Representative Rugby

U18 Academy League: Christmas action Roundup – Champion Tigers remain unbeaten

6th January 2020
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The Christmas period has seen the opening three rounds of the U18 Academy League take place, with Exeter Chiefs v Bath and Northampton Saints v Sale Sharks completing the round over the weekend.


In an intensely competitive opening to the competition, only the back to back champions, Leicester Tigers, remain unbeaten after these opening three rounds. Meanwhile at the other end of the spectrum just one side in each conference is yet to seal victory, Yorkshire Carnegie in the Northern Conference and Exeter Chiefs in the South.


The competition continues this weekend with round 4, the midpoint of the campaign, with three further rounds on the weekends of the 18th, 25th, and the 8th of February, with the U18 Academy League finals taking place on Sunday 16th February.


Northern Conference


Leicester Tigers have taken the Northern Conference by storm, beating Northampton Saints and Sale Sharks in cracking encounters in the opening two rounds before a strong 19-0 victory over Newcastle Falcons on Saturday 28th.


Sale’s 27-18 defeat at home to Tigers is their only defeat of these opening rounds, having won a tight opener over Worcester Warriors before a thrilling 37-24 victory at Northampton Saints on Sunday in the final game of the third round, leaving them second in the table at present, four points behind the champions.


Behind Sale in third are Worcester, level with Northampton Saints in fourth, Worcester have played just twice having had the bye in round 2. They beat Wasps 33-21 last time out for their first victory. Saints meanwhile have, as mentioned, lost to Tigers and Sale but enjoyed a thumping 50-28 victory at Yorkshire Carnegie in Round 2.


Wasps and Newcastle Falcons sit in 5th and 6th, just a point behind the two ahead. Each has one victory to their name, Wasps beat Yorkshire Carnegie 54-12 in their opener, but the key was surely the game between the two in round 2 where Newcastle hosted Wasps and secured an impressive 42-24 victory.


Southern Conference


London Irish are sitting at the top of the table in the Southern Conference thanks to their strong bonus point haul. The Exiles lost a thriller to second place Saracens in Round 3, 34-28, but bonus points their added to their 22-10 victory at Gloucester and 41-31 home victory over Harlequins keep them top of the table.


Saracens have the same record though, in addition to beating Irish they also secured a 31-19 victory over Exeter Chiefs in Round 1. However in Round 2 Bath got the better of them at The Rec, winning 26-14.


Like Irish and Saracens, Bath also have two victories from their three games and sit in third place. Having lost 18-17 to Bristol in Round 1 they bounced back with that victory over Saracens and made it back to back victories on Saturday when they won 22-7 at Truro College against Exeter Chiefs.


Harlequins sit in fourth place with a game in hand having played just twice. They lost that thriller to London Irish in Round 2 and then at Rosslyn Park on Saturday 28th, on a live streamed game, they sealed a 41-15 victory over Gloucester.


Behind Quins are Bristol, who have enjoyed that narrow victory over Bath before an exciting 36-25 defeat at Gloucester. That is Gloucester’s only victory so far, as they Cherry and Whites have lost out to London Irish and Harlequins in their other two games, while Exeter sit at the foot of the table without a victory to their name as yet.


Coming Up


The league is back in action again this weekend, and Leicester Tigers will be looking to make it four from four when they travel to Yorkshire Carnegie. Meanwhile Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors are also in action in an exciting looking game on Saturday. The Northern Conference action will be finished off for the round on Sunday when Sale Sharks visit Newcastle Falcons, Wasps meanwhile have the bye for Round 4.


Over in the South there will be plenty of focus on the top end clash between London Irish and Bath at Hazelwood on Saturday lunchtime. Meanwhile at Surrey Sports Park Harlequins will be hosting Exeter Chiefs before Saracens host Bristol Bears on Sunday. Gloucester have the Southern Conference bye for round 4.


