bath, but more importantly the performance was there.
“It was a tough win and we ground it out. This week will be yet another test for us and it’s a fantastic opportunity for the lads to play at Allianz Park,” he added.
Expecting a difficult test at the home of the north London club this weekend, O’Grady is happy with how the training week has taken shape, saying: “Training has gone really well and despite having a number of injuries, it’s a good opportunity for other boys to step up and show what they can do.
“We have boys who haven’t played much rugby of late so we will certainly see the benefits of those guys getting some game time under their belts.
“Playing at Allianz Park will be a great experience for the boys and we also have a couple of under-16s pulling on the jersey, which will be great for them.”
London Irish: 15 Ben Loader, 14 Ronan Maloney, 13 Fergus Guiry, 12 Jacob Webb, 11 Connor Burns, 10 Russell Bennett, 9 Harry Delaney, 1 Ben Connor, 2 Callum Torpey, 3 Brandon Baker, 4 Ben Donnell, 5 Harry Butler, 6 Elliot Quinton, 7 Henry Fuller, 8 Josh Basham
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Barrett, 17 Jamie Henson, 18 Joe Toguri, 19 Max Ayling, 20 Josh Smart, 21 Archie Dunhill, 22 Reuben Knight, 23 Dan Stoller/Jack Jesty