Sharks Academy stars making a splash down under

The English Premiership season might be reaching its conclusion, but for five of Sharks’ brightest young talents, their season down under has only just started.

Tom Curtis, Joe Bedlow, Ethan Caine, Alex Groves and James Harper have jetted off to Sydney, Australia, to join the Western Sydney Blues on loan, and play their part in the club’s Shute Shield campaign.

The Shute Shield is the premier club competition in New South Wales and a regular breeding ground for Super Rugby players and for Western Sydney Blues, who are coached by former London Irish star Sailosi Tagicakibau, it’s their first time back in the competition for long time.

Caine, Bedlow and Curtis have been there for over a month while Groves and Harper touched down in Sydney last week. And the arrival of the young Sharks has sparked an upturn in the club’s form.

They lost their first three games but have now followed that up with three consecutive wins against favourites Sydney University, reigning champions Gordon and most recently South Districts.

Tom Curtis and Ethan Caine both scored in the win over Sydney University, prompting Australian rugby journalist Nick Wasiliev to write: “Tom Curtis has been outstanding for Western Sydney so far this season, and there was no better example of this than his performance against the Students. His attacking instincts are certainly turning heads.”

Sharks Academy Manager Fergus Mulchrone said: “These five lads are exciting talents and have all featured for Sale first team this season.

“We have no doubt they all have massive futures here at Sharks, but a big part of their development is getting them exposure to top class rugby in different environments, so this is a perfect switch for them.

“They have made a really good start to life in Sydney and we’re all looking forward to getting them back to Carrington in time to make a big impact next season.”

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