Wales and England have named their teams for Sunday’s U18 International at Sardis Road in Pontypridd.
Kicking off at 4.15pm, the game is that last hit out for both sides before the U18 Six Nations Festival, which kicks off on the 31st March.
England kick off that campaign against Scotland, with Wales starting against France, so with big games ahead this warm up looks key.
Both have already played a fixture this season, each facing Scotland over the last two weekend’s, England winning 64-0 last weekend and Wales winning with a last gasp try a fortnight ago.
Wales have picked a number of English based players in their side, Bryanston’s Ellis Bevan is at scrum half with Oakham’s Sam Costelow at fly half.
Hartpury College’s Louis Rees-Zammit is on the right wing, and his schoolmate Mrogan Nelson is the replacement hooker. Joining him on the bench as front row replacements are SGS Filton College’s Charlie Brabham and Marlborough College’s Archie Griffin.
Nelson and Rees-Zammit will face a number of their Hartpury College teammates, England line up with Jack Reeves at inside centre and Jacob Morris on the left wing. Olly Adkins is at loosehead, while a fourth Hartpury College man, JJ Tonks, is on the bench.
Elesewhere in the England side, Durham’s Cameron Nordi-Kelemeti start at scrum half after a strong performance at the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s, he is joined by Beechen Cliff’s Tom De Glanville at outside half, his younger brother Oliver starred for Beechen Cliff in the U15 Schools Vase final a week ago.
Alongside Reeves in the centres is Bromsgrove’s Ollie Lawrence, while in the back three Northampton School for Boys’ Ollie Sleightholme, whose father was an England, lines up on the right wing, while joining him and Morris is Kirkham Grammar School’s Kieran Wilkinson, who starts at full back.
Alongside Adkins in the front row are Bristol Grammar School’s Will Capon at hooker and Exeter College’s Alfie Petch at tighthead.
The second row sees another Beechen Cliff man in Tom Jeanes, while Sedbergh’s Rouban Birch is in the second row, his side of course so brilliantly won the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s on Friday.
In the back row Richard Capstick of Exeter College gets another start at 6, while Wilkinson’s Kirkham Grammar teammate Sam Dugdale is at seven, Gosforth Academy’s Tom Marshall starts at 8.
On the bench, meanwhile, another Sedbergh man awaits, loosehead Bevan Rodd. He is joined by fellow front row replacements Jack Bartlett and Haileybury star Kapeli Pifeleti.
JJ Tonks and Exeter College’s Rus Tuima cover the second and back rows, while SGS Filton College’s Blake Boyland could face his schoolmate Charlie Brabham. Henley College’’s Will Simonds and St Peter’s Gloucester’s Reece Dunn complete the England bench.
Speaking to www.englandrugby.com ahead of the game, England Head Coach John Fletcher said:
“We’ll be playing on an artificial surface which will suit both sides and will also encourage both teams to play at a good pace, it’s really exciting to be playing in Wales, it’s a great test, we like the atmosphere and it is a good environment for the players to perform in.”
“For a few of the players it’s their final U18s involvement this season so it’s an opportunity for them to end with a strong performance. We played well against Scotland on Sunday but this will be a different squad from that match. However, a few of the guys played in Edinburgh so there is an opportunity to carry that momentum into this weekend.”
“The aim is always to be better and to improve. As ever we want the players to express themselves both sides of the ball. We want the players to try things and not to be fearful about making mistakes. We want them to explore and bring their strengths to the game.”
Wales Head Coach Geraint Lewis meanwhile said:
“This is a really valuable fixture for both teams in terms of exposing individuals to a high standard of rugby, we saw that last year, and for us to be able to pitch our players against some of the best players in England at this age group is a huge challenge which we look forward to.”
Wales U18 v England U18 – Sunday, 4.15pm, Sardis Road, Pontypridd
Wales U18 XV:
15 Ioan Davies (Glantaf), 14 Louis Rees-Zammit (Hartpury College), 13 Deon Smith (Coleg Gwent), 12 Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler (Neath-Port Talbot College), 11 Ben Cambriani (Gower College), 10 Sam Costelow (Oakham), 9 Ellis Bevan (Bryanston), 1 Taylor Hansen (Coleg Gwent), 2 Dom Booth (Coleg Sir Gar), 3 Luke Yendle (Newport High), 4 Lewis Jameson (Whitchurch High), 5 Jac Price (Coleg Sir Gar), 6 Iestyn Rees (c) (Ysgol Bro Dinefwr), 7 Ioan Rhys Davies (Coleg y Cymoedd), 8 Callun James (Coleg y Cymoedd).
Replacements: 16 Morgan Nelson (Hartpury College), 17 Charlie Brabham (SGS Filton College), 18 Archie Griffin (Marlborough College), 19 Teddy Williams (Glantaf), 20 Jac Morgan (Coleg Sir Gar), 21 Dafydd Buckland (Newport High), 22 Evan Lloyd (Coleg Gwent), 23 Osian Knott (Coleg Sir Gar).
England U18 XV:
15 Kieran Wilkinson (Kirkham Grammar & Sale Sharks), 14 Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton School for Boys & Northampton Saints), 13 Ollie Lawrence (Bromsgrove & Worcester Warriors), 12 Jack Reeves (Hartpury College & Gloucester), 11 Jacob Morris (Hartpury College & Gloucester), 10 Tom de Glanville (Beechen Cliff & Bath), 9 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti (Durham & Newcastle Falcons), 1 Olly Adkins (Hartpury College & Gloucester), 2 Will Capon (Bristol Grammar & Bristol), 3 Alfie Petch (Exeter College & Exeter Chiefs), 4 Tom Jeanes (Beechen Cliff & Bath), 5 Rouban Birch (Sedbergh & Sale Sharks), 6 Richard Capstick (Exeter College & Exeter Chiefs), 7 Sam Dugdale (Kirkham Grammar & Sale Sharks), 8 Tom Marshall (Gosforth Academy & Newcastle Falcons).
Replacements: 16 Kapeli Pifeleti (Haileybury & Saracens), 17 Bevan Rodd (Sedbergh & Sale Sharks), 18 Jack Bartlett (Gloucester Rugby), 19 JJ Tonks (Hartpury College, & Gloucester), 20 Rus Tuima (Exeter College, & Exeter Chiefs), 21 Blake Boyland (SGS Filton College, & Bristol), 22 Will Simonds (The Henley College, & Wasps), 23 Reece Dunn (St Peter’s High School, & Gloucester)