Academy Coach Brendan Thomas has written a few words on who to look out for:
Players to watch:
Our three U19's that still qualify for this competition, through month of birth, may be familiar to some Sharks fans already:
Andy Hughes recently started for the Sharks against Worcester at home in the LV Cup win & was an ever present with the Jets in his first season full time at the club. His powerful displays in this competition last year opened the door for an opportunity with the Sharks.
James Mitchell also came off the bench for his first team debut in the same LV Cup game against Worcester as well as a campaign with the Jets this season. He impressed with his skillful perormances for our 18's & England last season.
James Mitchell's thoughts ahead of the game can be watched here:
Sam Bedlow is a big & physical centre with a good offloading game. Played a full season for the Jets this year & played a big part in this competition last year. An ex handball international with bags of potential.
Ciaran Parker is a ball carrying prop who relishes the big collisions. A student at St Ambrose College & a regular in the England set-up. This is his second full season in this competition.
Tom Morton manages the game well for us at Fly-half with his tactical awareness & a solid kicking game. Learnt his rugby at Stockport Grammar School & another England regular.
Liam Parfitt is a nuggety openside flanker in the mould of Dave Seymour. From Rishworth school, he has had the top tackle count per game for us over the last two seasons in this competition.
George Nott runs our lineout, he is full of energy & very competitive in every aspect of the game. He has been gaining senior rugby experience this season at Chester RUFC as well as making a few appearances for the Jets.
Alex Mitchell younger brother of James & also an exciting scrum-half who can play 10/15. A product of Lymm School, Alex has been involved with England & has featured in every game in this competition this season.
Mark Dixon another off the Lymm School production line who likes to take any opportunity to run the ball either from 10 or 15. Also involved with England & a regular with us this season.
Joe McGrail is the third of the students from Lymm School & has started every game when available. Joe has a high workrate & is technically good in & around the contact area.
The Aviva 18's Academy League is undoubtedly the pinnacle of youth club rugby, played by the highly talented Academy & England age group players. It is the ideal playing field for the Sharks Academy to be able to view & confirm the talents of their young athletes as they compete against their peers from across the country. There is an added edge to this game as the result will determine who will go on to the National Finals Day at Alianz Park on February 17th.
Friday's match ticket v Gloucester will grant you access to the stadium for the U18s kick off at 5pm, but please note there will be no readmittance to the stadium once you are in. For tickets for Friday's double match marathon call 08444 994 944, or email your name and telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org, or alternatively, you can buy online.