England U18s defeated in France

  • England - Tries: Simonds
  • France - Tries: Germain, Bertschy, Vanverberghe, Hulleu. Cons: Germain 2 Drop goal: Germain

England U18s were beaten in their first fixture of the season, after being defeated 27-5 by France at Stade Jean Rolland, in Digne-les-Bains. 

They trailed 17-5 at the break with Baptiste Germain contributing 12 points via a try, two conversions and a drop goal while Malcom Bertschy also scored for the hosts with Will Simonds crossing for John Fletcher's side midway through the half.

After the break France scored late on through Florent Vanverberghe and Nathanaël Hulleu's breakway score to secure the win.

England fell behind to an early try in the corner from scrum half Germain, which he converted for 7-0 inside 10 minutes.

Wing Simmonds dived over in the corner after good work from centre Ollie Lawrence in midfield to create space out wide, but Kieran Wilkinson’s conversion struck the post.

Bertschy bundled over for France's second converted try with Germain adding the extras and his drop goal gave France a 12-point advantage at the break.

England pressed hard to get back into the game but fell short on a couple of occasions and they lost Rouban Birch into the sin bin for a high tackle with 10 minutes remaining.

That gave France the impetus needed to close out the game, and they crossed twice late on via Vanverberghe and Hulleu to seal victory.

The match was England U18s’ first match of their season with fixtures against Scotland on 18 March at Stirling County RFC (KO 12pm) and Wales on 25 March at Sardis Road, Pontypridd (KO 4.15pm) before the ‘Six Nations Festival’.

The festival based in Wales will see England U18s play Scotland at Ystrad Mynach (31 March, KO 12pm ), Italy at Cardiff Arms Park (4 April, KO 12pm) and France at the same venue on 8 April (KO 5pm).

England U18 head coach John Fletcher said: “I think the effort was strong. We found it difficult in the conditions to get people carrying pace with the ball. We had lots of the ball but sometimes in those sorts of conditions it is easier to defend and force the opposition into a mistake. Overall, we are disappointed with the result but we will get better.

"The biggest thing the players would have learned is to adapt to the conditions. The effort was there, but our skills broke down with the pressure they put us under."

England U18s

15 Tom de Glanville, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)

14 Will Simonds, Wasps (The Henley College)

13 Ollie Lawrence, Worcester Warriors (Bromsgrove School)

12 Sam Spink, Wasps (Wellington College)

11 Jacob Morris, Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)

10 Kieran Wilkinson, Sale Sharks (Kirkham Grammar School)

9 Sam Maunder, Exeter Chiefs (Blundell's School)

1 Bevan Rodd, Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)

2 Will Capon, Bristol Rugby (Bristol Grammar School)

3 Alfie Petch, Exeter Chiefs (Exeter College)

4 Tom Jeanes, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)

5 Cameron Jordan, Leicester Tigers (Oakham School)

6 Richard Capstick, Exeter Chiefs (Exeter College)

7 Sam Dugdale ,Sale Sharks (Kirkham Grammar School)

8 Tom Marshall, Newcastle Falcons (Gosforth Academy)


16 Kapeli Pifeleti, Saracens (Haileybury School)

17 Olly Adkins, Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)

18 Cal Ford, Sale Sharks (Sandbach School)

19 Rouban Birch, Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)

20 JJ Tonks, Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)

21 Blake Boyland, Bristol Rugby (SGS College)

22 Josh Hodge, Newcastle Falcons (Sedbergh School)

23 Harry Barlow, Harlequins (Cranleigh School)