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England U18 name side for European Championship semi

England U18 have named their side to face France in tomorrow’s U18 European Championship semi final.

Head Coach John Fletcher has made ten changes to the side that defeated Portugal 85-5 in their championship opener.

Abindgon School fly half Theo Brophy-Clews comes into side as captain, with Alex Mitchell of Lymm High School coming into join him in the half backs.

Felsted’s Max Malins retains his place at inside centre, with New Hall’s Dominic Morris coming into join his Saracens team mate in the centres.

Sam Asplan-Robinson is the only other back to retain a starting spot, the Wellington College man switches from left wing to right wing, with Paolo Odogwu of Leicester Grammar School coming in on the other wing, replacing Gabriel Ibitoye, who scored four tries last time out. Darren Atkins, the Millfield flyer comes into the side at full back, in what looks like an electric back three.

In the pack Charles Capps of Prince Henry’s retains his place at tighthead, but it is all change elsewhere in the front row, Filton College hooker Dan Frost starts at hooker, with Myerscough College’s Jake Pope starting at loosehead.

Bicton College’s Josh Caulfield gets another start in the second row, Haileybury College’s Nick Isiekwe joins him in the engine room.

Zach Mercer of Merchiston Castle and Will Allman of Trent College retain their places in the back row after strong performances last time out, with Epsom College’s Archie White coming in on the blindside for his first start of the competition.

Speaking ahead of the game John Fletcher said:

“It’s important for us to carry the momentum from the Portugal fixture into the game against France, I thought we showed real positivity to go out there and play like we did against Portugal.”

“France will provide strong opposition tomorrow so we’ll need to continue to improve and to step up another level. I’ve every confidence that the team can do that.”

England U18 XV v France, ko 18.00, Blagnac:

15. Darren Atkins (Bath Rugby, Millfield School)

14. Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins, Wellington College)

13. Dominic Morris (Saracens, New Hall School)

12. Max Malins (Saracens, Felsted)

11. Paolo Odogwu (Leicester Tigers, Leicester Grammar School)

10. Theo Brophy Clews (London Irish, Abingdon School) (C)

9. Alex Mitchell (Sale Sharks, Lymm HS)

1. Jake Pope (Sale Sharks, Myerscough College)

2. Dan Frost (Bath Rugby, Filton College)

3. Charlie Capps (Prince Henry’s, Yorkshire Carnegie)

4. Josh Caulfield (Exeter Chiefs, Bicton College)

5. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, Haileybury College)

6. Archie White (Harlequins, Epsom College)

7. Will Allman (Northampton Saints, Trent College)

8. Zack Mercer (Bath Rugby, Merchiston Castle School)

Replacements:

16. Curtis Langdon (London Irish, St Pauls Sunbury)

17. Oliver Dawe (Exeter Chiefs, Bicton College)

18. Jack Edmondson (Bath Rugby, Sherborne)

19. Tim Cardall (Northampton Saints, Moulton College)

20. Joe Craggs (Newcaslte Falcons, Gosforth Academy)

21. Will Ewans (Leicester Tigers, Wyggeston & QEI College)

22. Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)

23. Mark Dixon (Sale Sharks, Lymm HS)

24. Max Wright (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henry’s)

25. Gabrial Ibitoye (Harlequins, Trinity College)

26. Johnny McPhillips (Newcastle Falcons, Sedbergh School)

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