Watkins hails Warriors ACE League team’s progress

Ryan Watkins, Lead Coach of Stourport HS and Sixth Form College, has hailed the progress that his side have made this season in the RFU ACE League.

Stourport, Warriors’ team in the ACE League, will bring down the curtain on their competitive season when they face Beechen Cliff School, their counterparts from Bath Rugby, in the Plate final at Stourbridge’s Stourton Park ground on Wednesday (kick-off 10.30am).

Stourport won two of their group matches and then beat Oaklands College (Saracens) and Myerscough College (Sale Sharks) in the Plate play-offs to book their place in Wednesday’s final – effectively the ninth place play-off.

“It’s a brilliant finale to end our competitive fixtures and a great way to end the ACE League,” Watkins said.

“The lads have grown into the competition with every week, learning all the time.

“The rugby programme at Stourport HS & Sixth Form College has taken huge steps forward this season and I feel we have really established ourselves as one of the best colleges in the country for rugby union.

“The lads playing on Wednesday and the support staff behind the programme can take huge pride in getting to the final.”

Full-back Matt Smith will make his first start of the season for Stourport having recovered from injury and impressed off the bench in recent weeks.

Tighthead prop Miles Walters has recovered from a shoulder injury and has been named among the replacements.

Stourport HS | 15 Matt Smith (Sutton Coldfield), 14 Billy Emerick (Upton on Severn), 13 Will Pugh (Luctonians), 12 Archie Jones (Bridgnorth), 11 George Evans (Claverdon), 10 Dan Chambers (Wolverhampton), 9 Jamie Heafield (Kings Norton), 1 Fin Haynes (Claverdon), 2 Ethan Allen (Telford Hornets), 3 Aaron Hacket (Stourbridge), 4 Nick Houldey (Silhillians), 5 Ben Godfrey (Birmingham & Solihull), 6 Zak Howles (Stourbridge), 7 Hayden Link (Stourbridge), 8 Tom O’Neill (Worcester).

Replacements | 16 Harry Burrows (Shrewsbury), 17 Ellis Locke (Ledbury), 18 Miles Walters (Wolverhampton), 19 19. Reiss Price (Barkers’ Butts), 20 Will Graham (Cwmbran), 21 Jack Condliffe (Luctonians), 22 Sam Brooks (Shrewsbury), 23 Mikey Yalland (unattached)