Heartbreak for England U18 in final tour game


England U18’s hopes of finishing their 2016 summer tour of South Africa with a win were dashed by South Africa Schools in the last minute of the game as they snatched a converted try to win 13-12.


It is a third defeat from three games for England after they lost to South Africa Schools A and France U18 earlier in the tour, leaving them bottom of our unofficial South Africa U18 tour table (see below).


This was by far and away England’s best performance of the tour though. They lead 5-3 at half time thanks to a try from Wasps number 8 Tom Willis, of Henley College.


South Africa Schools landed a penalty but England held onto their advantage going into the break before Willis doubled his own personal try tally in the second half, with Northampton Saints and Moulton College fly half James Grayson adding the extras to take England out to 12 points.


Another South African penalty meant that as the game ticked towards 80 minutes, England held a 12-6 advantage, but South Africa Schools refused to give up, scoring a converted try to seal a dramatic 13-12 win. It made it three wins from three for the host nation, who also beat Wales and France, leaving them at the top of our unofficial table as the only side to have won all three games.


Speaking to www.englandrugby.com after the game, England U18 Head Coach John Fletcher said:


“Obviously the players are disappointed but it was an excellent game, they played well and I think we were very unlucky not to win the game, I thought we were the better side, credit to South Africa because it clearly is a very good year group for them but we started the game stronger and we scored more tries and pushed them right to the end.”


“We took a while to get going today but we strung some good rugby together for longer periods of time.”


It was a much better day for Wales though, who beat South Africa Schools A 18-17, with a side that featured four English based players in their starting line up, Sedbergh’s James Botham, Wellington College’s Dylan Moss, and Hartpury College pair Jordan Liney and Morgan Morris.


The victory left Wales second in our unofficial table, ahead of Italy thanks to a superior points difference of +18. It was a stunning tour from Italy though, who beat France U18 30-21 yesterday, as well as notching a victory over South Africa Schools A earlier in the tour, only Wales managed to beat them.


Overall though, the summer tour tends to be more about developing players for the forthcoming U20 season, in which most of those involved over the last few weeks will take part. As John Fletcher said:


“From a player pathway point of view this tour will leave the players on the right path leading into the U20s, they all have bright futures ahead.”


Full Time:

England U18 12-13 South Africa Schools

Wales U18 18-17 South Africa Schools


England U18 XV v South Africa Schools

15 Ali Crossdale (Sedbergh & Saracens)

14 Joe Cokanasiga (Bushe Academy & London Irish)

13 Matt Williams (Wellington College & London Irish)

12 Jacob Umaga (Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College & Wasps)

11 Gabriel Ibitoye (Trinity & Harlequins)

10 Tom Parton (Wellington College & London Irish)

9 Rory Brand (Wellington College & London Irish)

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 Dino Lamb-Cona (Cranleigh & Harlequins)

7 Tom Curry (Oundle & Sale Sharks)

8 Tom Willis (Henley College & Wasps)


16 Henry Walker (Bromsgrove & Gloucester)

17 Jarod Leat (St Paul’s Catholic College & Wasps)

18 Ehren Painter (Felsted & Northampton Saints)

19 Sam Moore (Sedbergh & Sale Sharks)

20 Josh Bayliss (Millfield & Bath)

21 Ben Curry (Oundle & Sale Sharks)

22 Harry Simmons (Gresham’s & Leicester Tigers)

23 James Grayson (Moulton College & Northampton Saints)

24 Oli Morris (New Hall & Saracens)

25 Ben Loader (Wellington College & London Irish)

26 Levi Davis (Denstone College & Unattached)


Wales U18 XV v South Africa Schools A

15 Jared Rosser

14 Joe Goodchild

13 Dylan Moss

12 Cameron Lewis

11 Corey Baldwin

10 Ben Jones

9 Dane Blacker

1 Tom Mably

2 Jordan Liney

3 Christian Coleman

4 James Ratti

5 Callum Bradbury

6 James Botham

7 Joe Thomas

8 Morgan Morris


16 Corrie Tarrant

17 Rhys Carre

18 Harri Dobbs

19 Max Williams

20 Will Griffiths

21 Will Jones

22 Will Talbot-Davies

23 Owain Leonard

24 Phil Jones

25 Ben Thomas

26 Ryan Conbeer

27 Connor Lewis


Tour Results:

England U18 18-23 France U18

England U18 14-53 South Africa Schools A

England U18 12-13 South Africa Schools


Wales 17-23 South Africa Schools

Wales 41-18 Italy

Wales U18 18-17 South Africa Schools A


Italy 23-20 South Africa Schools A

South Africa Schools 42-3 France U18

Italy U18 30-21 France U18


Unofficial Final Table – South African U18 Tour 2016
1South Africa Schools30466
4South Africa Schools A12352
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