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Saints Under-18s name side for Academy League Finals Day

Northampton Saints will look to claim the first piece of silverware on offer this season on Sunday, as the Club’s Under-18s side take on Bath Rugby in the Final of the Premiership Rugby U18s Academy League at Kingsholm.

This will be Saints’ third consecutive appearance in the Final, which kicks off at 7.35pm in Gloucester and is free for all supporters to attend.

Charlie Reed’s side concluded their regular season campaign with a resounding 54-17 win over Newcastle Falcons at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens last time out to put themselves top of the Northern Conference. 

The boys in Black, Green and Gold have featured in the past two Finals having topped their Conference in both 2021/22 and 2022/23, but narrowly lost out to Bristol Bears and London Irish respectively in those clashes. 

This year Reed and his team will be looking to go one better and claim their first Academy League title since 2014. The coach makes just two changes to the side that defeated Falcons, with lock Aiden Ainsworth-Cave and wing Louis Burns both coming into the starting XV on Sunday. 

Elsewhere in the starting line-up Saints remain unchanged, with all six try-scorers from last weekend’s match in Edoardo Todaro, Tom Ross, Henry Lumley, Alfie Hoyles, Rhys Harries and hat-trick hero Rafe Witheat all beginning the clash. 

Reed said: “This final for the boys will be a fantastic story that they can tell for the rest of their lives and it will be a fantastic memory that they can share together.

“In terms of the performance and the way we play, the main question I will ask the lads is how do we get better from the Newcastle win, it is a simple as that. We will enjoy the occasion if we believe in the way that we play. We will get nervous about the occasion if we lose our identity and go within ourselves.

“The main aim for me is no matter what game we play we will play the way that we know how. If we do that, we know that we can enjoy the occasion and have a great memory.

“So, it has been a fantastic journey for these lads, and Sunday is the crescendo of that journey. Either way, I want the boys to come away knowing it was a fantastic experience for them and they have left as a better player after this weekend’s final.”

Entry to Finals Day at Kinsgholm is free for all supporters, with the entire day’s matches being streamed live by Premiership Rugby HERE

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS U18s vs BATH RUGBY U18s
Premiership Rugby U18 Academy League, Final
Sunday 18 February
Kingsholm Stadium
Kick-off: 7.35pm

15 Edoardo Todaro (Ipswich School)
14 Louis Burns (Finborough School / Royston RFC)
13 Henry Lumley (Finborough School / Bury St Edmunds RFC)
12 Billy Pasco (c) (Oundle School / Woodbridge Rugby Club)
11 Rafe Witheat (Stowe School / Ampthill RUFC)
10 Louis Haley (Stowe School / Bedford Junior Blues)
9 Jonny Weimann (Bedford School)

1 Tom Dye (Ipswich School / Bury St Edmunds RFC)
2 Rob Gaffan (Rugby School)
3 Sonny Tonga’uiha (Northampton School for Boys / Old Northamptonians RFC)
4 Tom Ross (Oakham School / Olney RUFC)
5 Aiden Ainsworth-Cave (Bedford School)
6 Kieran Perkins (Bedford Modern School / Olney RFC)
7 Rhys Harries (Bedford School / Olney RFC)
8 Alfie Hoyles (Oakham School)

Replacements:
16 Ed Delaney (Stamford School / Oundle RFC)
17 Réon Gilbert-Joseph (Moulton College / Bedford Junior Blues)
18 Ollie Hull (Stamford School / Oundle RFC)
19 James Barrett (Northampton School for Boys / Northampton Old Scouts RFC)
20 Ben Currie (Stowe School / Woodbridge Rugby Club)
21 Tom Addison (Northampton School for Boys / Northampton Old Scouts RFC)
22 Ben Agbenu (Bedford School)

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