It seems like only yesterday we were at Old Deer Park for the final fixture of last season against this weekend’s host London Scottish. But there have been big changes with the Exiles over the summer and this Saturday take on their Performance Squad U23 side in 4 x 20 minute format.
The Academy have seen a lot of new faces trialling over the summer period and they get the chance to show their ability in a green shirt for the first time. There are also some familiar faces returning to the club after a short break, flanker Alfie Hill returns from a summer playing club rugby in New Zealand, full back Lewis Steadman returns after completing his University studies and Alex Niang and Matt Hodson both join up with the squad after leaving school.
Academy Director John Lacey said “Saturday is a great chance for the boys to step up and claim a place with the squad for the season, we have this game and a fixture next Thursday against Henley Hawks, both will be incredibly tough tests and we will see who has the potential to develop at the rate we need.
The squad looks good at the moment with players moving up through the RFU league structure, we have partner club agreements in place with Newbury Blues at Level 5, London Irish Wild Geese, Worthing Raiders and Henley Hawks at Level 4. We have a very young group behind the loan guys and will be strong at U20 this season.
We also have three U18 Emerging Player Group players training with the Senior Academy, Ciaran Pointer, Gereint Price and Harry Robbins have all started well and don’t look out of place. These lads have a big season ahead of them with study and rugby to balance, but they have shown maturity during their time with us so we are confident they can cope with the extra demands.”
Kick off for Saturdays fixture is 13:00, we’d love to see as many of you as possible cheering on the boys.