The London Irish Senior Academy boys have been back in action over the last week in both the first team senior set-up, as well as game time across the National League.
Amongst first year players, prop Oran Murphy earned a full 80 minutes for Barnes’ second team against Rams’ second XV, whilst Ollie Allan took to the field for a half in the same match as Rams ran out 33-10 victors in the HALBRO Raging Bull Shield.
The scrum-half’s tactical kicking was a particular standout for the Reading-based side, who sit second in Division 1 of the league, with Barnes second XV in sixth after four games.
Louie Kirkham (back-row) and George Makepeace-Cubitt (full-back) played for Barnes’ first team against North Walsham, taking a big 36-10 win in Norfolk to keep Barnes in the top three teams in National League 2 East after six rounds.
The latter pairing was awarded their first senior run-outs, Kirkham playing out a solid 80 minutes with Makepeace-Cubitt’s novel starting berth saw him beat numerous defenders in counter attacking play and kicking at goals excellently.
For the Henley second team, centres Conor Cross and Jake Shortland as well as back-row talent Oliver Stirling played in a defeat to Rosslyn Park seconds, Shortland making his return to action after a long-term injury.
Into the second year, fly-half Monty Bradbury had a busy weekend having followed up 30 minutes pitch time with Rosslyn Park against Darlington Mowden Park away with first team action with the senior squad in the Premiership Rugby Cup.
As a replacement, Bradbury kicked two conversions to aid in a 33-28 win for the local side and maintain a 100% return from six games in National League 1, also playing out the final quarter in a 43-26 win over Saracens for Irish.
On that fine evening for the Club where another 100% return was secured in the cup, this time for London Irish, 11 Academy products were on display for Declan Kidney’s Exiles at the StoneX Stadium.
Six current Senior Academy players and five former Academy products played out the high-scoring affair; Monty Bradbury, Michael Dykes, Alexander Harmes, Mikey Summerfield, Joe Vajner, Jack Walsh, and also Ben and Jacob Atkins, Josh Basham, Jack Cooke and Isaac Curtis-Harris.
Dykes bagged his first senior rugby hattrick, with his wing counterpart Harmes also dotting down on a night when the remaining try scorers; Facundo Gigena, Tom Hitchcock and Basham, grabbed their first Club tries.
Versatile forward Chandler Cunningham-South registered another Premiership appearance with a cameo off the bench against Sale Sharks in Round 6, relacing Irish debutant So’otala Fa’aso’o.
Whilst it wasn’t to be for Irish on the evening, Cunningham-South managed seven metres from two carries, a pass and a tackle each as well as winning a turnover and beating a defender.
London Irish’s ACE side, Bishop Wand School, took a 33-26 home win at Hazelwood over Bath’s ACE side Beechen Cliff last week, to improve their record to two wins and one defeat.
Finn Worley-Brady captained the side to a five try victory, with Theo Williamson, Ben Bysouth, Brandon Vince, Michael Morgan and Ciaran Thomas scoring and Kian Norval slotting all but one conversion on the day.
Bishop Wand travel to Bristol to take on SGS Filton College in another round of ACE South Group action this Wednesday (19th).
Good luck to the lads!