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Saracens starlets set to shine as Allianz Park hosts first finals day

Don Barrell in his Saracens playing days. Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images Don Barrell in his Saracens playing days. Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Sunday, February 16, 2014
6:59 AM

Saracens boast some of the most dangerous backs in Aviva Premiership Rugby and their under-18s are no different with academy manager Don Barrell backing them to showcase their skills all Allianz Park this Monday.

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Sarries will host the inaugural Under-18s Academy Finals Day at their home ground in Hendon, with eight top-flight academies in attendance and an abundance of talented teenagers on show.

With the likes of Chris Ashton and David Strettle supplying the cutting edge for the senior side, supporters would expect nothing less than an exciting Saracens back line and the likes of George Perkins and Nathan Earle have impressed at the conference stage.

While Sarries are yet to confirm their squad for the big day, Barrell insists there is no shortage of talent waiting for their chance to shine.

“We have got a few players who have performed well for us,” he added. “I think all-round the nice thing is there are performances coming in from the whole group.

“The league is there for everyone to see and to get a really objective view of how they perform. To have a day where they can play and get another game, it is a really nice way to end it.

“They [supporters] can expect to see some of the best young English talent that is coming through and that is the whole idea of it. We will see some of the future stars playing their part.

“The beauty of Allianz Park is that you can put four games in one stadium in one day. Nothing is going to be rained off and you can see some great rugby.”

A handful of Premiership head coaches and directors of rugby will be in attendance, casting an eye over the future of English rugby, and fans can get in free.

Saracens face London Irish in the day’s opening clash, at 11am, and they will be looking to continue an upward trend of performances, which saw them thrash Harlequins in their final conference clash to secure qualification earlier this month.

If the quality of rugby at the conference stage is anything to go by, Barrell expects the youngsters to put on a show on Monday.

“I generally think the standard is amazing,” he added. “The team we have played this year has certainly developed throughout the league.

“The change in the players, particularly their decision-making, is really impressive. We worked hard on their basics and they have shown us the work ethic that we really want to see.

“To have the ability to play consistently within the league structure is massive for these guys. The learning opportunities are massive within it.”

The full schedule on Monday:

11.00 Game 1 Saracens v London Irish

13.00 Game 2 Bath v Gloucester

15.00 Game 3 Harlequins v Leicester

17.00 Game 4 Northampton v Exeter

Entry is free at Allianz Park

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