Ollie Allan made a stark impression in his given minutes for Rams, who were on their travels to Darlington MP in National League 1 with Allan utilised at scrum-half from the outset.
The 19-year-old scored a stunning 50-metre try, one of seven for the Reading outfit, with his precise passing and kicking from hand aiding in the 43-21 win to lift Rams to the top of the pile.
He was joined on the field with Exiles prop Tarek Haffar on the latter’s return to the Rams first team following on from a run-out for the seconds last week, Haffar also getting on the scoresheet and holding up the scrum in Durham.
Joe Vajner (hooker) made a 35-minute, set-piece oriented second-half cameo for Richmond in their Championship Cup defeat against Cornish Pirates, accounting for five of Richmond’s points with a late score in the 25-12 reverse.
Ampthill edged out Caldy at Dillingham Park with the help of two Irish players, Alex Harmes (wing) and Luke Green (prop), to finish 31-26 in the Championship Cup.
Green made a strong impression upon his return from the sidelines, Clubmate Harmes scoring the Bedfordshire side’s second on the afternoon with an interception score from halfway before being replaced on the hour.
Connor Cross started at full-back for Barnes at Barn Elms in a National League 2 East match-up with Old Albanians, the home side coming up short to the visitors in an entertaining affair.
Cross stood up to be counted with a solid outing in his maiden start for the first team, making ground with ball in hand to execute line breaks and spearhead the counter-attack in a 40-33 loss for Barnes, who sit third in the fourth-tier rungs.
Alan Dickens employed four Senior Academy players from London Irish in his England under-20s side to begin the Under-20 Six Nations against Scotland under-20s at the Twickenham Stoop.
Chandler Cunningham-South (number eight) and Monty Bradbury (fly-half) played out the full 80 minutes, with Calum Scott (hooker) and Afolabi Fasogbon (prop) finishing the game from the bench.
Bradbury shone on the international stage, foremostly with teasing restarts to force his opponents into uncomfortable collections, before racking up the joint-highest tackles count amongst English backs (10), 13 metres from four carries, 12 passes, 120 kick metres and one try assist.
Irish’s loose forward, who has made his presence known in senior league and European matches this season, continued his impressive form with a first-half try, 13 tackles (a team-high), 70 metres in 11 carries (highest among English forwards), alongside an offload and one broken tackle.
Scott and Fasogbon were introduced after 50 minutes of play for their maiden competitive under-20 appearances alongside Bradbury.
Scott managed 15 metres from two carries, a tackle and an offload in two passes, with Fasogbon registering nine metres from his one carry, an offload and two tackles as Alan Dickens’ side edged a 41-36 thriller at the Twickenham Stoop.
Return of the Academy League
London Irish under-18s completed their regular season in the Premiership Rugby Under-18 Academy League with a 28-10 win over Exeter Chiefs’ under-18 side at Truro College.
Four converted tries from the Exiles saw them to victory, Kepu Tuipulotu (hooker) weighing in with a hattrick as Noah Cowan (scrum-half) also dotted down in the first period.
Louie Heard (out-half) kicked his four conversion attempts to aid in the victory, cancelling out two penalty kicks from Exeter’s Benjamin Coen and Jed Findlay, as well as a Bobby Wigginton try.
With Irish playing out a fallow week in the division this forthcoming weekend, they now await confirmation of their final league seeding as the full regular season of the Academy League draws to a conclusion.
Finals Day of the competition set for 19th February at StoneX Stadium.
London Irish under-18 squad vs. Exeter Chiefs under-18:
15 Ben Frampton, 14 Theo Williamson, 13 George Staveley, 12 Charlie Griffin, 11 Sam Rockley, 10 Louie Heard, 9 Noah Cowan; 1 Ralph McEachran, 2 Kepueli Tuipulotu, 3 Brandon Vince (c), 4 Louis Brickley, 5 Mario Ikumola-Andre, 6 Tayo Adegbemile, 7 Sam Lee, 8 Jack Lee.
16 George Goodridge, 17 Ralph Hawker, 18 Philip Truscott, 19 Edward Bachelor, 20 Michael Morgan, 21 Jonny Sharp, 22 Cameron Ellis, 23 Finlay Wiseman.