The ISRFC Lambs U18 National Squad depart for their tour of Croatia and Italy on Friday.
This year’s annual tour will see the Lambs take on four fixtures over the twelve day tour, with the group returning on Wednesday 11th April.
Their opening game will be in Zagreb against Croatia U19 on Sunday 1st April, following that they will head to Abano Terme just outside of Venice, via the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana.
With a chance to visit Venice, the Lambs will then be in action on Wednesday 4th April against I Dogi Comitato Regionale Veneto U18 before moving on to Montecatini. Saturday 7th April will be the third matchday for the Lambs, where Centro Do Formazione F.R Prato & Milano will be their opponents, and having visited Florence and the Ferrari factory, the Lambs will then move on to Rome, via a trip to Siena.
Rome will host the Lambs’ final game of the tour, and arguably their hardest, as they take on Italy U19 B on Tuesday 10th April before returning home the following day.
It has been a tricky old season for the Lambs so far as a result of the weather, with a number of fixtures lost to the weather.
They have managed to squeeze in four fixtures though, winning two, against Exeter Chiefs and Irish Exiles U18.
As for the squad itself, a 24-man group will travel, led by Bedford fly half Alfie Orchard, who will be supported by three vice-captains, Trinity prop John Petty, and the versatile forward pair of Cheltenham College’s Aiden Ali and Ampleforth College’s Tom Eyston.
The squad consists of twelve forwards and twelve backs, although Framlingham College’s Harrison Stiles is adept in either camp, playing back row, centre, and wing.
Seventeen schools are represented in the touring party, with three schools represented by multiple players. Framlingham College have an astonishing four players in the 24-man group, with centre/wing Tom Watson, fly half/centre/full back Harry Bureau, and 2nd Row Toby Risebrow joining Harrison Stiles.
Wisbech Grammar School have three players in the squad, 2nd row/back row Bradley Hutler, scrum half/full back Jack Trundley, and try scoring machine Oliver Mann, who can play at centre or full back. Felsted also have three players in the squad, full back Thomas Walker, wing Piers Martin, and back row Tyler Tomlinson.
They will be joined by individual players from fourteen other schools, who will no doubt come together in the customary Lambs way, with a reliance on rugby values and that brilliant fast and free brand of rugby that has seen the Lambs become such a well-loved club.
With international opposition and such a great touring location, it should be a brilliant experience both on an off the field, as Lambs National Director Alex Laybourne alluded to when speaking ahead of the tour:
“We are taking an exciting tour squad to compete in a fantastic tour where the squad will take on two international sides.”
“The boys have shown this season, through the trial process and the opening four games, that they are able to play an impressive brand of Fast and Free rugby. We are looking forward to developing this brand even further on tour and putting is some impressive performances!”
ISRFC Lambs U18 Touring Squad (24-man):
Joe Martin (Portsmouth Grammar, Hooker)
Ollie Brown (Shiplake College, Hooker)
Samuel Wright (Rugby, Prop)
John Petty (Trinity, Prop) – Vice Captain
Tom Eyston (Ampleforth College, Prop/2nd Row) – Vice Captain
Toby Risebrow (Framlingham College, 2nd Row)
Bradley Hutler (Wisbech Grammar, 2nd Row/Back Row)
Tyler Tomlinson (Felsted, Back Row)
Owen Jones (King’s Macclesfield, Back Row)
Aiden Ali (Cheltenham College, Back Row/Prop) – Vice Captain
Henry Reed-Purvis (Bradford Grammar, Back Row)
Harrison Stiles (Framlingham College, Back Row/Centre/Wing)
Jack Trundley (Wisbech Grammar, Scrum Half/Full Back)
Alfie Orchard (Bedford, Fly Half/Scrum Half) – Tour Captain
Alex Liley (St Peter’s, York, Fly Half/Centre)
Harry Bureau (Framlingham College, Fly Half/Centre/Full Back)
Oliver Mann (Wisbech Grammar, Centre/Full Back)
Byron Van Uden (Stamford, Centre/Fly Half/Full Back)
Elliot Rayment (Royal Hospital School, Centre)
Tom Watson (Framlingham College, Centre/Wing)
William Kay (Stockport Grammar, Wing)
Darren Ali-Scott (Queen Ethelburga’s College, Wing)
Piers Martin (Felsted, Wing)
Thomas Walker (Felsted, Full Back)
ISRFC Lambs U18 Tour Schedule:
Depart – Friday 30th March
Game 1 – Sunday 1st April – v Croatia U19
Game 2 – Wednesday 4th April – v I Dogi Comitato Regionale Veneto U18
Game 3 – Saturday 7th April – v Centro Do Formazione F.R Prato & Milano
Game 4 – Tuesday 10th April – v Italy U19 B
Return – Wednesday 11th April
Images via Jim Laybourne