24 October 2022
The Academy wing of the Club have been involved in several levels of the game over the course of the last week, from the Premiership down to the ACE programme.
First team opportunities
Chandler Cunningham-South continued to fly the flag for the current Senior Academy crop in the first team squad in a Gallagher Premiership matchday against Gloucester Rugby.
In his fifth consecutive league game, the England under-20 international made his sixth Premiership appearance of this term in a narrow 22-21 loss to the Cherry and Whites.
Despite the loss, in his 19 minutes of pitch time involvement the versatile forward made eight metres from four carries with four tackles to boot.
Eight Academy products were involved in the matchday 23 in the seventh round of the Premiership, alongside Cunningham-South.
Up and down the pyramid
Senior Academy hooker Calum Scott was involved in the Championship as a substitute for London Scottish at the weekend against Ealing Trailfinders.
Coming on as a replacement 15 minutes from time in a 57-21 reverse for the Richmond-based side, Scott earned his first senior appearance with Scottish now at the foot of the second tier.
Also in Championship action was Mikey Summerfield, an initial travelling reserve with Hartpury on their trip to the Midlands to take on Bedford Blues who was upgraded to a 75-minute cameo after injuries in the warm up.
Prop Harry Fry’s race was also run less than five minutes into the contest, paving the way for Summerfield’s first outing in red and white with 40 minutes at loosehead and 35 at tighthead in a 28-21 defeat.
In National League 1, Monty Bradbury (fly-half, Rosslyn Park), Ollie Allan (scrum-half, Rams) Oran Murphy (prop, Esher) and Joe Vajner (hooker, Esher) earned time off the bench for their respective loan sides.
Ollie Allan’s rapid distribution and box-kicking capabilities aided in a 29-21 win over Bradbury’s Rosslyn Park at The Rock, Allan playing 25 minutes in the win.
Bradbury played 35 minutes and converted two late place kicks following Jake Buckingham’s brace of tries, but it wasn’t to be for Park as their unbeaten stretch came to an end against the league leaders.
Esher succumbed to a 35-21 away defeat in Manchester to Sale FC; Vajner playing the final 40 minutes minutes and Murphy the last 25 as the front-row pairing contributed to winning two scrum penalties, but Esher sit 13th in the division.
Louie Kirkham (back-row) and George Makepeace-Cubitt (full-back) continued their association with Barnes RFC in National League 2 East, as the local side emerged comfortable 28-3 victors over Rochford Hundred.
The youngsters helped solidify Barnes’ strong second-place positioning at Barn Elms, both matching the physicality of the game well in their respective positions with relative strong carrying and chance creation.
Connor Cross and Jake Shortland each split a 40-minute shift at inside centre for Henley Bulls, finishing 29-29 against Ampthill 1881 in the HALBRO Raging Bull Shield Division 1.
England under-18s camp
Three London Irish under-18 Academy players were included in Jonathan Pendlebury’s England under-18s training camp over the last week.
Cameron Ellis (centre, Wellington College), Rory Taylor (fly-half, Harrow School) and Kepu Tuipulotu (hooker, Harrow School) were all named in the national side’s age-grade training squad in the first camp following a narrow 2-1 series loss in South Africa this summer.
London Irish’s ACE school Bishop Wand took home a 31-12 win over Bristol Bears’ ACE side, SGS College, in a road victory last week.
Hooker George Goodridge, winger Sam Rockley, out-half Kian Norval, Michael Morgan and back-row Ciaran Thomas scored with Norval kicking three from five conversions.
Bishop Wand sits third in the RFU ACE League South Group standings with a record of three wins and two defeats, meaning they qualify for the top four grouping with a game to spare.
The side take on Truro and Penwith College (Exeter Chiefs ACE) in a home fixture next week in their final encounter of the first phase of the season, to confirm the final placing in the group and next opposition.