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England U18 keen to impress for the future with South Africa showdown

It has been a strong start for the England U18s in their tour of South Africa after picking up victories against both Wales and France, with their showdown against the host nation to come on Saturday afternoon.

For many of the squad this will be their last appearance with the U18s as they graduate to become U19s and look to force their way into the JWC winning U20s squad after the 1st September.

With that in mind, there is a new man to impress in the U20s set up – John Callard. The former Bath and England full back becomes the new National Performance Academy Manager & International Performance Coach at the start of September and will primarily work with the U20s.

The squad have done themselves no harm in impressing him so far, having staged an impressive comeback against Wales in their opening fixture, coming from 21-7 down to win 24-21 thanks to a Harry Mallinder penalty, and a strong 23-6 victory over France.

South Africa are the ultimate challenge in this summer tour though, as Head Coach John Fletcher explained:

“We know what South Africa will bring – they mirror the Seniors. They’ll be big and physical, which is what we expect, we’ll have to up our game and put in a big performance, which I know we are capable of.”

Only four players have started both games, with three of them changing positions between the two games. Giggleswick’s Taylor Prell started at full back against Wales before switching to the wing against France, while Rory Jennings played at outside half in the first game and moved to scrum half for the second. Charlie Beckett moved across the back row from six to eight for France, while his school and clubmate Joe Maksymiw started in the second row for both.

It seems likely therefore that Fletcher will again shuffle his cards for the final game against South Africa. Sam Underhill will almost certainly return to the XV as captain, while Harry Mallinder seems another near certainty to return to the side.

One man who will be desperate for a second start on tour will be St Paul’s Catholic College’s John Williams. He scored England’s final try against France on his U18 debut and will dearly be hoping a second cap arrives soon.

A couple of stars of the Premiership 7s series in Harlequins’ Joe Marchant and London Irish’s Theo Brophy-Clews were also on the scoresheet. Marchant scoring a try and Brophy-Clews landing a pair of conversions and penalties.

Against Wales it was Bath starlet Max Clark, the aforementioned Mallinder, and St Ambrose College’s star prop Ciaran Parker who adorned the scoresheet, with Parker earning the ultimate honour at this level afterwards as he was named captain for the France clash.

Things have not been so good for Wales though. Following that heartbreaking late defeat to England they then lost to South Africa 40-15, a game that South Africa actually led 40-3 at one point. They will hope to avenge that against France on Saturday.

That result will serve as a warning to England though. They only just edged past Wales so if they are to beat the South African’s they will have to up their game.

Having seen these players at School, Club, and International level though – they are certainly capable of doing just that.

Remaining Fixtures – Saturday 23 August 2014 – Paul Roos Markotter, Stellenbosch

12.00 Italy v SARU Academy XV

14.00 France v Wales

16.00 South Africa v England

England U18 v France:

15 Cameron Cowell (St Pauls College & London Irish)

14 Taylor Prell (Giggleswick School & Yorkshire Carnegie)

13 Joe Marchant (Peter Symonds & Harlequins)

12 John Williams (St Pauls Catholic College and London Irish)

11 Ollie Thorley (Cheltenham College & Gloucester Rugby)

10 Theo Brophy Clews (Abingdon School & London Irish)

9 Rory Jennings (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby)

1 Owen Hills (QEW & Leicester Tigers)

2 James Fish (Trent College & Northampton Saints)

3 Ciaran Parker (St Ambrose & Sale Sharks) (c)

4 Kieran Treadwell (John Fisher & Harlequins)

5 Joe Maksymiw (QEW & Leicester Tigers)

6 George Nott (Kings School Chester & Sale Sharks)

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 & Yorkshire Carnegie) 
18 Seb Adeniran-Olule (Wellington College & Harlequins) 
19 Joe Batley (Hartpury College & Gloucester Rugby) 
20 Sam Underhill (Sir Thomas Rich’s School & Gloucester Rugby) 
21 Harry Mallinder (Rugby School & Northampton Saints)
22 Will Homer (Sherborne School & Bath Rugby)
23 Kai Little (Hartpury College)
24 Rotimi Segun (Stowe School & Northampton Saints) 
25 Max Clark (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby)

England U18 v Wales:

15 Taylor Prell (Giggleswick School & Yorkshire Carnegie)

14 Kai Little (Hartpury College)

13 Max Clark (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby)

12 Harry Mallinder (Rugby School & Northampton Saints)

11 Rotimi Segun (Stowe School & Northampton Saints)

10 Rory Jennings (Bryanston School & Bath Rugby)

9 Will Homer (Sherborne School & Bath Rugby)

1 Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry’s & Yorkshire Carnegie)

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

3 Seb Adeniran-Olule (Wellington College & Harlequins)

4 Joe Maksymiw (QEW & Leicester Tigers)

5 Joe Batley (Hartpury College & Gloucester Rugby)

6 Charlie Beckett (QEW & Leicester Tigers)

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

8 Henry Cheeseman (Whitgift & Harlequins)

Replacements: 16 James Fish (Trent College & Northampton Saints) 17 Ciaran Parker (St Ambrose & Sale Sharks) 18 Owen Hills (QEW & Leicester Tigers) 19 Kieran Treadwell (John Fisher & Harlequins) 20 Lewis Ludlam (St Joseph’s College & Northampton Saints) 21 Theo Brophy Clews (Abingdon School & London Irish) 22 Joe Marchant (Peter Symonds & Harlequins) 23 Cameron Cowell (St Pauls Catholic College & London Irish) 24 John Williams (St Pauls Catholic College and London Irish)

By Angus Savage

@AngusSavageXV

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