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Age group games an early step on development road

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Elite Player Development Group manager Ross Stewart insists that there is no reason to be too downhearted despite today’s Under-14 and Under-15 defeats to Wasps.

The visitors from Acton were comfortable victors in both age groups at Franklin’s Gardens this afternoon, and while Stewart admitted that the Saints’ youngsters had received something of a rugby lesson he says that these matches have to be treated as steps on a long road of development.

“Wasps ultimately were stronger and more physical, especially at the breakdown area, although some of our boys put a good shift in,” he said. “We base ourselves around performance, which ultimately leads to a result, and the boys will learn.

“It’s a four-year process for some of these boys, so from our perspective it’s a good lesson, and a lesson that we’ll have to learn from.

“Games like this get the lads into national rugby. There are another 13 Academies out there, and it’s important that the lads realise that there are other teams out there who will be as good as Wasps. This is the first time that they’ve come up against another Academy, and we’ll go away and work hard.

“But it’s a development programme, so it’s not about having them ready now, because there’s a lot of time between now and the point at which they take the next step.”