England U18 kicked off their annual summer tour of South Africa with a 24-8 victory over France on Friday.
The game is the first of three for England on tour, they face Wales U18 on Tuesday (13.15 BST) before their final game of the tour on Saturday against South Africa Schools (13.00 BST).
Sedbergh’s Sam Moore led the side from number 8, having recently signed a five year deal with Sale Sharks.
England got off to a flying start, heading in at half time 19-3 three ahead. Scrum half Will Porter, now with Wasps having finished at Merchant Taylors’ School, opened the scoring with the sort of sniping break that has made him such a highly rated prospect.
France’s Louis Carbonel responded with a penalty shortly after but Bristol Grammar School hooker Will Capon, playing in the front row alongside school and clubmate Tom Rowland, soon stretched out England’s advantage as he was the man on the tail of a huge driving lineout.
Cadan Murley, the captain of Schools Cup finalists Bishop Wordsworth’s, added England’s third as he finished off a flowing backs move to give England that 19-3 half time lead along with Kirkham Grammar School’s Kieran Wilkinson’s two conversions.
France came out firing in the second half though, determined to give a better account of themselves, and they were rewarded with a try through Mathis Lebel. France kept the pressure on a when Bromsgrove’s Beck Cutting, on as a replacement at hooker, was sent to the sin bin England had to dig deep to hold onto their advantage.
As the clock ticked down though, England got back on the attack with Murley, now at Harlequins, bagging his second try of the game to seal the 24-8 victory.
Speaking after the game the England wing, who is equally comfortable in the centres, praised how quickly the group had come together, saying:
“I thought the guys came together really well, France are always a physical test and it’s great to start the tour with a victory.”
England U18 24-8 France U18
England U18 XV:
15 Nick David (Warwick & Worcester Warriors)
14 Arron Reed (Kirkham GS & Sale Sharks)
13 Fraser Dingwall (Bedford & Northampton Saints)
12 Sam Spink (Wellington College & Wasps)
11 Cadan Murley (Bishop Wordsworth’s & Harlequins)
10 Kieran Wilkinson (Kirkham GS & Sale Sharks)
9 Will Porter (Merchant Taylors’ & Wasps)
1 Tom Rowland (Bristol GS & Bristol)
2 Will Capon (Bristol GS & Bristol)
3 Joe Heyes (Wyggeston & QEI College & Leicester Tigers)
4 Joe Tunney (Dr Challoners & Wasps)
5 James Scott (Malvern College & Worcester Warriors)
6 Tom Willis (Henley College & Wasps)
7 Aaron Hinkley (St Peters’ & Gloucester)
8 Sam Moore (Sedbergh & Sale Sharks, captain)
Replacements: 16 Beck Cutting (Bromsgrove & Worcester Warriors), 17 George Head (Tonbridge & Harlequins), 18 Nick Rigby (Warwick & Worcester Warriors), 19 Josh Basham (Wellington College & London Irish), 20 Richard Capstick (Exeter College & Exeter Chiefs), 21 Ollie Fox (New College Pontefract & Yorkshire Carnegie), 22 Cameron Redpath (Sedbergh & Sale Sharks), 23 Tom de Glanville (Beechen Cliff & Bath).
Not in Matchday Squad: Alex Coles (The Perse & Northampton Saints), Ollie Hassell-Collins (St Paul’s & London Irish), Tom Seabrook (Dean Close & Gloucester).
England U18 Fixtures:
Friday 11th August:
England U18 24-8 France U18 – Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
Tuesday 15th August:
England U18 v Wales U18 – Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl (13.15 BST)
Saturday 19th August:
England U18 v South Africa Schools – City Park, Athlone (13.00 BST)