England U18 got their season off to the perfect start this weekend with a 21-5 victory over France U18 at Doncasterâ€™s Castle Park.
Gosforth Academy and Newcastle Falcons academy number 8 Callum Chick led the team, and described what a wonderful feeling that was after the game:
â€œIt was an amazing feeling to lead the lads out and Iâ€™m pleased to have got the win. It was a bit scrappy at times but that was probably due to the weather. Weâ€™ve got a great team spirit in the camp and weâ€™re looking forward to our next game against Wales in a couple of weeks.â€
Englandâ€™s points came through tries from Wellington Collegeâ€™s Sam Aspland-Robinson, Felstedâ€™s Max Malins, who starred for Saracens in the U18 Premiership final last Monday, and Hartpury Collegeâ€™s Matthew Protheroe, who justified the considerable hype surrounding him with an eleven point haul in his man of the match display.
It was a tough outing for England though, they led just 7-0 at the break through Aspland-Robinsonâ€™s score. He was one of an incredible three Wellington College backs in the 23, with Conor Dolan starting at outside centre and Rory Brand coming on at scrum half in the second half.
France were first to score when the game got underway again after the break, however that was to be it for the French in terms of scoring, and with Malins and Protheroe running over a try each the scoreline ended up rather comfortable for England.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach John Fletcher said:
â€œWeâ€™re delighted to get the result against a tough French side, particularly in these difficult and wet conditions. It wasnâ€™t a spectacular game of rugby but we did enough to get the win and Iâ€™m pleased for the lads. We havenâ€™t had too long training together as a team, and to beat a physical French side will stand them in good stead.â€
Full Time: England U18 21-5 France U18
15. Owain James (Wasps Rugby, Harrow School)Â 14. Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins, Wellington College)Â 13. Conor Dolan (Wasps Rugby, Wellington College)Â 12. Elliott Creed (Gloucester Rugby, Chosen Hill)Â 11. Rotimi Segun (Northampton Saints, Stowe School)Â 10. Mathew Protheroe (Hartpury College)Â 9. Alexander Mitchell (Sale Sharks, Lymm HS)Â 1. Mofe Wilkey (Harlequins, Trinity School)Â 2. Dan Frost (Bath Rugby, Filton College)Â 3. Billy Keast (Exeter Chiefs, Truro College)Â 4. Matthew Postlethwaite (Sale Sharks, Ilkley Grammar)Â 5. Alexander Moon (Northampton Saints, Sedbergh School)Â 6. Archie White (Harlequins, Epsom College)Â 7. William Allman (Northampton Saints, Trent College)Â 8. Callum Chick (Newcastle Falcons, Gosforth Academy, captain).
Replacements: 16. Curtis Langdon (London Irish, St Paul’s)Â 17. Jake Pope (Sale Sharks, Myerscough College)Â 18. Jack Stanley (Exeter Chiefs, Truro College)Â 19. John Hawkins (Northampton Saints, Stowe)Â 20. Joe Craggs (Newcastle Falcons, Gosforth Academy)Â 21. Rory Brand (Sale Sharks, Wellington College)Â 22. Max Malins (Saracens, Felsted)Â 23. Sam Allan (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henryâ€™s Grammar School).