Northampton Saints' Academy coach Jake Sharp is looking forward to an exciting season with the Club’s Under-18s, after the Premiership Rugby Academy League schedule was announced last week.
Saints first head to Leicester Tigers for an East Midlands Derby at Oval Park on 14 December, before making a pre-Christmas trip to Yorkshire Carnegie.
“The Academy League is an excellent platform to show our brightest young players what a professional set-up looks like, and I hope this schedule will allow us to go up a level this year.”Jake Sharp, academy coach
After the turn of the year Saints’ starlets return to Franklin's Gardens for a trio of back-to-back home games; tackling Sale Sharks, Worcester Warriors and Wasps before travelling to Newcastle Falcons for their final regular-season match.
And Sharp is hopeful that a demanding schedule will push the young players to achieve their potential this season.
“We've got some tough tests coming up this year, but the games are a great opportunity for player development at this level,” he said.
“It’s my first year in charge and I’m really excited to get going and showcase what the very talented group we have here at Franklin’s Gardens can do.
“The Academy League is an excellent platform to show our brightest young players what a professional set-up looks like, and I hope this schedule will allow us to go up a level this year.
“We’ve already seen the likes of Tommy Freeman, Josh Gillespie, and Ollie Newman play for the first team this season after representing the Under-18s last year – I’m keen to build on that momentum, starting off with a strong performance against our rivals Leicester Tigers.”
To view Saints' Under-18s fixtures please CLICK HERE.