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England U18s name side for FIRA/AER semi vs Wales

England U18 have named their side to face Wales in the semi finals of the FIRA/AER U18 European Championships tomorrow.

England beat Portugal 62-5 in their opening encounter while Wales edged out Scotland 23-21 to set up this semi final encounter.

England have made eleven changes from the side that defeated Portugal, most notably with squad captain Sam Underhill coming into the side after seeing the first game from the bench.

Sir Thomas Rich’s Underhill in joined in the back row by the Hartpury College duo of Will Safe and Joe Batley, with Batley retaining his place at blindside.

In the second row King’s Chester’s George Nott comes in, he partners Huw Taylor of Old Swinford Hospital, who makes his second start of the competition.

It is all change in the front row as Prince Henry’s Grammar School’s Lewis Boyce comes in at loosehead and is joined by fellow AASE College students Ollie Adams of St Paul’s Catholic College at hooker and Truro College’s Jack Stanley at tighthead.

As in the pack, just two members of the backline retain their places from the victory over Portgual, Abingdon’s Theo Brophy-Clew at fly half and Hartpury College’s Kai Little on the wing.

Elsewhere, experience seems to be the key for this fixture. Lucas Slowick of Filton College and George Perkins of Oaklands College are the only players in the squad to have travelled to last year’s successful tournament. Both start tomorrow against Wales, at outside centre and on the right wing respectively.

Partnering Slowik in the centre is Leicester Grammar School’s Charlie Thacker, while Blundell’s Jack Maunder starts at scrum half in partnership with Brophy-Clews.

Giggleswick’s Taylor Prell completes the line up at full back. Prell is one of five players in the starting fifteen who started as England U18s beat Wales 43-12 in one of the warm up games a few weeks ago in preparation for the Championship. Perkins, Thacker, Boyce, and Underhill are the others.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s encounter, Underhill said:

“We’re looking forward to playing Wales – we’ve gelled as a squad since we’ve been here and it’s a good chance to see how far we’ve come. We put in a good performance against Portugal but the challenge is to improve on that in our next game.”

Meanwhile England’s scrummaging guru, Ian Peel, was keen to look back to that previous encounter between the two sides:

“It’s always a big game against Wales and this will be no different. A few of these guys played them a couple of weeks ago at Neath RFC and put in a good performance, so we’ll be looking for similar.”

“As a group we have trained well, the facilities in Poland have been excellent and we’ve enjoyed being here. The FIRA competition is always a good chance to play against the best players at this age group.”

To watch the game live at 13.00 tomorrow, just follow this link: http://www.eurorugby2014.pl/en/live_streaming/

England U18 XV:

15 Taylor Prell (Giggleswick School, Leeds Carnegie)

14 George Perkins (Oaklands, Saracens)

13 Lucas Slowik  (Filton College, Bristol Rugby)

12 Charlie Thacker (Leicester Grammar, Leicester Tigers)

11 Kai Little (Hartpury College, Exeter Chiefs)

10 Theo Brophy-Clews (Abingdon School, London Irish)

9 Jack Maunder (Blundell’s School, Exeter Chiefs)

1 Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry’s Grammar, Leeds Carnegie)

2 Ollie Adams (St Pauls Catholic College, London Irish)

3 Jack Stanley (Truro College, Exeter Chiefs)

4 Huw Taylor (Old Swinford Hospital, Worcester Warriors)

5 George Nott (Kings School Chester, Sale Sharks)

6 Joe Batley (Hartpury College, Gloucester Rugby)

7 Sam Underhill  (Sir Thomas Rich’s School, Gloucester Rugby, captain)

8 Will Safe (Hartpury College, Gloucester Rugby).

Replacements: 16 James Fish (Trent College, Northampton Saints) 
17 Owen Hills (Queen Elizabeth Wyggeston College, Leicester Tigers) 
18 Josh Ibuanokpe (Dulwich College, Harlequins)
 19 Stanley South (Whitgift School, Harlequins)
 20 Callum Chick (Gosforth Academy, Newcastle Falcons) 
21 Josh Bainbridge (Prince Henry’s Grammar, Leeds Carnegie)
 22 Alex Mitchell (Lymm High School, Sale Sharks)
 23 Harry Mallinder (Rugby School, Northampton Saints)
 24 Joe Marchant (Peter Symonds, Harlequins)
 25 Rotimi Segun (Stowe School, Northampton Saints) 
26 Cameron Cowell (St Pauls Catholic College, London Irish).

Wales U18 (from):

Forwards: Kieron Assirratti (Blues/ Coleg y Cymoedd/ Wattstown), Robert Lewis (Blues/ St Peters / Coleg y Cymoedd), Harrison Walsh (Ospreys / Bishopgore / Mumbles), Liam Belcher (Blues/ Coleg y Cymoedd / Pontypridd), Dafydd Hughes (Scarlets / Llandovery College / Llandovery), Sam Matthews (Ospreys/ Pencoed College), Matthew Dodd (Ospreys / Olchfa / Dunvant), Seb Davies (Blues / Coleg y Cymoedd / Pentyrch), Calum Haggett (Blues / Coleg y Cymoedd / Gilfach Goch), Tom Phillips (Scarlets / Coleg Sir Gar / Llangennech), Harrison Keddie (Dragons / Coleg Gwent / Caerleon), Lloyd Phillips (Scarlets/ Coleg Sir Gar/ Felinfoel), Shaun Evans (Scarlets/ Coleg Sir Gar/ Felinfoel), Ben Davies (Ospreys/ Pontarddulais Comp/ Pontarddulais), Josh Cole (Ospreys / Neath Port Talbot College / Tonmawr)

Backs: Matthew Aubrey (Ospreys/ Gower College/ Pontarddulais), Carl Lewis (Blues North/ Coleg y Cymoedd/ Treorchy), Jarrod Evans (Blues North/ Coleg y Cymoedd/ Pontypridd), Dan Jones (Scarlets / Coleg Sir Gar / Carmarthen Quins), Barney Nightingale (Newport High), Owen Watkin (Ospreys / Bridgend College / Bryncethin), Joe Gage (Ospreys/ Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera / Abercrave), Matthew Pearce (Ysgol y Strade / Llanelli Wanderers), Shaun Pearce (Scarlets / Glan y Mor / Bury Port), Rhys Gealy (Ospreys / YG Gwyr / Pontarddulais), Elis-Wyn Benham (Coleg y Cymoedd / St Joseph’s)

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