It has been over a month since the Saints Under-18s began their Premiership Rugby Academies League campaign with a bonus win at Newcastle, but things are about to pick up again for the youngsters during a packed Christmas period.
The next eight weeks see the Under-18s tackle five league fixtures as they look to reach a third Finals Day in three years. School holidays also mean that the team are able to spend a couple of extra days training at Franklin’s Gardens, something Academy coach Mark Hopley is looking forward to.
“The coming weeks are going to be incredibly important for all of us,” he commented. “As always, our target will be to improve week on week in the matches, which will come thick and fast.
“But more importantly, the additional contact time we have with the lads is a crucial chance for us to work on their development – both on and off the field. We’ll have a day’s training after Christmas where we will also get the chance to do some strength and conditioning work with the group so it’s going to be a busy time.”
The sequence of fixtures starts with a friendly at BBOB RFC a week on Friday, Saracens the visitors that evening.
SAINTS UNDER-18S FIXTURES
11th Saracens (H) BBOB RFC, 7:30pm
19th Leicester Tigers (A) Oval Park, 12noon
2nd Worcester Warriors (H) Franklin’s Gardens, 12noon
9th Yorkshire Carnegie (A) Bishop Burton College, 1pm
23rd Sale Sharks (H) Franklin’s Gardens, 12noon
30th Gloucester (H) Franklin’s Gardens, 1pm
15th Premiership Rugby Academies League Finals Day (N) Allianz Park