U18: England Changes for France
In Round 2 of the Under-18 International Series, England, beaten by Argentina in Round 1, have made changes for their match against France at Paarl Gim on Tuesday.
England battled against Argentina while France were most impressive in beating SA Schools A team.
England’s coach Jim Mallinder has made 11 changes to the starting XV, with lock Ethan Staddon, flyhalf Charlie Atkinson and wing Oscar Beard set to make their England Under-18 debuts.
An all-new front row sees Tarek Haffar, John Stewart and Joe Keohane start the fixture. Staddon is joined at lock by Freddie Thomas, while Harry Taylor comes into the back row. Sam Bryan, who scored a late try when he came on as a substitute against the Pumitas, starts at scrum-half Will Joseph is at outside centre and Michael Dykes on the left wing.
Jim Mallinder said: “We made multiple changes but the intention was always to give everyone even game time over the first two fixtures and for every player to start a game and we’re really looking forward to them showing us what they can do at this level.
“There is a short turnaround between the two games and the players have been excellent in how they’ve recovered from the opening fixture, as well as their analysis of the game and preparation for Tuesday which is a vital part of these tours. We’ve trained well and are excited for the match.
“We’ve also taken the players out to a nature reserve for a few hours where we got to see some incredible animals and that’s helped them form relationships off the pitch as well as experience the environment around them.
“Tuesday will be a massive test for us, we’ve seen France play and they are big, powerful and like to move the ball around. Defensively we’ll be put under a lot of pressure, but we’re looking to get our set piece right, build on the lessons of the first match and continue to play with attacking intent.”
England Under-18: 15 Oliver Melville (Sedbergh School & Sale Sharks), 14 Oscar Beard (Cranleigh School & Harlequins), 13 Will Joseph (Millfield School & London Irish), 12 Ethan Grayson (Northampton School for Boys & Northampton Saints), 11 Michael Dykes (St Paul’s College & London Irish), 10 Charlie Atkinson (Abingdon School & Wasps), 9 Sam Bryan (Felsted School & Saracens), 8 Will Trenholm (Cranleigh School & Harlequins), 7 Harry Taylor (Clifton College Gloucester), 6 Emeka Ilione (Rugby School & Leicester Tigers), 5 Ethan Staddon (Beechen Cliff School & Bath), 4 Freddie Thomas (Dean Close School & Gloucester), 3 Joe Keohane (St Paul’s College & London Irish), 2 John Stewart (Beechen Cliff School & Bath), 1 Tarek Haffar (St Paul’s College & London Irish)
Replacements: 16 Archie Vanes (Brooksby Melton College & Leicester Tigers), 17 Phil Brantingham (RGS Newcastle & Newcastle Falcons), 18 Fin Baxter (Wellington College & Harlequins), 19 Ewan Richards (Millfield School & Bath), 20 Kit Smith (Oakham School Leicester Tigers), 21 Daniel Eckersley (Bloxham School Wasps), 22 Sam Edwards (Brooksby Melton College Leicester Tigers), 23 Orlando Bailey (Beechen Cliff School Bath), 24 Louis Hillman-Cooper (Cheltenham College Gloucester), 25 Alex Harmes (St Paul’s College & London Irish), 26 Matthew Ward (Gosforth Academy& Newcastle Falcons)
Referee: Griffin Colby (South Africa)
Fixtures, Round 2 – Tuesday, 13 August 2019 at Paarl Gimnasium (local times)
13.00: SA Schools A vs Wales Under-18
14.30: SA Schools vs Argentina Under-18
16.00: England Under-18 vs France Under-18
Results, Round 1
France Under-18 vs South African Schools A, 43-19
Argentina Under-18 vs England Under-18, 29-19
South African Schools vs Wales Under-18, 23-13