England have named an U17 squad for a development training camp at the end of April.
The 34 strong group will gather in Newcastle for the training camp on the 27th and 28th April as they begin to look ahead towards the annual summer tour of South Africa in August.
The training camp will also see the Scotland U17 group match up against the England group in various training scenarios.
Seven of the squad are also involved in the current U18 6 Nations Festival at Hartpury College, where England beat Wales in their opener on Saturday. Cheltenham College’s Louis Hillman-Cooper, Beechen Cliff’s Orlando Bailey, and Wellington College’s Fin Baxter all started that game, with Bailey’s Beechen Cliff schoolmate John Stewart on the bench alongside RGS Newcastle’s Phil Brantingham, Millfield’s Ewan Richards, and Cranleigh’s Will Trenholm.
Cranleigh are the most represented school in the squad, with Trenholm joined by Oscar Bear, his Harlequins teammate, and Finley Brown, who is one of five London Irish players in the squad.
Three of London Irish’s remaining four representative are at AASE side St Paul’s Catholic College, Michael Dykes, Tarek Haffar, and Alex Harmes, the other is at Millfield, Will Joseph, younger brother of England and British & Irish Lions centre, Jonathan.
Joseph is joined in the squad by his Millfield schoolmate Ewan Richards, who is one of four Bath Academy players in the squad, the other three all hailing from Beechen Cliff, the aforementioned Bailey and Stewart, plus Ethan Staddon.
Only Leicester Tigers, the back to back U18 Academy League champions, have more representatives from their club than London Irish. Two of the young players are from Rugby School, Robin Hardwick and Emeka Ilione. Denstone College’s Oliver Smith is also in the squad, as are Archie Vanes, Oakham’s Kit Smith, and Brooksby Melton College’s Sam Edwards.
Harlequins’ three person contingent is completed by Wellington College’s Fin Baxter, who joins Trenholm and Bear. Newcastle Falcons also have three players in the squad, joining Brantingham are the Gosforth Academy pair of Matthew Ward and Ben Robson.
Gloucester are another side with three in the squad, joining Cheltenham College’s Louis Hillman-Cooper are Dean Close’s Freddie Thomas and Clifton College’s Harry Taylor. The only Regional Academy with three players in the squad are Sale Sharks, who have Sedbergh’s Ollie Melville, Lymm High School’s Ewan Murphy, and Myerscough College’s Joe Bedlow in the squad.
In total eleven of the fourteen regional academies are represented, just Exeter Chiefs, Bristol Bears, and Yorkshire Carnegie are unrepresented. Wasps have two players in the squad, Bloxham’s Daniel Eckersley and promising Abingdon fly half Charlie Atkinson.
Saracens also have two in the squad, Dulwich College’s Alex Cahill and Felsted’s Sam Bryan, while Worcester Warriors are the only remaining side with more than one representative, Jon Lilley and Warwick’s Jack Forsythe. The only academy in the squad with just a sole representative is Northampton Saints, who see Northampton School for Boys’ Ethan Grayson, younger brother of James and son of Paul, selected.
Speaking to www.englandrugby.com about the squad, England U18 head coach Jim Mallinder said of the U17 group:
“We had a training weekend between our north and south U17 groups and from that we have selected a smaller squad for this development camp in Newcastle. During the weekend we’ll have a training exercise with Scotland, which will be useful and allows a further chance to look closer at this group. Ultimately this will form the basis of the squad we take to South Africa for our summer development tour in August, which marks the start of our U18 international season.”
“This camp is really the start of their journey and a chance for us to introduce them to the playing themes in which we want them to explore as they progress through the pathway.”
England U17 Development Squad:
Charlie Atkinson (Wasps & Abingdon)
Orlando Bailey (Bath & Beechen Cliff)
Fin Baxter (Harlequins & Wellington College)
Oscar Beard (Harlequins & Cranleigh)
Joe Bedlow (Sale Sharks & Myerscough College)
Phil Brantingham (Newcastle Falcons & RGS Newcastle)
Finley Brown (London Irish & Cranleigh)
Sam Bryan (Saracens & Felsted)
Alex Cahill (Saracens & Dulwich College)
Michael Dykes (London Irish & St Paul’s Catholic College)
Daniel Eckersley Wasps & Bloxham)
Sam Edwards (Leicester Tigers & Brooksby Melton College)
Jack Forsythe (Worcester Warriors & Warwick)
Ethan Grayson (Northampton Saints & Northampton School for Boys)
Tarek Haffar (London Irish & St Paul’s Catholic College)
Robin Hardwick (Leicester Tigers & Rugby)
Alex Harmes (London Irish & St Paul’s Catholic College)
Louis Hillman-Cooper (Gloucester & Cheltenham College)
Emeka Ilione (Leicester Tigers & Rugby)
Will Joseph (London Irish & Millfield)
Jon Lilley (Worcester Warriors)
Oliver Melville (Sale Sharks & Sedbergh)
Ewan Murphy (Sale Sharks & Lymm HS)
Ewan Richards (Bath & Millfield)
Ben Robson (Newcastle Falcons & Gosforth Academy)
Kit Smith (Leicester Tigers & Oakham)
Oliver Smith (Leicester Tigers & Denstone College)
Ethan Staddon (Bath & Beechen Cliff)
John Stewart (Bath & Beechen Cliff)
Harry Taylor (Gloucester & Clifton College)
Freddie Thomas (Gloucester & Dean Close)
Will Trenholm (Harlequins & Cranleigh)
Archie Vanes (Leicester Tigers)
Matthew Ward (Newcastle Falcons & Gosforth Academy)