England U18s Head Coach, John Fletcher, has named his side to face Wales U18 this afternoon.
He has made nine changes to the side that narrowly lost 19-14 to South Africa Schools on Friday, four in the forwards and five in the backs, plus two positional changes.
James Mitchell of Lymm High School and Josh Sharp of Oaklands College come into the side, replacing Fridayâ€™s half backs Stuart Townsend and Sam Olver. Olverâ€™s Oundle School and Northampton Saints teammate Josh Peters comes into the second row in place of Millfieldâ€™s Tom Ellis.
Alongside Peters, Bryanstonâ€™s Charlie Ewels retains his place in the second row. Ewles is joined in the side by two of his former Bryanston teammates, Rory Jennings and Max Clark, a real demonstration of the strength of their side recently.
Jennings comes into the side at inside centre alongside Clark who moves from that position to outside centre with Nick Carpenter missing out.
Tom Fowlie and Josh Skelcey come into the side on the wings with Oaklandsâ€™ Nathan Earle moving from the wing to full back while Tom Howe and Howard Packman miss out after featuring on Friday.
Earle, who featured for the U18s earlier in the season when they beat Wales 44-7, scoring twice, gave the RFU some of his thoughts ahead of the game, saying:
â€œWeâ€™re really looking forward to this one â€“ the coaches have said that they want a response from us after the South Africa game, and thatâ€™s what weâ€™re hoping for.â€
â€œWeâ€™re confident in our own ability â€“ we know that we have skillful players and physical players, so itâ€™s just a case of pulling that all together and delivering a performance we can be proud of. We looked good in parts against South Africa but it wasn’t quite enoughâ€
â€œItâ€™s a funny one because we put a few points on them earlier in the season, but their confidence must be sky high after their win (Wales beat France U18s on Friday), this is a completely different game, though, and if we think that we can just turn up and win then weâ€™ll be in for a shock â€“ weâ€™ve prepared well, so weâ€™ll just have to wait and see.â€
â€œThe demands of a tour are pretty intense â€“ we have a game every four days so itâ€™s important to keep on top of your recovery, get your nutrition right and,Â most importantly,Â to learn from your setbacks.â€
Earleâ€™s Oaklands College teammate Hayden Stringer retains his place at blindside flanker where Will Owen, who replaces Lewis Ludlow, will partner him.
Brighton Collegeâ€™s James Chisholm retains his place at number eight and as captain, Paul Hill also retains his place in the side.
Joining Hill in the front row are Jack Walker and Luke Chapman who come in for Cameron Neild and Alex Lundberg.
It promises to be another exciting game of U18s rugby, particularly given Walesâ€™ victory over France. The expectation is that Wales will be buoyed by that victory, with England keen to prove a point after that narrow defeat by South Africa, something that John Fletcher was keen to point out:
â€œThe players have responded well to the loss against the South Africans. They have trained well over the past few days and we will better for the hit out last Friday.â€
â€œWales had an excellent victory and performance against a good French team and we know that we will have to play at our best to be competitive. Our players are hurting after the narrow defeat to South Africa and I am expecting a response from the squad against Wales.â€
The game will kick off at 3pm (GMT) at Outeniqua Park, George.
1 Luke Chapman (Truro College & Exeter Chiefs) 2 Jack Walker (Prince Henry’s & Leeds Carnegie) 3 Paul Hill (Prince Henry’s Grammar & Leeds Carnegie) 4 Josh Peters (Oundle School & Northampton Saints) 5 Charlie Ewels (Bryanston & Bath Rugby) 6 Hayden Stringer (Oaklands & Saracens) 7 Will Owen (QE Leicester & Leicester Tigers) 8 James Chisholm (Brighton College & Harlequins) (C) 9 James Mitchell (Lymm School & Sale Sharks) 10 Josh Sharp (Oaklands College & Saracens) 11 Tom Fowlie (St Pauls Catholic College & London Irish) 12 Rory Jennings (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby) 13 Max Clark (Bryanston & Bath Rugby) 14 Josh Skelcey (Moulton College & Northampton Saints) 15 Nathan Earle (Oaklands & Saracens).
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild (Manchester Grammar & Sale Sharks) 17 Alex Lundberg (Hampton School & London Wasps) 18 Ciaran Parker (St Ambrose & Sale Sharks) 19 Tom Ellis (Millfield & Bath Rugby) 20 Lewis Ludlow (Hartpury College & Gloucester Rugby) 21 Ellis Genge (Hartpury College & Bristol Rugby) 23 Sam Olver (Oundle School & Northampton Saints) 24 Nick Carpenter (Filton College & Bristol Rugby).
15 Steffan Evans (Scarlets) 14 Ashton Hewitt (Newport Gwent Dragons) 13 Aled Summerhill (Cardiff Blues) 12 Garyn Smith (Cardiff Blues) 11 Josh Adams (Scarlets) 10 Angus Oâ€™Brien (Newport Gwent Dragons) 9 Tom Williams (Cardiff Blues), 1 Keagan Bale(Newport Gwent Dragons) 2 Torin Myhill (Scarlets) 3 Alex Jeffreys (Newport Gwent Dragons) 4 Josh Helps (Scarlets & Captain) 5 Rory Thornton (Ospreys) 6 Tom Phillips (Scarlets) 7 Oliver Griffiths (Newport Gwent Dragons) 8 Jordan Collier (Ospreys).
Replacements: Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Leon Crump (Cardiff Blues), Javan Sebastian (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Jon Fox (Ospreys), Dan Brooks (Ospreys), Luke Price (Ospreys), Joe Thomas (Ospreys), Oliver Hitchings (Cardiff Blues), Dan Jones (Scarlets), Luke Garrett (Newport Gwent Dragons).