Search

Tony Diprose says future England stars will be on show in finals day

16:30 16 February 2014

Tony Diprose. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Tony Diprose. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

2013 Getty Images

Harlequins have a rich history of producing home-grown talent and academy director Tony Diprose believes fans who attend the Under-18s Academy Finals Day on Monday will see the next generation of England graduates for free.

Eight Aviva Premiership academy teams will gather at Saracens’ Allianz Park home to feature in the inaugural event, with Quins taking on Leicester Tigers.

The competition is designed to encourage the development of future Premiership stars, without an overly-competitive framework, and top-flight bosses will descend on north London to cast an eye on the talented teenagers.

Diprose, a former Quins No.8 who moved upstairs after retiring in 2006, leads a squad packed full of talent with plenty of success stories to emulate.

The likes of Will Collier and Charlie Matthews have graduated from the academy to the Aviva Premiership while Joe Marler is now an England prop and Diprose admits the next generation are ready to shine.

“I would be looking at players like Will Collier and Charlie Matthews, who are now regular players at Harlequins,” he said. “Joe Marler would have been in this group three or four years ago and now he is an England player.

“We have got a good record of developing our own players and many of these guys could be the next lot to come through.

“It is giving those players – the best of the best – the chance to play against some of the other academies and it is a good challenge for them.

“If you are there at Allianz Park on Monday what you are going to see is a number of players who are going to be playing Premiership Rugby in five or six years.”

Entry to the event is free and Diprose knows there are plenty of reasons for supporters to come along for the day and spot one or two future England players.

For the squad itself it is an opportunity for a new challenge, after they qualified from the southern conference to earn a clash with an unfamiliar Leicester Tigers outfit.

“I think it is a nice way to end the season for the Under-18s group and play someone that we don’t often play,” added Disprose.

“It is a chance to play some of the northern academies and obviously Leicester will provide us with a great challenge. It gives us a chance to put players in different situations.

“The standard feels high – we have had some really good games. We obviously lost to Exeter, who put in a fantastic performance.

“We have a good group of guys who have been playing together for a number of years. We have got a couple of guys involved in the England Under-18s setup so we would hope for them to step up.

“We want to see the guys expressing themselves and playing in the way that they can.”

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

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Sport Stories

Emmanuel Adebayor (left) captained Tottenham against Sheffield United in last week's first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final

Tottenham blogger Sarah Bassett urges her fellow Spurs fans to stop booing Emmanuel Adebayor and get behind him for the good of the team, ahead of tonight’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane.

Yesterday, 21:48
From left: Highgate Harriers’ Ben Noad, Brahma Pochee, Murray Strain, Jon Laybourn and Robert Wilson won bronze medals at the South of England Cross-Country Championships at Stanmer Park in Brighton. Pic: Dieter Perry

Jon Laybourn stormed to his best ever cross-country finish as Highgate Harriers’ men came third at the South of England Championships in Brighton on Saturday.

Yesterday, 13:31
Tottenham's Michel Vorm. Picture: PA Wire

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino insists he will have no hesitation in naming goalkeeper Michel Vorm in his starting line-up for Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Sheffield United.

Yesterday, 13:22
Pete Wood scored twice for Hampstead but it wasn't enough. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hampstead were left rueing missed opportunities as they lost 29-20 to a hardworking HAC team in a game that could have gone either way in London North-West Division Two.

Most read sport

The iPhone maker smashed financial records and expectations when it announced its latest round of results.

14 office blocks have all been legally protected from demolition because apparently, they’re of “special interest” to the country.

Fans of cool pictures of fire – this one’s for you.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder