SW RUGBY England U18s beat France in South Africa

england rugby1England men U18s beat France 29-25 today in the second game of the U18s International Series in South Africa.

Mallinder’s side lost their opening fixture of the tournament, defeated by Argentina, and took on France at Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl.

The tour marks the start of the England U18 international season with the side ending the tour against hosts South Africa on Saturday.

Pre-match team news from earlier today:

Mallinder makes 11 changes to the starting XV, with Bath lock Ethan Staddon, fly half Charlie Atkinson and wing Oscar Beard set to make their England U18s debuts.

An all-new front row sees Tarek Haffar, Bath's John Stewart and Joe Keohane start the fixture. Staddon is joined at lock by Freddie Thomas, whose Gloucester team-mate Harry Taylor comes into the back row.

Sam Bryan starts at scrum-half, Millfield's Will Joseph is named at outside centre with wing Michael Dykes also picked in the XV.

Jim Mallinder said: “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 men U18s to play France

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

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

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