The 2017/18 England U17 Development Squad has been revealed as international season moves into full swing.
John Fletcher has named a group of 31, with eleven of the fourteen sides from the U18 Academy League represented in the squad, with only Exeter Chiefs, Bristol, and Wasps not represented.
Harlequins have a staggering eight players in the 31, double that of any other Academy. Their quota includes some very familiar names, including Hampton’s Louis Lynagh, son of Australia legend Michael, and Brighton College’s Luc Smith, younger brother of the Premiership’s fastest rising star, Marcus. Joining them from the South West London club are Christ’s Hospital’s Lennox Anyanwy, Fulbrook’s James Botterill, St George’s College Weybridge’s Sam Riley, and Whitgift pair Harry Dugmore and George Hammond.
Also part of the 31 from Harlequins is Wellington College’s Jack Reid. Like Whitgift, Wellington College have two players in the squad, with London Irish flanker Fin Rossiter also included.
He is one of three London Irish players in the squad, along with Leighton Park’s Chunya Munga, and Philip Cokanasiga, the younger brother of one of Enlgland’s young hopefuls, Joe.
Hartpury College are the most represented school in the squad, and all four, Archie Tarbuck, Rowan Morris, Isaac March, and Harry Daynes, are from the Gloucester Academy, the second most represented in the squad.
They make up four of the seven AASE College players in the squad, the other 24 coming from the school circuit. Cokanasiga, Bath’s Nahum Merigan from Beechen Cliff, and Gosforth Academy’s Callum Pascoe from Newcastle Falcons, are the other three.
Pascoe is one of three Newcastle Falcons in the squad, he is joined by RGS Newcastle’s Chidera Obonna, and Sedbergh’s Harry Hill. Hill is one of two Sedbergh pupils in the squad, Sale Sharks’ Tom Curtis, a versatile fly half/full back/centre, being the other. Merchant Taylors’ James Harper and Wirral Grammar’s Tom Roebuck will also represent Sale in the squad.
Woodhouse Grove are the final school with multiple representatives, Joe Carpenter is the sole Yorkshire Carnegie player in the squad, and James Whitcombe the sole Leicester Tiger, both from Woodhouse Grove.
Staying in the Midlands, Northampton Saints have two players in the squad, Millfield’s Josh Gillespie, and Uppingham’s Jack Hughes. Hughes has an incredible story behind him, having never played Union before arriving at Uppingham as a thirteen year old. Three years down the line, he finds himself in the England U17 squad.
Among the players to watch is Thomas Hardye’s Orlando Bailey, who joins Nahum Merigan as the second Bath player in the squad. He was instrumental in his school’s run to the U15 Schools Vase title at Twickenham Stadium last year.
One of the fastest rising schools on the circuit is Hayes, and they are represented in the squad by Ethan Benson. He is one of two Saracens players in the squad, Sutton Valence’s Harvey Beaton being the other.
Solihull’s Noah Heward and Bromsgrove’s Morgan French, both from the Worcester Warriors Academy complete an exciting looking squad.
England U17 Development Squad (31):
Lennox Anyanwu (Harlequins & Christ’s Hospital)
Orlando Bailey (Bath & Thomas Hardye)
Harvey Beaton (Saracens & Sutton Valence)
Ethan Benson (Saracens & Hayes)
James Botterill (Harlequins & Fulbrook)
Joe Carpenter (Yorkshire Carnegie (Woodhouse Grove)
Philip Cokanasiga (London Irish & St Paul’s CC)
Tom Curtis (Sale Sharks & Sedbergh)
Harry Daynes (Gloucester & Hartpury College)
Harry Dugmore (Harlequins & Whitgift)
Morgan French (Worcester Warriors & Bromsgrove)
Josh Gillespie (Northampton Saints & Millfield)
George Hammond (Harlequins & Whitgift)
James Harper (Sale Sharks & Merchant Taylors’, Crosby)
Noah Heward (Worcester Warriors & Solihull)
Harry Hill (Newcastle Falcons & Sedbergh)
Jack Hughes (Northampton Saints & Uppingham)
Louis Lynagh (Harlequins & Hampton)
Isaac Marsh (Gloucester & Hartpury College)
Nahum Merigan (Bath & Beechen Cliff)
Rowan Morris (Gloucester & Hartpury College)
Chunya Munga (London Irish & Leighton Park)
Chidera Obonna (Newcastle Falcons & RGS Newcastle)
Callum Pascoe (Newcastle Falcons & Gosforth Academy)
Jack Reid (Harlequins & Wellington College)
Sam Riley (Harlequins & St George’s, Weybridge)
Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks & Wirral GS)
Fin Rossiter (London Irish & Wellington College)
Luc Smith (Harlequins & Brighton College)
Archie Tarbuck (Gloucester & Hartpury College)
James Whitcombe (Leicester Tigers & Woodhouse Grove)