England U18s name four Fifteen Rugby ‘All Stars’ to face South Africa


The England Under 18 side to face South Africa Schools tomorrow in Cape Town has been named Head Coach John Fletcher and his Assistant Ian Peel.

The side is well split between those plying their trade in the AASE Leagues last season and those playing on the regular school circuit, with 7 AASE representatives and eight from other schools.

Brighton College’s James Chisholm leads the side from number eight and spoke of his excitement ahead of the game:

“We’re really pleased to be here and excited about playing our hosts. South Africa in South Africa is about as tough as it gets, but we’re ready and we can’t wait to get out there.”

Chisholm is one of four of Fifteen Rugby’s School ‘All Stars’ from the 2012/13 season in the team, along with Alex Lundberg of Hampton Schools, and the second row duo of Tom Ellis of Millfield School, and Bryanston’s Charlie Ewels. Ewels’ Bryanston and Bath teammate Max Clark starts at inside centre, whilst their school and club teammate, and a fifth Fifteen Rugby ‘All Star’, Rory Jennings, is on the bench.

It is the first time the two sides have faced each other since South Africa defeated England 36-29 last summer, and John Fletcher is under no illusions as to the strength of the opposition:

“We know that they are strong side, they tend to be big up front and have some quick backs. But saying that, we have a big pack and we’re looking forward to the game massively.”

“It’s been pretty wet since we got here but the lads have trained well. It’s a good experience for them, and it’s a new experience for most of them. But this is the first of our three games and we’re looking to start well.”

Fletcher is right to highlight the strength of the England pack, which looks to be one of the most physical around at this level. In Ellis and Ewels they have a second row partnership that could combine for club and country for many years yet, whilst in the back row they possess pace power and skill in abundance in Chisholm, Hayden Stringer and Lewis Ludlow.

Oundle’s Sam Olver is charged with directing proceedings from 10, alongside his scrum half Ivybridge’s Stuart Townsend, his Oundle schoolmate Josh Peters is on the bench.

Olver is one of six players in the starting XV to have been involved in that 36-29 defeat last summer, he and Alex Lundberg were on the bench, whilst the previously mention Ewels started in the second row – alongside Fifteen Rugby ‘One to Watch’ Maro Itoje.

Also starting that day was Filton College’s Nick Carpenter, he was at inside centre that day but moves to the outside tomorrow. Experienced Moulton College and Northampton Saints full back Howard Packman started last year and does so again, with Oaklands’ Nathan Earle alongside him on the wing once again.

One player who was not involved in the back three last year but who looks an exciting prospect in the side this year is Shiplake College’s try scoring machine Tom Howe.

Rounding off the fifteen are Cameron Neild of Manchester Grammar School at hooker, and Prince Henry’s Grammar Schools’ outstanding tighthead prop Paul Hill.

The game kicks off at 14.30 GMT at the City Park Stadium in Cape Town tomorrow, it promises to be another exciting opportunity to catch a few of the household names of tomorrow.

England U18 XV v South Africa Schools:

15 Howard Packman (Moulton College & Northampton Saints) 14 Tom Howe (Shiplake College & London Wasps) 13 Nick Carpenter (Filton College & Bristol Rugby) 12 Max Clark (Bryanston & Bath Rugby) 11 Nathan Earle (Oaklands College & Saracens) 10 Sam Olver (Oundle School & Northampton Saints) 9 Stuart Townsend (Ivybridge Community College & Exeter Chiefs);

1 Alex Lundberg (Hampton School & London Wasps) 2 Cameron Neild (Manchester Grammar School & Sale Sharks) 3 Paul Hill (Prince Henry’s Grammar School & Leeds Carnegie) 4 Tom Ellis (Millfield & Bath Rugby) 5 Charlie Ewels (Bryanston & Bath Rugby) 6 Hayden Stringer (Oaklands College & Saracens) 7 Lewis Ludlow (Hartpury College & Gloucester Rugby) 8 James Chisholm – captain (Brighton College & Harlequins).

Replacements: 16 Jack Walker (Prince Henry’s Grammar School & Leeds Carnegie) 17 Luke Chapman (Truro College & Exeter Chiefs) 18 Ciaran Parker (St Ambrose College & Sale Sharks) 19 Josh Peters (Oundle School & Northampton Saints) 20 Ellis Genge (Hartpury College & Bristol Rugby) 21 James Mitchell (Lymm High School & Sale Sharks) 22 Will Owen (QE Leicester & Leicester Tigers) 23 Josh Sharp (Oaklands College & Saracens) 24 Rory Jennings (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby) 25 Josh Skelcey (Moulton College & Northampton Saints) 26 Tom Fowlie (St Pauls Catholic College & London Irish).

South Africa Schools XV:

15. EW Viljoen (Grey College) 14. Grant Hermanus (Paarl Gym) 13. Warrik Gelant (Outeniqua) 12. Daniel du Plessis (Paul Roos Gymnasium) 11. Duhan van der Merwe (Outeniqua) 10. Brandon Thomson (Ermelo HS) 9. Justin Philips (Waterkloof HS);

8. Rikus Bothma (c) (Paarl Gym) 7. Jacques Vermeulen (Paarl Gym) 6. PJ Toerien (Garsfontein HS) 5. RG Snyman (Affies) 4. Daniel du Preez (Kearsney College) 3. Ruan Kramer (Grey College) 2. Joseph Dweba (Florida HS) 1. Ox Nche (Louis Botha THS).

Replacements: 16. Thomas du Toit (Paarl Boys High) 17. Francois Steyn (Affies) 18. Conrad van Vuren (Nelspruit HS) 19. Abongile Nonkontwana (St Albans College) 20. Jean-Luc du Preez (Kearsney College) 21. Marco van Vuuren (Transvalia HS) 22. Dewald Human (Outeniqua HS) 23. Jurie Linde (Affies).

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