England have named two squads for their forthcoming U18 Development camps in York and Bristol.
The squads are split North and South, the North squad meeting in York on the 26th and 27th September and the South meeting in Bristol on the 3rd and 4th October.
44 players are named in total, 22 in each, with a total of 35 different schools represented across the two squads and all fourteen academies are represented.
Ordinarily the England U18 season would have started with the annual August tour of South Africa, however that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as was last year’s U18 Six Nations Festival. That means that these two camps represent the start of the 2020/21 England U18 season, which will then be followed up by a full England U18 Development Camp in October half term, likely at Bisham Abbey.
November then sees another round of North/South camps before another full England U18 Development Camp in mid-February following the conclusion of the U18 Academy League season.
Following those camps the season moves towards the playing phase, though expect disruption as a result of Covid-19.
Assuming that the season can go ahead as planned, the England U17 North/South Festival takes place at the end of February before England U18 take of France U18, Scotland U18, and Wales U19 through March.
Those games are then followed by the U18 6 Nations Festival in April, due to take place in Marcoussis, France. That will mark the end of the England U18 season, but the U17s will meet for a development camp at the end of April.
Sedbergh, Wellington College, and Brooksby Melton College are the three most represented schools in the two squads, all having three players each in the squads, unsurprisingly given Sedbergh and Wellington College performed so outstandingly over the school season and Brooksby Melton College contributed so heavily to Leicester Tigers’ U18 Academy League run to the final.
Sedbergh are represented through Ollie Spencer, James Naylor, and 2020/21 skipper Louie Johnson in the North Squad. All three are in the Newcastle Falcons setup, who are the most represented academy across either squad, along with Leicester Tigers, with six players.
Newcastle Falcons’ other three representatives are RGS Newcastle prop, Mark Dormer, Durham centre Ewan Greenlaw, and the rising star from Barnard Castle, Guy Pepper, who earned rave reviews for his performances on the openside flank last year.
Among Leicester Tigers’ three representatives are the Brooksby Melton College trio of Lewis Chessum, prop Tim Hoyt, and outside back Jake Sterland. Joining their club colleagues are the Oakham School pair of Jacob Cusick and Henry Joule, along with Stamford’s Seb Smith.
Stamford have a second player in that North squad in Northampton Saints’ Matt Arden, and Saints have another two in the North squad is Northampton School for Boys’ Emeka Atuanya and Oundle’s Geordie Irvine.
Wasps also have three players in the North squad, Rugby’s star back rower Kofi Cripps, and fellow back rower Greg Fisilau from City of Oxford College, as well as the outstanding and versatile RGS High Wycombe back, Ollie Dawkins.
Woodhouse Grove’s Ned Hawker and St Peter’s York’s Olly Tomalin represent Yorkshire in the North squad, while Worcester Warriors are represented by Stourport High School’s Tobi Wilson, and Sale Sharks’ Nye Thomas of Liverpool College is their sole representative.
Harlequins are the dominant Academy in the South with five players in the squad, Hampton’s Jamie Benson, who was in last year’s U18 squad too, Seaford College hooker Nathan Jibulu, Whitgift’s versatile Connor Slevin, and the Wellington College pair of Will Hobson and the rapid Cassius Cleaves, who was another of those to be in last year’s squad.
Wellington College’s third player in the squad is London Irish fly half Monty Bradbury, and the Exiles have two further players in the squad, Harrow’s Henry Arundell and Hartpury College’s Mikey Summerfield.
Saracens are the second most represented academy in the South squad, Watford Grammar’s Tobias Elliott, Oaklands College’s Zack Hill, and the second row pairing of Felsted’s Obinna Nkwocha and Ravens Wood’s Kaden Pearce-Paul are their four. Nkwocha is another that made last year’s squad.
As well as three players in the North squad, Wasps also have two in the South squad, Merchant Taylors’ back row Aaron Florestein, and Harrow centre Rekeiti Ma’asi-White, the second Harrow player in the squad. Like Wasps, Northampton Saints also have players in either squad, Norwich’s Jake Garside is in the South. Similarly Worcester Warriors, who see King Henry VIII Coventry’s Tom Miles selected in the South squad.
Bristol Bears have two players in the squad, Colston’s Dylan Power and another of last year’s squad members, George Taylor, the Bristol Grammar School second row. Exeter Chiefs also have two, Exeter College’s Kian Gentry and Truro College number 8 Ben Grubb, who was also in last year’s squad.
Bath and Gloucester each have one player in the squad, Bath see Beechen Cliff’s Jasper Spandler is named as is Sir Thomas Rich’s Rob Nixon of Gloucester.
England U18 Development Camp Squad – North (26th & 27th September, York)
Matt Arden (Stamford & Northampton Saints)
Emeka Atuanya (Northampton School for Boys & Northampton Saints)**
Lewis Chessum (Brooksby Melton College & Leicester Tigers)
Kofi Cripps (Rugby & Wasps)**
Jacob Cusick (Oakham & Leicester Tigers)
Ollie Dawkins (RGS High Wycombe & Wasps)**
Mark Dormer (RGS Newcastle & Newcastle Falcons)**
Greg Fisilau (City of Oxford College & Wasps)**
Ewan Greenlaw (Durham & Newcastle Falcons)**
Ned Hawker (Woodhouse Grove & Yorkshire)**
Tim Hoyt (Brooksby Melton College & Leicester Tigers)
Geordie Irvine (Oundle & Northampton Saints)**
Louie Johnson (Sedbergh & Newcastle Falcons)
Henry Joule (Oakham & Leicester Tigers)**
James Naylor (Sedbergh & Newcastle Falcons)
Guy Pepper (Barnard Castle & Newcastle Falcons)**
Seb Smith (Stamford & Leicester Tigers)**
Ollie Spencer (Sedbergh & Newcastle Falcons)
Jake Sterland (Brooksby Melton College & Leicester Tigers)**
Nye Thomas (Liverpool College & Sale Sharks)**
Olly Tomalin (St Peter’s, York & Yorkshire)**
Tobi Wilson (Stourport High School & Worcester Warriors)**
England U18 Development Camp Squad – South (3rd & 4th October, Bristol)
Henry Arundell (Harrow & London Irish)**
Jamie Benson (Hampton & Harlequins)*
Monty Bradbury (Wellington College & London Irish)**
Cassius Cleaves (Wellington College & Harlequins)*
Tobais Elliott (Watford Grammar & Saracens)**
Aaron Florestein (Merchant Taylors’, Northwood & Wasps)**
Jake Garside (Norwich & Northampton Saints)
Kian Gentry (Exeter College & Exeter Chiefs)**
Ben Grubb (Truro College & Exeter Chiefs)*
Zack Hill (Oaklands College & Saracens)**
Will Hobson (Wellington College & Harlequins)
Nathan Jibulu (Seaford College & Harlequins)**
Rekeiti Ma’asi-White (Harrow & Wasps)**
Tom Miles (King Henry VIII, Coventry & Worcester Warriors)**
Rob Nixon (Sir Thomas Rich’s & Gloucester)
Obinna Nkwocha (Felsted & Saracens)*
Kaden Pearce-Paul (Ravens Wood & Saracens)**
Dylan Power (Colston’s & Bristol Bears)**
Connor Slevin (Whitgift & Harlequins)**
Jasper Spandler (Beechen Cliff & Bath)
Mikey Summerfield (Hartpury College & London Irish)**
George Taylor (Bristol Grammar & Bristol Bears)*
*Denotes England U18 Squad February 2020
** Denotes England U17 North/South Development Camp Squad February 2020