22 February 2023
Under-18 title winners
The London Irish under-18 side won the Premiership Rugby Under-18 Academy weekend on Sunday at the StoneX Stadium with a 27-19 win over Northampton Saints under-18.
The junior Exiles attained their second league title in four seasons after sharing the honours with other Midlands side Leicester Tigers in 2020, scoring four tries on the evening.
Jack Pattinson’s boys lifted the trophy after tries from Louie Heard, Kepueli Tuipulotu, Finn Worley Brady and George Goodridge, Heard slotting two conversions with Rory Taylor adding the decisive penalty kick with the clock in the red.
After the game, Pattinson commented: “It’s very surreal, and it hasn’t really sunken in yet - the boys were just terrific!” he eulogised.
“It was a tough start to the game in the opening 10 minutes, we were on the back foot but to be honest, I felt that summarised the whole season.
“The response to that opening 10 minutes showed the spirit and the connection within the group, they rallied and came back together.
“It was never in doubt in my mind, I could see that the boys had it within them and that spirit is why we won.”
15 Toby Cousins, 14 Jacob Wilmott, 13 Harry Simpson, 12 Ollie Saddleton, 11 Ben Radnor, 10 Rory Hollis, 9 Archie McParland; 1 Lucas Nisbett-Hadaway, 2 Sol Moody, 3 Will Lamprell, 4 Aiden Kabi, 5 Henri Burditt, 6 Mart van der Veen, 7 Henry Pollock (c), 8 Ollie Holliday.
16 Robert Gaffan, 17 Oliver Scola, 18 Tom Dye, 19 Ashton Webb, 20 Alfie Hoyles, 21 Billy Pasco, 22 Max Allman-Ward, 23 Ben Agebnu.
15 Ben Frampton (Wellington College), 14 Theo Williamson (Bishop Wand), 13 George Staveley (Wellington College), 12 Cameron Ellis (Harrow), 11 Sam Rockley (Bishop Wand), 10 Louie Heard (Bishop Wand), 9 Connor Peters (Berkhamsted);1 Ralph McEachran (Bishop Wand), 2 Kepueli Tuipulotu (Harrow), 3 Brandon Vince (Bishop Wand), 4 Mario Ikumola-Andre (Bishop Wand), 5 Ciaran Brickley (London Oratory), 6 Tayo Adegbemile (St Albans), 7 Finn Worley-Brady (Bishop Wand, captain), 8 Jack Lee (Millfield).
16 George Goodridge (Bishop Wand), 17 Ralph Hawker (Wellington College), 18 Philip Truscott (Harrow), 19 Edward Bachelor (Bishop Wand), 20 Sam Lee (RGS High Wycombe), 21 Noah Cowan (Stowe), 22 Rory Taylor (Wellington College), 23 Charlie Griffin (Harrow).
In the Championship Cup, the adaptable Mikey Summerfield spent his time with Hartpury University across both sides of the scrum at both loosehead and tighthead prop in 73 minutes of action.
Lining up against Ealing Trailfinders, Summerfield had a busy outing with an impact in his tackling and upholding the set-piece at scrum time as Hartpury succumbed to a 28-38 defeat.
Fellow Academy prop Oran Murphy also earned time in the Championship Cup, this time for London Scottish, adapting to second tier life well in recent weeks.
Scottish took on Coventry at the Richmond Athletic Ground in a high-scoring, 31-47 loss with the first year forward having plenty of maul defence involvement, as well as a strong carry, in the game’s final 15 minutes.
National League 2 East side Barnes secured a whitewash of Rochford Hundred at the Rugby Park, finishing up 71-0 in Essex with 43 points in the second half.
Louis Kirkham (back-row), Connor Cross (full-back) and George Makepeace-Cubitt (fly-half) all played for the London side as they eased to the 11-try victory, Makepeace-Cubitt running well and slotting eight of his conversion attempts.
Kirkham worked to earn a jackal turnover alongside some industrious carrying for Jack Heald’s men, Cross too having an impressive showing on the away trip with periods of the game spent at 12 as well as 15.
Back in international action
Monty Bradbury will start at fly-half for the third successive England under-20s game when they take on Wales under-20s this Friday (24th), kicking-off at 7.15pm and available on BBC IPlayer.
He will be joined by Clubmates Calum Scott (hooker) and Afolabi Fasogbon (prop) from the bench.
Five Senior Academy players have been involved with the side as they prepare for the trip to Stadium CSM this weekend.
Bradbury, Chandler Cunningham-South (back-row), Afolabi Fasogbon (prop), Calum Scott (hooker) and Jack Walsh (wing) have trained with Alan Dickens’ side ahead of the trip to Colwyn Bay.
The age-grade have an unblemished record in their 2023 Under-20 Six Nations, taking bonus point wins over Scotland (41-36) and Italy (32-25) to sit atop of the table.
Cunningham-South, who played his role as a replacement for the Exiles’ senior side in a 25-10 win over Bath Rugby last weekend, has scored two tries in as many appearances with Fasogbon also adding his first under-20s try over the Azzurri.