23 August 2016
London Irish’s Under-16 side took the Premiership Academy tournament by storm, winning three out of three at the annual competition held at Warwick School last week.
The Silver Academy as they are known, put Worcester Warriors, Bristol and Bath to the sword with an enterprising style of rugby to underline the club’s burgeoning Academy set-up.
Setting the tone with an impressive 25-5 victory over Worcester in their opening game, the Exile fledglings were certainly a side on a mission with Jack Jesty, William Sinfield, Furgus Walker, Ross Hannekin and Takiko Taukei all running in tries.
Bristol provided a sterner test for the Exiles in the second match with the West Country outfit taking the lead early on. However, two tries in quick succession from Charlie Hubbard and Alex Robertson aided the Irish fightback just before the break. Buoyed by their resurgence, Irish began to play an expansive game resulting in a further try through Billy Franklin to seal a 15-10 victory.
The Exiles rounded off an impressive afternoon in Warwick by securing a 20-15 win against Bath to maintain their 100% record. Despite going 10-0 down, Louis Smith and Jesty crossed the line just before half-time to set up an enthralling second period. In dramatic fashion Irish snatched victory in the last minute courtesy of Taukei who latched onto a neat Sinfield grubber kick.
Academy coach Patrick O’Grady said: “The lads performed superbly in every game and were relentless throughout the day.
“We used the full range of the 32-man squad with everyone playing their role, and each and every one of them should be proud of their efforts.
“The Academy is in good shape at the moment and we will continue to build on this success, ensuring we develop the next generation of players coming through the Academy system.
“The Academy is in good shape at the moment and with Nick [Kennedy] overseeing the set-up we will continue to build.”
London Irish take on Doncaster Knights in the first game of the season on Saturday 3rd September (kick-off 3pm). Click here to buy online or call 0118 968 1016.