The England Counties U18 squad has been named ahead of the International Triangular Festival at the end of the month.
The 24 man squad will meet a France U18 XV and Irish Clubs U18 at Hartpury College, hosts of the 2015 Festival.
England face the French on Saturday 28th March and the Irish Clubs side on the final day of the Festival, Saturday 4th April, while the French XV and Irish Clubs U18s meet on the Wednesday in between.
The England Counties U18s (or Clubs & Schools U18s as they were previously known) has proved to be a valuable stepping stone for players who might have slipped through the net at England U18 level. Saracensâ€™ Aaron Morris, a JWC winner with England U20 in June and a key player in their U20 6 Nation campaign this year, is a great example, as is the former St Josephâ€™s College fly half Dan Lewis, who played for the Counties side last year and now plays for Oyonnax in France.
There are plenty of prestigious schools and top class players in this yearâ€™s squad, Warwickâ€™s Jamie Shillock is another half back to look out for. There are even a few schools who have made the tremendous achievement of having two pupils in the squad. St Paulâ€™s have Jacob atkins and Connor Hayhow included in the backline, while Sandbach have Owen MacCuish and John Whittaker included in the pack, as do AASE side Myerscough College, who have Joseph Duffy and Jack Conteh included in the forward pack.
The squad should certainly play some exciting rugby, and remember these names, a few could well become household in a few years time.
England Counties U18 Fixtures:
England Counties U18 v France U18 Select XV â€“ Saturday 28th March
England Counties U18 v Ireland Clubs U18 â€“ Saturday 4th April
England Counties U18 Squad
Worcester 6th form College
St Peterâ€™s, Gloucester
Wirral Grammar School
George Abbott School
King Edward VI School, Aston
Newcastle School for Boys
Grammar School at Leeds
The Priory Academy