The England U19 side to face France today at Kingston Park has been named.
The game is part of a double header, with England U17 also playing France at the same venue prior to this game.
The side is made up of a mixture of school leavers and those in their final year at school, with three current schoolboys in the starting side. Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth College’s Jacob Umaga starts at inside centre after impressing for the England U18 side at the U18 5 Nations Festival. Harry Randall of Hartpury College starts at scrum half, and Berkhamsted’s Jack Nay starts in the second row.
Elsewhere in the starting XV it is akin to a who’s who of last year’s schoolboy stars. The back three looks particularly exciting, Bath’s former Millfield flyer Darren Atkins is at full back, with Harlequins’ Sam Aspland Robinson, formerly at Wellington College, on the right wing, and Saracens’ former Whitgift man Matt Gallagher on the left wing.
Former New Hall pupil Dominic Morris, now at Saracens, starts alongside Umaga at outside centre, while his clubmate and the former Felsted star, Max Malins, starts at fly half.
Northampton Saints’ former Sedbergh giant, Alex Moon, is alongside Jack Nay in the second row, while in the front row Ralph Adams-Hale (Saracens & ex Roundwood Park) starts at loosehead, with Jake Pope of Sale Sharks and formerly Myerscough College at tighthead. Gloucester’s Joe Mullis, a former Chosen Hill pupil, starts between them at hooker.
The back row looks just as exciting as the back three. Bath’s Zach Mercer, who was at Merchiston Castle School, starts at number 8, with Leicester Tigers’ Will Evans at openside. Evans, once a teammate of Umaga’s at Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth, has starred for Leicester at times this year. Harlequins’ former Epsom College skipper Archie White starts at blindside.
On the bench there are six further current schoolboys. Covering the backline are two stars of the England U18 campaign, Wellington College’s Tom Parton and Trinity’s Gabriel Ibitoye, with Gresham’s Harry Simmons covering scrum half.
In the pack Millfield’s Josh Bayliss, recently signed by Bath, finally gets to make an appearance this season after a tortuous period of injury, Sedbergh’s Max Davies is also on the bench. Covering hooker is Gosforth Academy’s Jamie Blamire. The two props are now full time academy members, Yorkshire Carnegie’s former Prince Henry’s pupil, Charlie Capps, and the ex Sherborne man, Bath’s Jack Edmonson.
England U19 v France U19 – Saturday, Kingston Park
England U19 XV:
15 Darren Atkins (Bath, ex Millfield)
14 Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins, ex Wellington College)
13 Dominic Morris (Saracens, ex New Hall)
12 Jacob Umaga (Leicester Tigers, Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth College)
11 Matt Gallagher (Saracens, ex Whitgift)
10 Max Malins (Saracens, ex Felsted)
9 Harry Randall (Gloucester, Hartpury College)
1 Ralph Adams-Hale (Saracens, ex Roundwood Park)
2 Joe Mullis (Gloucester, ex Chosen Hill)
3 Jake Pope (Sale Sharks, ex Myerscough College)
4 Alex Moon (Northampton Saints, ex Sedbergh)
5 Jack Nay (Saracens, Berkhamsted)
6 Archie White (Harlequins, ex Epsom College)
7 Will Evans (Leicester Tigers, ex Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth College)
8 Zach Mercer (Bath, ex Merchiston Castle)
16 Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, Gosforth Academy)
17 Charlie Capps (Yorkshire Carnegie, ex Prince Henry’s Grammar)
18 Jack Edmonson (Bath, ex Sherborne)
19 Max Davies (Newcastle Falcons, Sedbergh)
20 Josh Bayliss (Bath, Millfield)
21 Harry Simmons (Leicester Tigers, Gresham’s)
22 Tom Parton (London Irish, Wellington College)
23 Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins, Trinity)