ANOTHER batch of youngsters will be eager to follow in the footsteps of Ted Hill and Ollie Lawrence this season.

The duo took to the senior stage by storm last term with Hill’s sensational form for Worcester Warriors resulting in an England cap just two months after making his Gallagher Premiership bow.

Hill and Lawrence were among a trio of players that Worcester News reporter Geoff Berkeley identified as academy aces to watch ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

He has now picked out three more bright prospects who will be aiming to step up to the first team.


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The full-back (pictured above by Robbie Stephenson/JMP) was the third player along with Hill and Lawrence that I expected big things from last season – and he did not disappoint when given an opportunity.

Redditch-born David, 20, marked his senior debut with a man-of-the-match display in Worcester’s Premiership Cup clash at Saracens last December.

He made two further appearances in the competition, notching his first try for Warriors in the semi-final defeat to Sarries in February.

But the score came at a cost as he damaged his shoulder when grounding the ball, an injury that required surgery and ended his season.

Despite the blow, David proved to coaches that he can make the grade, demonstrating attacking flair and defensive robustness.

He also looked sharp in last weekend’s Premiership Sevens and will now be bidding to mount pressure on Sixways star Chris Pennell.


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From South Africa to Stourbridge and then Sixways. It’s been quite a journey for the young half-back who paid his way to Worcester before earning an academy contract.

Last season saw Simpson (pictured above by Robbie Stephenson/JMP) turn out for Stourbridge in National Two North and impress in the number 10 shirt for Worcester Cavaliers in the Premiership Shield.

The 21-year-old looked calm in possession and kicked well out of hand when he played for Cavaliers.

In an interview with the Worcester News, 5ft 8in Simpson said he was previously told he was “too small” for rugby.

But having witnessed him in action in the Premiership Sevens Simpson appears to have bulked up this summer.

The South African also showed excellent footwork and awareness, nipping through for a fine try against Exeter Chiefs last Saturday.

Although Warriors have plenty of options at fly-half and scrum-half Simpson’s ability to play in both positions will make him a good option for boss Alan Solomons.


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When I asked academy coach Gordon Ross to select one player that he felt could breakthrough this season he picked Owen (pictured above by Robbie Stephenson/JMP).

The 20-year-old prop has made a big impression at Sixways since being given a second chance by the club following his release two years ago.

His hard work paid off with a Warriors debut in the European Challenge Cup against Stade Francais in Paris last October.

It was a big occasion for Owen, but he did not hold back, earning a penalty from his first scrum.

This appearance was then followed by a call-up to the national set-up as he went on to represent England under 20s in the Six Nations and World Rugby U20 Championship.

Ethan Waller, Callum Black and Ryan Bower are the more experienced players fighting it out for the number one jersey.

But Owen is determined to put himself in the mix and I see no reason why he cannot force his way into Solomons’ plans.

Other academy aces to watch: Beck Cutting, Tom Dodd, Alex Hearle, Noah Heward, Lewis Holsey, Morgan Monks, Callum Morris, Oli Morris, James Scott, Luke Scully.