England have named their side for their second game of the 2018 U18 6 Nations Festival, versus Italy on Wednesday.
Having lost their opening fixture 32-27 after a magnificent comeback from Scotland, England will be keen to turn their fortunes around against an Italy side that pushed Ireland incredibly close losing 20-17 to a late Irish penalty.
Following that defeat to Scotland, England Head Coach John Feltcher has made eleven changes to his side for the 12pm kick off at Cardiff Arms Park.
Two players in the backlines and two in the forward pack retain their places. Northampton School for Boys’ Ollie Sleightholme keeps his place on the right wing, while Henley College’s Will Simonds moves in one from outside centre to wear the inside centre jersey. Up front Ben Donnell of Peter Symonds’ College keeps his place in the second row, while Hartpury College’s JJ Tonks moves from the blindside to the openside.
St Joseph’s College’s Samson Ma’asi comes in at hooker and keeps the trend of hookers captaining this England group, Alfie Barbeary of Bloxham captained them from hooker last time out.
Either side of him at Solihull’s Lewis Holsey and Sandbach’s Cal Ford, while behind them alongside Donnell in the second row is Will Montgomery, the Kirkbie Kendal man who already has his contract with Newcastle Falcons sorted.
Joining Tonks in the back row are Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth College’s Henri Lavin at blindside, with Exeter College’s Rus Tuima at number 8.
In the backline Gosforth Academy’s Callum Pascoe is at scrum half, with Dean Close star George Barton at outside half. Alongside Simonds in the second row is Kirkham Grammar School’s Connor Doherty.
Joining Sleightholme in the back three is Cranleigh Harry Barlow and Sedbergh’s sensational full back Josh Hodge.
Italy meanwhile include Tonbridge scrum half Matteo Petrozzi in their starting team, the Saracens man could end up facing his club half back partner should Harrow’s Manu Vunipola come on for England.
Speaking to www.englandrugby.com ahead of the game Fletcher said: “We’ve reflected on the Scotland game and we know we have to be better, the players were bitterly disappointed to lose, however often the best learning comes from defeat, especially at this age, and I expect us to be better on Wednesday.”
“We have played with good attacking intent this season in wanting to cause the opposition problems and score lots of tries. There are a couple of things in our attack that could be better, especially our integration between high numbers and low numbers and from a defensive point of view we just didn’t problem solve in that second half against Scotland.’
“This is a different group of players, we’ve made lots of changes to give all the players equal opportunities to play and are excited to see this team go and show what we’re about against a good Italian side who were really unfortunate to lose to Ireland in the last kick of the game.”
England U18 v Italy U18 – Wednesday 4th April, 12pm, Cardiff Arms Park
England U18 XV:
15 Josh Hodge (Sedbergh & Newcastle Falcons), 14 Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton School for Boys & Northampton Saints), 13 Connor Doherty (Kirkham Grammar & Sale Sharks), 12 Will Simonds (Henley College & Wasps), 11 Harry Barlow (Cranleigh & Harlequins), 10 George Barton (Dean Close & Gloucester), 9 Callum Pascoe (Gosforth Academy & Newcastle Falcons), 1 Lewis Holsey (Solihull & Worcester Warriors), 2 Samson Ma’asi (St Joseph’s College & Northampton Saints), 3 Cal Ford (Sandbach & Sale Sharks), 4 Will Montgomery (Kirkbie Kendal & Newcastle Falcons), 5 Ben Donnell (Peter Symonds College & London Irish), 6 Henri Lavin (Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth College & Leicester Tigers), 7 JJ Tonks (Hartpury College & Gloucester), 8 Rus Tuima (Exeter College & Exeter Chiefs).
Replacements: 16 Alfie Barbeary (Bloxham & Wasps), 17 Bevan Rodd (Sedbergh & Sale Sharks), 18 Jack Bartlett (Gloucester), 19 George Martin (Brooksby Melton College & Leicester Tigers), 20 Ted Leatherbarrow (Kirkham Grammar & Sale Sharks), 21 Rob Farrar (Sedbergh & Newcastle Falcons), 22 Blake Boyland (SGS Filton College & Bristol), 23 Reece Dunn (St Peter’s Gloucester & Gloucester), 24 Jacob Morris (Hartpury College & Gloucester), 25 Manu Vunipola (Harrow & Saracens), 26 Jack Reeves (Hartpury College & Gloucester).
15 Lorenzo Romano (Pro Recco Rugby), 14 Edoardo Mastandrea (Valsugana Rugby), 13 Michael Mba (Rugby Casale), 12 Matteo Moscardi (FEMI-CZ Rovigo, captain), 11 Albert Batista (Rugby Etruschi Livorno), 10 Paolo Garbisi (Mogliano Rugby), 9 Matteo Petrozzi (Saracens Academy), 1 Matteo Drudi (UR Capitolina), 2 Tomas Conrado Rosario(Benetton Treviso), 3 Filippo Alongi (Benetton Treviso), 4 Paolo Steolo (Lafert San Donà), 5 Andrea Zambonin (Rangers Vicenza), 6 Angelo Maurizi (Pol. L’Aquila Rugby), 7 Davide Goldin (Petrarca Padova), 8 Andrea Faccenna(UR Capitolina).
Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi (Lions Amaranto), 17 Lorenzo Michellini (Biella Rugby), 18 Giacomo Florio (Fiamme Oro Rugby), 19 Leon Scott Lawrence (Cavalieri Union Prato Sesto), 20 Nicolò Quaglia (Rugby Rovato), 21 Ratko Jelic (Lions Amaranto), 22 Luca Borin (FEMI-CZ Rovigo), 23 Michele Peruzzo (Valsugana Padova), 24 Jona Motta (Rugby Milano), 25 Pietro Marzocchi Traversa (Conad Reggio).
U18 6 Nations Festival Schedule: Saturday 31st March to Sunday 8th April
Matchday 1 – Saturday 31st March, Ystrad Mynach (Centre of Sporting Excellence)
Scotland U18 32-27 England U18
Wales U18 14-22 France U18
Ireland U18 20-17 Italy U18
Matchday 2 – Wednesday 4th April, Cardiff Arms Park
Italy U18 v England U18 – 12pm
Ireland U18 v Wales U18 – 2.30pm
France U18 v Scotland U18 – 5pm
Matchday 3 – Sunday 8th April, Cardiff Arms Park
Ireland U18 v Scotland U18 – 12pm
Italy U18 v Wales U18 – 2.30pm
France U18 v England U18 – 5pm
Previous U18 results this season:
Scotland 30-32 Wales
Scotland 0-64 England
Wales 14-42 England
France 27-5 England
Ireland 20-39 France
Italy 18-5 France ‘B’