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Academy kick off U18 League with derby win

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Leicester Tigers Academy kicked off their U18 League campaign with a derby day win over Northampton Saints, 25-12 in front of more than 200 supporters at Oval Park.

Second-rower Bob Singer crossed for a double in the thirteen-point victory, with his first coming just 13 minutes into the match after hooker Archive Vanes broke through the Saints defence from the base of a ruck inside the Tigers half before finding Singer in support, who ran it in from the 22m line to score.

Vanes turned try-scorer from provider for the next Tigers try after a line-out, deep inside the Saints half was brought down and driven forward by the Leicester pack.

A strong charge towards the line from Phil Tandoh off the back of the maul set up the chance, which Vanes took from close range with a dive for the line.

Tigers took a 12-0 lead into the break at Oval Park and were quick to add to their lead early in the second-half with Singer crossing for his second, from close range, after a mistake from the visitors deep inside their own half was capitalised on by the young Leicester side, who patiently worked their way over.

Charlie Titcombe successfully landed his second conversion of the game to see the Tigers out to a 19-0 lead with half an hour remaining.

The visitors managed to close the gap with their first try in the 50th minute but, were unable to gather any momentum after two penalty goals from Titcombe extended the lead to 20 points with only minutes remaining.

A consolation converted try in the final minute to Saints cut Tigers lead to thirteen points, where it would remain until full-time to ensure a successful start to Leicester’s U18 League defence.

Match Details

HT ScoreHalf Time Score

LEI 12-0 NOR

FT ScoreFull Time Score

LEI 25-12 NOR




Tim Wigglesworth

Leicester Tigers Academy
Leicester Tigers Academy

Full Time

Northampton Saints U18s
Northampton Saints U18s
Leicester Tigers Academy
Northampton Saints U18s


FULL TIME | 25-12

Tigers weather a second-half comeback to win their first game of the new season.

HALF TIME | 12-0

Matt Smith's young side take a 12-point lead into the break in their first game of the new season.


The Tigers Academy's defence of their Under-18 Academy league title is underway at Oval Park.

Team news | Smith names Tigers team for U18 Academy League opener

Ben Muncaster will captain the Tigers Academy in their first U18 League fixture of the 2019/20 season against Northampton Saints at Oval Park this Saturday, December 14.

The Leicester Academy squad enter the new campaign having won back-to-back U18 League titles in recent seasons.

Muncaster, from Rugby School, is partnered in the back-row by England U18s back-rower Kit Smith and Jordan Tebbatt.

Lynx Noumey, Archie Vanes and Jack Rowntree, who were all members of last season's U18 League title winning squad make up the front-row, with Phil Tandoh and Bob Singer in the second-row.

Sam Edwards, who was also a member of last season's Grand Final winning team, starts at scrum-half and will partner fly-half Charlie Titcombe in guiding the team around the pitch as halfbacks.

Matt Potts and Ollie Smith make up the midfield in the centres and Josh Lugsden, Jake Sterland and Jack Taylor round out the side in the outside-backs.

Matt Smith, who moved into the role of Academy head coach during the pre-season after retiring from the professional game, says the side are looking forward to putting into practice what they have trained towards over the summer months.

"I think the lads are most excited about being able to finally pull on the Tigers shirt, some for the first time after joining the Academy in the summer," said Smith.

"They have been playing for their schools in recent months, as well as training together for Tigers and it's a chance for them to go out and enjoy playing as a team.

"No Leicester team goes out with any other intention than to win a match but, as has always been the way of the Academy, these matches provide a really good and important opportunity for them to continue their development."

Smith, ahead of his own debut on the touch-line as coach, admitted to his own excitement before taking on derby rivals Northampton Saints.

"It's not the derby day build-up I was used to for more than a decade as a player, no, but it's a nice one to start of my coaching career with," he said.

"I'm very excited, it has been such a great experience so far working with these young Tigers and I am confident this group will do the club proud this season, kicking off on Saturday."

Team news

Leicester Tigers Academy XV: 15 Jack Taylor, 14 Jake Sterland, 13 Ollie Smith, 12 Matt Potts, 11 Josh Lugsden, 10 Charlie Titcombe, 9 Sam Edwards, 1 Lynx Noumey, 2 Archie Vanes, 3 Jack Rowntree, 4 Phil Tandoh, 5 Bob Singer, 6 Jordan Tebbatt, 7 Kit Smith, 8 Ben Muncaster (c)

Replacements: 16 Joe Plunkett, 17 Seb Smith, 18 Tim Hoyt, 19 Jay Ecclesfield, 20 Noah Leo, 21 Jed Gelderbloom, 22 Billy Hull, 23 Harry Sturmey

Match information

Leicester Tigers Academy v Northampton Saints Academy

Saturday, December 14

Kick-off: 12.00pm

Venue: Oval Park (Wigston Road, Oadby, Leicester, LE2 5QG)

Form Guide
Last Match
Lost to Northampton Saints U18s 22-35
Past Meeting
Lost 22-35
Last Match
Past Meeting
Last Match
Beat Leicester Tigers Academy 35-22
Past Meeting
Won 35-22

Matchday Live

Leicester Tigers Academy25
Leicester Tigers Academy
Northampton Saints U18s12
Northampton Saints U18s
Full Time