12 April 2023
Around the globe
Luke Green made his first appearance for Major League Rugby (MLR) side San Diego Legion over the weekend, with the prop having recently linked up with former Exiles Blair Cowan and Alex Corbisiero in the United States.
Legion travelled up the Pacific Coast to face Seattle Seawolves, a previously unbeaten side, to take a narrow 23-20 victory over their conference competitors.
Green started the game from tighthead prop, playing out the first hour and amassing the joint-third highest tackle count in the game (16).
Additionally, he aided in overturning possession at a scrum for Legion’s first score through David Tameilau, in what was a significant win for Danny Lee’s outfit.
San Diego currently sit atop of the Western Conference of the MLR with just one loss in seven games, and next face Chicago Hounds back home at the Snapdragon Stadium this Sunday (16th).
Another international loanee, Ed Scragg, contributed in Sydney University’s opening two 2023 Charter Hall Shute Shield encounters against Northern Suburbs and Warringah, respectively.
Despite an eventual 37-20 defeat to the former, Sydney employed Scragg as a starting tighthead lock against Norths to lose out on the John Thornett Cup.
Scragg would resume his duties in the coming days as a replacement, imposing his frame in the loose and the set-piece, as his side came out on top of a 15-13 result.
The win was the first of Sydney University’s Shute Shield campaign, who are placed ninth in the division thus far, with NHRU Wildfires awaiting Sydney this Friday.
Back on home soil, Josh Smart was selected by Paul Turner in Ampthill’s home tie against Coventry Rugby in the Championship, starting as a blindside flanker in Bedfordshire.
It wasn’t to be for Smart of Ampthill, who fell to a 21-45 reverse at the hands of the Midlands outfit and occupy eighth in the second tier.
Six wins from six games was the impressive record achieved by the London Irish under-15s at the Under-15 Academy Festival at North Bristol RFC on Easter Monday.
34 youngsters from Irish’s Developing Player Programme sites in Acton, Hazelwood, Harrow, Reading and Southampton made their first impressions in an Exiles jersey count in six 12-a-side, 20-minute games.
Rhys Davies’ boys beat all of Bath Rugby (10-0), Bristol Bears (25-15), Exeter Chiefs (5-0, 20-15) and Gloucester Rugby (15-5, 5-0) in what was a successful bank holiday in the West Country.
London Irish under-15s squad at the Under-15 Academy Festival
Jabbar Adekunle-Lawal (Reading), Orlando Akuffo (Acton), Akwasi Asante (Reading), Felix Baker (Reading), Jack Beswick (Hazelwood), Augustus Chukwuemeka (Harrow), Thomas Dargan (Harrow), Oscar Dehavilland (Hazelwood), Rudi Derbyshire (Reading), Charlie Heard (Hazelwood), Ben Hislop (Hazelwood), William Hodgson (Hazelwood), Elijah Jeyes (Reading), Omar Khan (Hazelwood), Henry Laidlow (Hazelwood), Daniel Lake (Acton), Ben Leinwand (Harrow), Adam Loo (Hazelwood), Henry McPhilemy (Southampton), Ollie Moran (Hazelwood), Jago Morgan (Hazelwood), Jack Osman (Hazelwood), Will Osman (Hazelwood), Ben Perkins (Southampton), Ethan Pryce (Harrow), Freddie Ruzicka (Acton), Teddy Skinner (Southampton), Sam Thirlwall (Hazelwood), Vander Thompson (Southampton), Taniel Tumusiime (Harrow), Lucas Weston (Hazelwood), Farren Willis (Hazelwood), Louis Worley Brady (Hazelwood), Rhys Yafele (Hazelwood).
After a successful outing to the RFU Festival in Warwickshire last weekend, Irish’s under-17s followed up their form with a derby day triumph to remember at Hazelwood with a 52-17 win over Saracens.
The junior Exiles ran in eight tries on the day, loose forward Reggie Hammick rolling over from the maul with further scores from Luc Anfield (centre), Isaac Sprenger (lock), and Tyler Offiah (2, wing).
Irish continued their onslaught as Hammick completed his brace before Finlay Wiseman (wing) and Sam Winters (full-back) got in on the act, Winters making the step-up from under-16 level and playing a year up.
London Irish under-17s side vs. Saracens
15 Sam Winters, 14 Finlay Wiseman, 13 Max Winter (vc), 12 Luc Anfield, 11 Tyler Offiah, 10 Filip Edstrom, 9 George Harris; 1 Hunter Deane-Johns, 2 Martin Chalmers, 3 Charlie Holyer, 4 Isaac Sprenger, 5 Tayo Adegbemile (c), 6 John Edwards, 7 Reggie Hammick, 8 Edward Bachelor.
16 Oscar Thomas, 17 Hamdan Dawud, 18 Alfie Holland, 19 Oliver Agar, 20 Owen Beswick, 21 Toby Skelly, 22 Finn Keylock, 23 Lockie Lee, 24 Rafael Varona Blakstad.
The Under-18 Six Nations Festival got underway over the weekend with three junior Exiles, Charlie Griffin (wing), Ralph McEachran (prop) and Kepu Tuipulotu (hooker), involved for England.
Each Exile was introduced as a replacement in the tournament opener for Jonathan Pendlebury’s side, young outside back Griffin making his under-18 international debut for his country.
Tuipulotu nudged over with a smart finish in the corner late on to solidify his famed try-scoring exploits, but his unconverted score was to be England’s last as they narrowly missed out in a 23-22 loss.
Griffin, McEachran and Tuipulotu will earn their first Six Nations starts for England in the second round of the competition this week.
Irish’s three Under-18 Academy League victors take on Italy on Wednesday (12th) afternoon at 3:15pm, with the encounter available to watch on the Six Nations Rugby digital channels.