The England U18 side to face France U18 at 11am tomorrow has been announced.
It is the first of a three match tour in South Africa that will also see England take on South Africa Schools A on Tuesday at South Africa Schools on Saturday 20th August.
Tour captain Gabriel Ibitoye, of Trinity School and Harlequins, is on the bench for the opener, so the side is led by Millfield’s leaving captain and the new Bath Academy man, Josh Bayliss. He starts on the blindside flank, with Wasps and Henley College’s Tom Willis at eight, and Oundle and Sale Sharks’ Tom Curry on the openside flank, Curry of course featured for Sale at the Singha 7s finals. His twin brother, Ben, is on the bench.
The second row combination sees Worcester Warriors’ Ted Hill team up with Newcastle Falcons’ Josh Williams, while in the front row there is another Newcastle Falcon in the form of Gosforth Academy hooker Jamie Blamire. It is an all Gloucester affair either side of him, withHartpury College’s Alex Seville at looshead and St Peter’s Gloucester’s Ciaran Knight at tighthead.
The backline is dominated by Wellington College, with three of their leaving stars on duty. Rory Brand is at scrum half, with Matt Williams at outside centre, while Tom Parton is on the right wing.
Parton slides from his usual full back to the wing to accommodate Saracens’ new recruit, the Sedbergh leaver Ali Crossdale, who starts at full back, his first game for England this season, thanks to an injury.
The left wing sees Denstone College leaver Levi Davis get a start, while Wasps’ new recruit Jacob Umaga starts alongside Williams in the centres, with James Grayson once again at fly half for the age-group side.
Speaking to www.englandrugby.com ahead of the game, England U18 forwards coach Peter Walton said:
“France will test our physicality especially through the forwards, they’re also pretty unpredictable which makes the game an excellent test for the players, we played them once this year which was our only defeat of the season and the players are keen to change the result.”
“The whole tour is about developing the players through the three games and we are focussing on improving our performances from the end of last season. We play to where the opportunities are on the pitch and expect all of the players to be able to adapt in the game, we will clearly take them on in the forwards and create good momentum to exploit the space and come up with solutions to the problems and score score some tries.”
England U18 v France U18: City Park, Cape Town, Friday, 11.00 BST
1 Alex Seville (Hartpury College & Gloucester)
2 Jamie Blamire (Gosforth Academy & Newcastle Falcons)
3 Ciaran Knight (St Peter’s Gloucester & Gloucester)
4 Ted Hill (Worcester 6th form College & Worcester Warriors)
5 Josh Williams (Hartlepool 6th form College & Newcastle Falcons)
6 Josh Bayliss (Millfield & Bath)
7 Tom Curry (Oundle & Sale Sharks)
8 Tom Willis (Henley College & Wasps)
9 Rory Brand (Wellington College & London Irish)
10 James Grayson (Moulton College & Northampton Saints)
11 Levi Davis (Denstone College & Leicester Tigers)
12 Jacob Umaga (Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College & Wasps)
13 Matt Williams (Wellington College & London Irish)
14 Tom Parton (Wellington College & London Irish)
15 Ali Crossdale (Sedbergh & Saracens)
16 Henry Walker (Bromsgrove & Gloucester)
17 Jarod Leat (St Paul’s Catholic College & Wasps)
18 Ehren Painter (Felsted & Northampton Saints)
19 Dino Lamb-Cona (Cranleigh & Harlequins)
20 Sam Moore (Sedbergh & Sale Sharks
21 Ben Curry (Oundle & Sale Sharks)
22 Harry Simmons (Gresham’s & Leicester Tigers)
23 Ben Loader (Wellington College & London Irish)
24 Gabriel Ibitoye (Trinity & Harlequins)
England U18 v France U18 – Friday 12th August, 11.00
England U18 v South Africa Schools A – Tuesday 16th August, 13.30
England U18 v South Africa Schools – Saturday 20th August, 13.15