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England U18 South Africa tour squad shows depth of quality

The England U18 summer tour squad always leaves us at Fifteen Rugby with that slightly sentimental feeling whenever it is revealed. It is the final time that that generation of players is universally referred to by school.

Thirteen of the FIRA/AER U18 European Championship winning squad have been named in the final England U18 squad of the season, for the two-week summer tour of South Africa where they will face Wales, France, and South Africa.

That means that there are also thirteen members of this twenty-six man touring squad who were not present in Poland, and who will surely be looking to make a lasting impression in their final games as schoolboys.

One man whom many will be delighted to see back in an England shirt is Wellington College’s Brett Herron, who has joined the Bath Academy for the coming season. Herron missed much of Wellington’s season through injury, only returning for the sevens season and therefore missed out on what would have been expected to have been a great year of rugby.

Three other Bath colleagues join Herron in the backline, Sherborne’s Will Homer, and the Bryanston duo of Rory Jennings and the tremendously exciting Max Clark. All four of the Bath contingent missed out on the Euros along with one other of the twelve selected backs, St Paul’s Catholic College’s Cameron Cowell.

Cowell has represented the England 7s team recently though, as has Whitgift’s Henry Cheeseman, who is also selected. They represented the 7s side in Lyon for the European Grand Prix 7s.

It is a tremendously exciting time to be covering age-grade rugby in England. As U18 Head Coach John Fletcher said: “The vast majority of the Under 20s who have won back-to-back World Cups toured the southern hemisphere with the Under 18s, so it definitely stands them in good stead.”

That crop was exciting as U18s and this current crop are just as exciting. Having witnessed them playing for their clubs, and schools for the last couple of years, it is always exciting to see them rewarded with international recognition.

In the pack Herron’s school teammate Seb Adeniran-Olule returns to the squad, as does his fellow Harlequin Kieran Treadwell and the aforementioned Cheeseman.

Two Queen Elizabeth & Wyggeston College forwards come into the squad to join their schoolmate Owen Hills, Joe Maksymiw and Charlie Beckett, St Ambrose College’s Ciaran Parker also comes in.

Lewis Ludlum was one of four St Joseph’s College players to gain an academy contract for the coming season and the St Joseph’s Festival winner and Northampton Saints back row man makes a welcome return to the England U18 squad alongside the FIRA/AER winning captain, Sir Thomas Rich’s Sam Underhill.

Of course not everyone is in the last throes of their schoolboy careers. Some, such as Stowe’s Rotimi Segun, will be back prong over the school books come September.

Either way, it is a tour that we cannot wait to cover.

England U18 Squad:

Forwards:

Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry’s & Leeds Carnegie)

Owen Hills (QEW & Leicester Tigers)

James Fish (Trent College & Northampton Saints)

Ollie Adams (St Pauls Catholic College & London Irish)

Seb Adeniran-Olule (Wellington College & Harlequins)

Ciaran Parker (St Ambrose & Sale Sharks)

Joe Batley (Hartpury College & Gloucester Rugby)

Kieran Treadwell (John Fisher & Harlequins)

Joe Maksymiw (QEW & Leicester Tigers)

George Nott (Kings School Chester & Sale Sharks)

Charlie Beckett (QEW & Leicester Tigers)

Lewis Ludlam (St Joseph’s College & Northampton Saints)

Sam Underhill (Sir Thomas Rich’s School & Gloucester Rugby)

Henry Cheeseman (Whitgift & Harlequins)

Backs:

Will Homer (Sherborne School & Bath Rugby)

Rory Jennings (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby)

Theo Brophy Clews (Abingdon School & London Irish)

Cameron Cowell (St Pauls College & London Irish)

Kai Little (Hartpury College & Exeter Chiefs)

Harry Mallinder (Rugby School & Northampton Saints)

Max Clark (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby)

Rotimi Segun (Stowe School & Northampton Saints)

Brett Herron (Wellington College & Bath Rugby)

Joe Marchant (Peter Symonds & Harlequins)

Ollie Thorley (Cheltenham College & Gloucester Rugby)

Taylor Prell (Giggleswick School & Leeds)

Summer Tour Fixtures (South African Times):

Friday 15th August – City Park, Cape Town

12.00 – Italy v WP XV

14.00 – England v Wales

16.00 – South Africa v France

Tuesday 19th August – Outeniqua Park, George

12.00 – Italy v SWD Craven Week XV

14.00 – England v France

16.00 – South Africa v Wales

Saturday 23rd August – Paul Roos Markotter, Stellenbosch

12.00 – Italy v SARU Academy XV

14.00 – France v Wales

16.00 – South Africa v England

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