Please do get in touch with your stories, photos, videos, reports, and opinions from the week’s U18 Academy League rugby! You can get in touch via any of the below methods:


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U18 Academy League Tables:


Northern Conference
Pos Team P W D L BPs Points
1 Leicester Tigers 3 3 0 0 1 13
2 Sale Sharks 3 2 0 1 1 9
3 Worcester Warriors 2 1 0 1 2 6
4 Northampton Saints 3 1 0 2 2 6
5 Wasps 3 1 0 2 1 5
6 Newcastle Falcons 2 1 0 1 1 5
7 Yorkshire Carnegie 2 0 0 2 1 1


Southern Conference
Pos Team P W D L BPs Points
1 London Irish 3 2 0 1 4 12
2 Saracens 3 2 0 1 2 10
3 Bath 3 2 0 1 1 9
4 Harlequins 2 1 0 1 2 6
5 Bristol 2 1 0 1 1 5
6 Gloucester 3 1 0 2 1 5
7 Exeter 2 0 0 2 0 0


U18 Academy League Results:


Round 1


Leicester Tigers 25-12 Northampton Saints

Wasps 54-12 Yorkshire Carnegie

Sale Sharks 22-20 Worcester Warriors


Saracens 31-19 Exeter Chiefs

Bristol Bears 18-17 Bath

Gloucester 10-22 London Irish


Round 2


Newcastle Falcons 42-24 Wasps

Yorkshire Carnegie 28-50 Northampton Saints

Sale Sharks 18-27 Leicester Tigers


Gloucester 36-25 Bristol Bears

London Irish 41-31 Harlequins

Bath 26-14 Saracens


Round 3


Worcester Warriors 33-21 Wasps

Leicester Tigers 19-0 Newcastle Falcons

Northampton Saints 24-37 Sale Sharks


Harlequins 41-15 Gloucester

London Irish 28-34 Saracens

Exeter Chiefs 7-22 Bath


U18 Academy League Fixtures


Round 4


Yorkshire Carnegie v Leicester Tigers – Sat 11th Jan, 12.30pm, Yarnbury RFC

Northampton Saints v Worcester – Sat 11th Jan, 2pm, Franklin’s Gardens

Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks – Sun 12th Jan, 2pm, Kingston Park


London Irish v Bath – Sat 11th Jan, 1pm, Hazelwood

Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs – Sat 11th Jan, 2pm, Surrey Sports Park

Saracens v Bristol Bears – Sun 12th Jan, 1pm, Allianz Park


Round 5


Northampton Saints v Wasps – Sat 18th Jan, 1.30pm, Franklin’s Gardens

Worcester Warriors v Newcastle Falcons – Sun 19th Jan, 2pm, Sixways

Sale Sharks v Yorkshire Carnegie – Sun 19th Jan, 2.30pm, Manchester Met Uni


Bath v Harlequins – Sat 18th Jan, TBA, TBA

Bristol Bears v London Irish – Sat 18th Jan, 11.30am, Shaftesbury Park

Gloucester v Exeter Chiefs – Sat 18th Jan, 1.30pm, Newlands Park


Round 6


Yorkshire Carnegie v Newcastle Falcons – Sat 25th Jan, TBA, TBA

Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors – Sat 25th Jan, 12pm, Oval Park

Wasps v Sale Sharks – Sat 25th Jan, 1pm, Ricoh Arena


Bristol Bears v Harlequins – Sat 25th Jan, 1pm, Combination Ground

Saracens v Gloucester – Sat 25th Jan, 1pm, Allianz Park

Exeter Chiefs v London Irish – Sat 25th Jan, 2pm, Truro College


Round 7


Wasps v Leicester Tigers – Sat 8th Feb, 1pm, Aylesbury RFC

Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints – Sat 8th Feb, 2pm, Kingston Park

Worcester Warriors v Yorkshire Carnegie – Sat 8th Feb, 2pm, Sixways


Harlequins v Saracens – Sat 8th Feb, 1.30pm, Surrey Sports Park

Bath v Gloucester – Sat 8th Feb, 2pm, Millfield School

Exeter Chiefs v Bristol Bears – Sat 8th Feb, 2pm, Truro College


Finals Day – Sunday 16th February


Image via Claire Tremeer