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Parkin makes five changes ahead of Saints Under-18s’ trip to Worcester

Academy coach Will Parkin has named his Northampton Saints Under-18s side for the fourth Premiership Rugby Under-18 Academy League clash of the season, with the side heading to Worcester Warriors this Sunday (16 January, kick-off: 2.30pm). 

Parkin makes five changes in total to his starting line-up from the side that were beaten for the first time this season last time out, with Craig Wright, Aiden Kabi and Henry Pollock coming into the pack while Archie McParland and Tommy Taylor form a new-look half-back pairing – while Oscar Bennett will be hoping to make his league debut should he enter play from the bench.

Despite the side coming out on the wrong end of last weekend’s clash with Sale Sharks, Saints remain third in the Academy League’s Northern Conference with three games of the regular season left to play ahead of Finals Day. 

And Parkin insists the learnings his side have made already this term will stand Northampton in good stead as they enter the second half of the regular season.

“The big thing for me is that these games are as much about the boys learning and developing as they are about the result,” said Parkin.

“We’ve had two good wins and now a loss, where we perhaps didn’t turn up in the right mindset, so it’s up to us to respond this week.

“We learnt lessons physically and tactically, and it showed the boys that we have to think about how we can get our DNA onto the pitch in different game situations.”

Will Parkin, Academy Coach

“This opportunity against Worcester is great one. The whole point of this programme is to give the boys experiences that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

“Hopefully, some of these boys will go on to play in the Premiership, but for others this could be the highest level of rugby they ever play. So, the experience of running out at a Premiership ground is fantastic for the players who will be involved.”

Premiership Rugby Under-18 Academy League
Sunday 16 January 2022
Sixways Stadium
Kick-off: 2.30pm

15 Jody Devine
14 Ethan Thorne
13 Archie Kean
12 Toby Thame
11 Toby Cousins
10 Tommy Taylor
9 Archie McParland

1 Callum Smyth
2 Craig Wright
3 Nicholas Tarr
4 Aiden Kabi
5 George Lavender
6 Ted Reid
7 Henry Pollock
8 George Patten (capt)

16 Ashton Gradwick-Light
17 Sam Ferrari
18 Dave Bennett
19 James Bennett
20 Levi Wilson
21 Harry Hall
22 Oscar Bennett
23 Frankie Sleightholme

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