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Northampton Saints' Under-18s secured their spot in the Final with a bonus-point win over Newcastle Falcons.
Claire Jones / RedHatPhoto.com
Northampton Saints' Under-18s secured their spot in the Final with a bonus-point win over Newcastle Falcons.
Claire Jones / RedHatPhoto.com
Academy

Saints Under-18s’ 2022/23 Academy League fixtures announced

Will Parkin’s Under-18s have their sights set on another trip to Finals Day, as Northampton Saints kick-off their Premiership Rugby U18 Academy League with a trip to Midlands rivals Leicester Tigers. 

After reaching the Final of last term’s competition, Saints head to Oval Park to get their 2022/23 season underway on Friday 19 August (kick-off: 2pm) before hitting the road again the following weekend for a trip north to Yorkshire Rugby Academy in Round 2 (Friday 26 August, kick-off: 5pm). 

The young Saints won four of their regular league clashes last season, propelling themselves to the top of the Northern Conference and through to Finals Day for the first time since 2015. 

And despite the silverware going Bristol Bears’ way in the hard-fought clash, Academy coach Will Parkin insists this season’s cohort are determined to keep building on last term’s success. 

“We’ve had a really productive summer so far but I know the lads are all ready to get stuck back in now,” he said. 

“Our early matches will be a real challenge for the boys, especially against Tigers – that’s always a tough game regardless of age-group. But we’re looking forward to seeing the guys coming into the team this year step up and, hopefully, take their chances. 

“We say this every season but for us it isn’t about the winning at this level; it’s an opportunity for these boys to learn and experience what its like to play in big games under pressure.”

Will Parkin, Academy Coach

“But I’d be lying if I said that getting to the Final and not lifting the trophy wasn’t a tough pill for the group to swallow. And I know that the lads who were there that day will use that memory as fuel for this season. I’m looking forward to seeing what they can achieve.”

The Academy League takes an extended break over the autumn, restarting in the new year as Saints host three back-to-back home matches against Sale Sharks, Worcester Warriors and Wasps across January. 

Northampton then travel to Newcastle Falcons for the last regular game of the season before Finals Day takes place in mid-February. 

On the build up to the start of the season, Parkin added: “We got plenty of positives from our summer matches, the residentials at Oundle and Culford Schools, as well as Malvern Festival. 

“Our Under-17s went unbeaten at Malvern, showing some brilliant attacking intent and scoring 18 tries across the three matches – a doubly impressive feat given they only last 25 minutes. 

“I must also mention the three lads we have away on tour with England – Toby Cousins, Archie McParland and Henry Pollock. They all worked hard last year and throroughly deserve the recognition; I’m really pleased that they have had a good preseason and have put themselves in a good position for the rest of the campaign by going out to South Africa.”

To view the full list of Saints’ Under-18s fixtures for the 2022/23 season, please CLICK HERE.

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