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England U18s head coach Jim Mallinder has named his side for their first fixture of the U18 Six Nations Festival.
Mallinder’s side take on Wales at Gillman’s Ground, Hartpury (12.10pm, live on FreeSports TV), before fixtures against Ireland (Wednesday 17 April, 1.40pm) and France (Sunday 21 April, 1.40pm).
Second row George Martin will captain the side, with the starting XV containing six members of the squad that toured South Africa in August for the AON International Series which marked the start of the U18 international pathway season.
They include hooker Sam Riley, flanker Jack Clement, number eight Nahum Merigan, fly half Tom Curtis and wing Tom Roebuck. Joe Carpenter makes his England U18 debut at full back.
England U18s are led by pathway performance coach Mallinder, and consultant coaches Jonathan Fisher (London Irish), Mark Luffman (Darlington Mowden Park) and Sean Marsden (Bristol Bears) for the season.
The festival, which is being hosted by England Rugby at Hartpury University and College, will see three sets of fixtures at Gillman’s Ground, Sixways Stadium and Kingsholm, all live via FreeSports TV.
Players, coaches and management will also have access to a range of off-field experiences and development opportunities in between match activity during the 10 days.
“It’s been a few weeks since this age group last met up to play Scotland when we had a good win and the challenge for the team now is to quickly switch on to how we want to play," said Mallinder.
“I want us to play with a real intent on Saturday, I’m hoping the weather is good, we’ve trained today and the pitches look firm and wide so I want us to go out and play some really good attacking rugby but also, when we are defending, to have a strong desire to get the ball back.
“I think it’s brilliant for the players to get this festival experience. We’ve seen all the different teams arrive here on campus in Hartpury. It’s exciting for the players to see their opposition in and around the site, some of whom they know from club rugby, but most of whom they are not too familiar with and I think it’s good that they will not only play against them but spend some time with them off the pitch also.”
England U18s side
15. Joe Carpenter, Yorkshire Carnegie (Woodhouse Grove)
14. Joe Browning, Leicester Tigers (Denstone College)
13. Louis Hillman-Cooper, Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)
12. Orlando Bailey, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
11. Tom Roebuck, Sale Sharks (Wirral Grammar)
10. Tom Curtis, Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)
9. Jack van Poortvliet, Leicester Tigers (Oakham School)
1. Harry Fry, Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)
2. Sam Riley, Harlequins (St George's Weybridge)
3. Fin Baxter, Harlequins (Wellington College)
4. George Martin, Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
5. Archie Benson, Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
6. Jack Clement, Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)
7. Josh Gray, Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
8. Nahum Merigan, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
16. John Stewart, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
17. Phil Brantingham, Newcastle Falcons (Royal Grammar School)
18. Luke Green, London Irish (St Paul’s Catholic College)
19. Ewan Richards, Bath Rugby (Millfield School)
20. Will Trenholm, Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
21. Raphael Quirke, Sale Sharks (St Ambrose College)
22. Phil Cokanasiga, London Irish (St Pauls College)
23. George Worboys, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff)
Matchday one - Saturday 13 April – live on FreeSports
KO Gillman’s Ground, Gloucester
12:10 England v Wales
14:40 Ireland v France
17:10 Scotland v Italy
Matchday two - Wednesday 17 April – live on FreeSports
KO Sixways Stadium, Worcester
11:10 France v Italy
13:40 Ireland v England
16:10 Wales v Scotland
Matchday three - Sunday 21 April – live on FreeSports
KO Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
11:10 Scotland v Ireland
13.40 England v France
16:10 Italy v Wales