Pendlebury – Focus on player development

Date: 14 Feb 2019

Wasps Academy Manager Jon Pendlebury insists his focus is purely on player development as his side face Bath Rugby this Sunday in the Premiership Rugby Under 18 Academy League Finals Day.

Wasps will compete in the third-place play-off on Sunday at Allianz Park after a convincing 62-33 win over Newcastle Falcons saw them finish second in the Northern Conference.

That has set up the clash with Bath who finished in the same spot in the Southern Conference following a 19-7 victory over London Irish.

The victory concluded a successful season for Wasps, who won four and lost two of their matches, but despite the stakes on offer this weekend, Pendlebury insists his priority is continuing individual progress.

“I am focusing entirely on what individuals are doing and the performance as a whole,” he said.

“I know the academy at Bath are also looking to do some fantastic stuff.

“All I am interested in is what our guys do - if we get a win while playing well and ticking off all our development objectives, then fine.”

He admitted, however, that it would be a great opportunity for the team to sign off with one final victory, and that he has been delighted by the development of his charges regardless of Sunday’s result.

He added: “Off the back of what we started in September, I am so proud of how the players have progressed.

“It is just exciting to give another opportunity to this group to play together.

“I very much enjoy working at youth level. I love seeing the change the lads make in just six months - never mind over six years.

“To see a player come through is fantastic - it's a long and exciting journey to follow and be with.”

Entry to the Finals Day at Allianz Park on Sunday is FREE.

Match schedule:

Noon: Bath Rugby U18 v Wasps U18 (3rd/4th place play-off)

2pm: Sale Sharks U18 v Harlequins U18 (5th/6th place play-off)

4pm: Gloucester Rugby U18 v Leicester Tigers U18 (1st /2nd place play-off)

Wasps Under 18 Academy League Fixture List 

16/12/2018 2:00pm KO Sale Sharks U18 Wasps U18 Manchester Metropolitan University Result: L 43-17

22/12/2018 1:00pm KO Wasps U18 Worcester Warriors U18 Oxford Harlequins Result: W 42-31

05/01/2019 12:00 Noon KO Leicester Tigers U18 Wasps U18 Oval Park Result: L 34-7

12/01/2019 2:00pm KO Yorkshire Carnegie U18 Wasps U18 Yarnbury RFC Result: W 50-5

02/02/2019 1:00pm KO Wasps U18 Northampton Saints U18 Ostler's Field (Aylesbury RFC)  Result: W 50-13

09/02/2019 1:30pm KO Wasps U18 Newcastle Falcons U18 Ivor Preece Field (Broadstreet RFC)  Result: W 62-33

17/02/2019 12pm KO Bath Rugby U18 Allianz Park Premiership Rugby U18 Academy Finals Day Third-place Play-off