Successful half-term for the Academy
Wasps' Academy enjoyed a productive half-term week. There was a win for the U19s against Bedford on Friday, a good first outing for the U15s against Worcester on Tuesday, and a successful DPP festival.
On Tuesday 27th October, Merchant Taylors School hosted a full day’s activity for players within the Wasps Developing Player Programme and Junior Academy setup. The day was run in conjunction with Causeway, the main Academy partner.
The morning started with around 120 U14 & U15 players from across Buckinghamshire, Middlesex and Oxfordshire, turning up to represent their respective DPP centres in a round robin tournament.
The aim of the festival was to provide all the players with a competitive environment to demonstrate some of the technical & tactical elements that they had been practising during their weekly DPP coaching sessions, which have been running since September.
Academy Junior Development Manager Matt Williams said: “Every game highlighted the players’ abilities and potential, as well as the good work that is being carried out by the DPP Coaching staff. The standard of play, the enthusiasm and the work rate shown by all the boys was excellent. All of the players should be proud of their efforts.”
The afternoon saw a squad of players from across our catchment area represent Wasps’ Junior Academy in an U15’s fixture against Worcester Warriors.
Worcester came away with the win 22-17, however in attack Wasps showed some great potential, and there were a lot of good off-loads that allowed the team to build some continuity and phases of play, which led to Wasps scoring three well-deserved tries.
After the game, Williams said: “The players gave a really good account of themselves and should be really pleased with their attitude. It shows that there is a lot of talent around our region.”
The Academy rounded off a good half-term week with a 34-17 win over Bedford U19s. An impressive display by a mixture of U17s and U18s players helped continue the momentum gained from the U18s 28-12 victory over Bath, at the Ricoh Arena, the week before.
Wasps’ Academy had suffered two close defeats to Bedford last season, but put in an outstanding performance to come away with a win. First half tries from Caleb Shepherd, Tom Guthrie, and Connor Eastgate gave Wasps a 19-3 halftime lead. That lead was then stretched right at the start of the second half when Ollie Brown touched down. Before Matt Ilube went over with the last play of the game to make it 34-17.
Another positive to come from the game was the return of Owain James to match action, after a lengthy injury. The Senior Academy player showed some good touches throughout the game on his return.
Academy Manager Matt Davies said: “We were really pleased with the win and the character that the boys showed. They demonstrated great skill and showed how they are all physically developing as players. The most pleasing aspect was how they are starting to find ways to win games, which is a difficult skill to acquire.”
The Academy were also joined at training this week by first team players George Smith, Sam Jones and Thomas Young. The trio got involved in a coaching session with the U18s and provided some useful insights into the techniques used in first team training.
After a such a busy half-term, the Academy do not have another fixture until December 11th, when the U18s take on London Irish. However U18 training continues every Monday and former Wasps player Serge Betsen, is coming to give a coaching session and officially launch his charities partnership with the Academy on Monday the 16th of November.