Newcastle Falcons' AASE fixtures have been announced for the 2016-17 season as the club continues its partnership with Gosforth Academy.
Standing for Achieving Academic and Sporting Excellence, the AASE scheme places promising players in the 16-18 age bracket into an academic and sporting programme at Gosforth Academy, playing against sixth-form and college sides who have similar affiliations with professional clubs.
The 2016-17 AASE League has 15 teams following the addition of Bishop Burton (Yorkshire Carnegie) and will follow the same format as last season, with teams split into North and South divisions.
The first stage of the league sees each team playing once against every team in their regional pool. The pool then splits in two for the second phase of the competition, the top four playing each other once and the bottom three/four playing each other once.
Following the culmination of this phase the teams in the northern pool will play the corresponding team in the southern pool to determine the final overall league placing.
The format for finals day will be 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 etc at a central venue on Wednesday November 30. The 15th ranked team will not have a play-off fixture.
Newcastle Falcons' AASE scheme has already produced a number of players for the club's first team, with George McGuigan, Callum Chick and Dan Marshall having all graduated through the programme in recent seasons.
GOSFORTH ACADEMY AASE FIXTURES 2016-17
Aug 31: Myerscough (H)
Sep 7: Oaklands (A)
Sep 14: Moulton (H)
Sep 21: BYE
Sep 28: Wyggeston (A)
Oct 5: Bishop Burton (H)
Oct 12: Worcester (A)