Academy coach Louis Messer was delighted to see the Bath Rugby Under-18 squad’s hard work pay off in the hard-fought victory over Exeter Chiefs last weekend.
Level 12-12 at half-time, the junior Blue, Black and Whites were defensively inspired in the second half at Marlborough College to nil their Devon opponents whilst scoring a further two tries to win the contest.
“The boys have put some massive work in, all the way back from the first sessions in June,” he said.
“Against Exeter, we saw some parts of the game that we've been working on since then and getting a win after a tough period feels amazing for the staff and the players.
“The second half last week was a huge achievement; I was really proud of the boys. We’ll be hoping for more of the same when we host London Irish on Saturday.”
The Under-18s welcome Irish to Chippenham RFC on Saturday (12:15 kick-off) and have made no alterations to the backline.
It means James Redman continues in a back three containing Byron Lloyd-Gilmour and Max Ashton while Sam Harris and Will Parry partner in the midfield. Ieuan Davies and Raff Weston continue their relationship at half-back.
In the pack, the front row of Tom Hill, Max Pearce and Billy Sela remains consistent with Eddie Erksine retaining his place in the second row. At lock against Exeter, Max Jenkins switches to Number 8 and Will Jeanes makes a return in the five shirt.
A late call-up to the starting XV last time out, Jack Haythornwaite is named on the flank along with George Timmins.
Parry and Jeanes will co-captain the side.
Bath Rugby U18 side to play London Irish U18
15 James Redman (Beechen Cliff School | Walcot RFC)
14 Byron Lloyd-Gilmour (Marlborough College | Salisbury RFC)
13 Will Parry © (Sherborne School | Henley Hawks RFC)
12 Sam Harris (Millfield School | Hertford RFC)
11 Max Ashton (Beechen Cliff School | Chippenham RFC)
10 Raff Weston (Beechen Cliff School | Walcot RFC)
9 Ieuan Davies (Millfield School | Neath Athletic RFC)
1 Tom Hill (Wells Cathedral School | Wells RFC)
2 Max Pearce (Millfield School | Chippenham RFC)
3 Billy Sela (Beechen Cliff School | Royal Wootton Bassett RFC)
4 Eddie Erskine (Millfield School | Dorchester RFC)
5 Will Jeanes © (Beechen Cliff School | Taunton RFC)
6 Jack Haythornthwaite (Beechen Cliff School | Chew Valley RFC)
7 George Timmins (Millfield School | Market Harborough RFC)
8 Max Jenkins (Millfield School | Reeds Weybridge RFC)
16 Tommy McLean (Beechen Cliff School | Bath RFC)
17 Scott Kirk
18 Ellis Baker (Millfield School | Arabian Knights RFC)
19 Abdul-Khalik Akenzua Al Kareen (Downside School | North Dorset RFC)
20 Arthur Green (Sherborne School | Frome RFC)
21 Sam Curwen (Millfield School)
22 Rory Crum (Beechen Cliff School | Bournemouth RFC)
23 Kamoto Kamanga-Dyrbak (Millfield School | KCB Kenya)