U18 International Series: England ring changes for France clash

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Coach Logic

England have named their side to face France tomorrow at the U18 International Series in South Africa.


The young England side will be looking to bounce back in the 3pm kick off at Paarl Gymnasium after falling to a 29-19 defeat to Argentina on Friday, France meanwhile beat South Africa School A 43-19 to get their campaign off to a superb start. Wales meanwhile fell to a 23-13 defeat to the hosts, South Africa Schools, and will be facing the South Africa Schools A side at 12pm on Tuesday.


Just four players that started in England’s defeat to Argentina retain their places for Tuesday’s clash with France, Sedbergh Oliver Melville continues at full back with Northampton School for Boys’ Ethan Grayson at inside centre, while up front Will Trenholm of Cranleigh is again at number 8 while Rugby’s Emeka Ilione moves from the second row to his more favoured back row position.


Having sat out the opening game, Beechen Cliff’s Ethan Staddon comes into the second row, where he starts alongside Dean Close’s Henry Thomas. In the front row the St Paul’s Catholic College pair of Tarek Haffar and Joe Keohane come in to prop, while Beechen Cliff’s John Stewart, who has plenty of England U18 experience, come in at hooker.


Felsted’s Sam Bryan starts at scrum half, he came off the bench to score against Argentina, with Louis Hillman-Cooper and Matthew Ward the other try scorers, they both start from the bench.


Abingdon star Charlie Atkinson comes in to run the show from fly half, Ethan Grayson brings the experience outside him. Joining Grayson in the centres in another man with a stellar rugby lineage, Millfield’s Will Joseph, whose older brother Jonathan was today named in the England Rugby World Cup squad.


In the back three Cranleigh Oscar Beard and St Paul’s Catholic College’s Michael Dykes come in on the wings either side over Oliver Melville.


Ahead of the game Head Coach Jim Malliner spoke to www.englandrugby.com about the side:


“We made multiple changes but the intention was always to give everyone even game time over the first two fixtures and for every player to start a game and we’re really looking forward to them showing us what they can do at this level.”


“There is a short turnaround between the two games and the players have been excellent in how they’ve recovered from the opening fixture, as well as their analysis of the game and preparation for Tuesday which is a vital part of these tours. We’ve trained well and are excited for the match.”


“We’ve also taken the players out to a nature reserve for a few hours where we got to see some incredible animals and that’s helped them form relationships off the pitch as well as experience the environment around them.”


“Tuesday will be a massive test for us, we’ve seen France play and they are big, powerful and like to move the ball around. Defensively we’ll be put under a lot of pressure, but we’re looking to get our set piece right, build on the lessons of the first match and continue to play with attacking intent.”


England U18 XV:


15 Oliver Melville (Sale Sharks & Sedbergh), 14 Oscar Beard (Harlequins & Cranleigh), 13 Will Joseph (London Irish & Millfield), 12 Ethan Grayson (Northampton Saints & Northampton School for Boys), 11 Michael Dykes (London Irish & St Paul’s Catholic College), 10 Charlie Atkinson (Wasps & Abingdon), 9 Sam Bryan (Saracens & Felsted), 1 Tarek Haffar (London Irish & St Paul’s Catholic College), 2 John Stewart (Bath & Beechen Cliff), 3 Joe Keohane (London Irish & St Paul’s Catholic College), 4 Freddie Thomas (Gloucester & Dean Close), 5 Ethan Staddon (Bath & Beechen Cliff), 6 Emeka Ilione (Leicester Tigers & Rugby), 7 Harry Taylor (Clifton College & Cloucester), 8 Will Trenholm (Harlequins & Cranleigh).


Replacements: 16 Archie Vanes (Leicester Tigers & Brooksby Melton College),17 Phil Brantingham (Newcastle Falcons & RGS Newcastle), 18 Fin Baxter (Harlequins & Wellingotn College), 19 Ewan Richards (Bath & Millfield), 20 Kit Smith (Leicester Tigers & Oakham), 21 Daniel Eckersley (Wasps & Bloxham), 22 Sam Edwards (Leicester Tigers & Brooksby Melton College), 23 Orlando Bailey (Bath & Beechen Cliff), 24 Louis Hillman-Cooper (Gloucester & Cheltenham College), 25 Alex Harmes (London Irish & St Paul’s Catholic College), 26 Matthew Ward (Newcastle Falcons & Gosforth Academy).


U18 International Series Fixtures/Results (all times BST):


Matchday 1 – Friday 9th August, Paul Roos Gymnasium


South Africa Schools A 19-43 France

England 19-29 Argentina

South Africa Schools 23-13 Wales


Matchday 2 – Tuesday 13th August, Paarl Gymnasium


12pm – South Africa Schools A v Wales

1.30pm – South Africa Schools v Argentina

3pm – England v France


Matchday 3 – Saturday 17th August, Hugenote High, Wellington


11am – South Africa Schools A v Argentina

12.30pm – France v Wales

2pm – South Africa Schools v England

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