England U18s braced for French test

England U18s have made three changes to their squad for their game against France tomorrow afternoon.

St Joseph’s College’s Lewis Ludlam comes in at openside, while Bryanston’s Rory Jennings starts at scrum half, while St Paul’s Catholic College’s Cameron Cowell comes onto the bench as replacement fly half.

The players will be doubly fired up for this one, not only are they playing for their country but they have also all missed the opportunity to play in the Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s for the schools this week, so they will be eager to ensure that they make up for that miss with an extra special performance in Dunkirk’s Stadium du Littoral de Grade Synthe at 16.00 tomorrow.

Of course nothing can compare to playing for your country though, as these players have shown with the passion and intensity of their performances in victory against Scotland and Wales already this season as they gear towards the FIRA/AER European Championships in a few weeks time.

Reflecting on that performance against Wales and looking ahead to the game tomorrow afternoon, Head Coach John Fletcher said:

“There was a real willingness to attack against Wales and that was pleasing. We scored some nice tries, but our defence was impressive as well. We play systems that allow our players to make good decisions and the boys did just that for the majority of the game.”

“France will offer similar threats to Wales in many ways. I expect them to get off the line quickly and try to make life difficult for us. They will be a big side, so we will look to play fast – but the key to beating any French side at any level is first to match their physicality at the breakdown and in the tackle area.”

“Overall, this is a three-day get-together. We’ll do some walkthroughs and stay in a hotel, which is big part of learning for these lads as well. Away trips are an important part of international sport, so they have to get used to it.”

Both Bryanston and St Joseph’s College each have further representation beyond Jennings and Ludlam, St Joseph’s sensational winger George Wacokocoke starts on the left wing while Bryanston’s excellent Max Clark continues his centre partnership with Leicester Grammar School’s Charlie Thacker.

Giggleswick’s Taylor Prell starts at full back with Hartpury College’s Kai Little on the wing. His schoolmates George Edgson and Joe Batley start at prop and blindside respectively.

Dean Close’s Lloyd Evans has another go at fly half after an impressive outing against Wales, while Prince Henry’s Grammar School’s Jack Walker once again captains the side from hooker, his is joined in the front row by another player with U20s experience in Wellington College’s Seb Adeniran-Olule.

Oundle’s Josh Peters starts in the second row alongside QEW’s Joe Maksymiw, and Maksymiw’s schoolmate Charlie Beckett completes the side at number eight.

It looks an exciting team, and such is the determination of these boys that a third win from three is well within their grasp.

France U18 v England U18 – Sunday, 16.00, Stadium du Littoral de Grade Synthe, France.

England U18 XV:

15 Taylor Prell (Giggleswick School, Leeds Carnegie),  14 Kai Little (Hartpury College, Exeter Chiefs),  13 Max Clark (Bryanston School, Bath),  12 Charlie Thacker (Leicester Grammar, Leicester Tigers),  11 George Wacokecoke (St Joseph’s College, Northampton Saints),  10 Lloyd Evans (Dean Close, Gloucester),  9 Rory Jennings (Bryanston School, Bath);  1 George Edgson (Hartpury College, London Wasps),  2 Jack Walker (Prince Henry’s, Leeds Carnegie, captain),  3 Seb Adeniran-Olule (Wellington College, Harlequins),  4 Joe Maksymiw (QEW, Leicester Tigers),  5 Josh Peters (Oundle School, Northampton Saints),  6 Joe Batley (Hartpury College, Gloucester),  7 Lewis Ludlam (St Joseph’s College, Northampton Saints),  8 Charlie Beckett (QEW, Leicester Tigers).

Replacements: 16 Ollie Adams (St Pauls Catholic College, London Irish),  17 Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry’s, Leeds Carnegie),  18 Ciaran Parker (St Ambrose, Sale Sharks),  19 Kieran Treadwell (John Fisher, Harlequins),  20 Sam Underhill (Sir Thomas Rich’s, Gloucester),  21 Will Homer (Sherborne School, Bath),  22 Cameron Cowell (St Paul’s Catholic College, London Irish),  23 Joe Marchant (Peter Symonds College, Harlequins).

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