The 12-man squad Team GB U18 7s squad to compete in the Youth Olympic Games Qualifying event has been selected.
Taking place in Panevezys, Lithuania, there will be sixteen teams competing on the 5th and 6th of May, with the winning team qualifying for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires from 6th-18th October.
England U18 coach Russell Earnshaw leads the party, with England’s Warren Abrahams and Wales’ Chris Hitt his assistants.
They have selected a twelve man squad compromising seven Englishmen, three Welshmen, and two Scotsmen from an initial training group of 24. Commenting on that selection process, Russell Eanshaw said:
“It was extremely difficult to pick 12 players from the group of 24 but we’re really excited by the squad that will represent U18 Team GB in Lithuania with the aim of securing a place at the Youth Olympics.”
“We’re really pleased with the way that these players came together at the selection camp and are looking forward to seeing how they perform against some very talented European teams.”
“This is a unique opportunity for the squad which will provide them with many great learning experiences as they continue to keep learning and developing as players.”
England U18 are represented by Sedbergh pair Josh Hodge and Tom Curtis, as well as Curtis’ Sale Sharks Academy teammate Tom Roebuck of Wirral Grammar and Hodge’s Newcastle Falcons Academy teammate Will Montgomery, from Kirkby Kendal School.
SGS Filton College’s Blake Boyland is also in the squad, as well as Brighton College’s Toby Smith, and Bedford flanker Joe Wallace, who captained Northampton Saints U18 this year.
Scotland are represented by Merchiston Castle’s Rufus McLean and Dulwich College winger Femi Sofolarin, who won the Champions Trophy with his school earlier in the season.
Wales’ three representatives are Tony Lamerton and Max Cunnington from Cardiff and Vale College, and Jay Jones of Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf.
The twelve teams are split into three groups of four, and Team GB are drawn in Pool C where Georgia, Belgium, and Lithuania will be there opponents.
Speaking to www.scottishrugby.org McLean said of his selection: “I’m buzzing. I’m reality excited to be called up to be part of it. I’m looking forward to testing myself on an international scale, especially against different players around Europe. I’m just so excited to part of it.”
Ireland are also competing in the competition, which doubles as the Rugby Europe Men’s U18 7s Championship. Ireland have won the tournament who the past two years and are looking for a third in a row.
As such, they are drawn in Group A, with Italy, Russia, and Sweden for company. They are captained by Glenstal Abbey and Munster Academy’s Ronan Quinn, while Cranleigh’s Hayden Hyde is also in the squad, and will no doubt face some familiar faces in the latter stages should Ireland and Great Britain meet.
Team GB U18 7s Squad:
Blake Boyland (SGS Filton College & England)
Max Cunnington (Cardiff & Vale/Cowbridge & Wales)
Tom Curtis (Sedbergh & England)
Josh Hodge (Sedbergh & England)
Jay Jones (Glantaf & Wales)
Tony Lamerton (Cardiff & Vale Wales)
Rufus McLean (Merchiston Castle & Scotland)
Will Montgomery (Kirkby Kendal & England)
Tom Roebuck (Wirral Grammar & England)
Toby Smith (Brighton College & England)
Joe Wallace (Bedford & England)
Femi Sofolarin (Dulwich College & Scotland)
Ireland U18 7s Squad:
Ben Daly (Waterpark RFC/Munster)
Brian Deeny (Wexford Wanderers RFC/Leinster)
Hayden Hyde (Cranleigh/IQ Rugby)
Jack Hunt (Rockwell College/Munster)
Alex Kendellen (PBC Cork/Munster)
John Maher (Clongowes Wood College/Leinster)
Mark O’Brien (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
Kevin O’Connor (Cashel RFC/Munster)
Ryan O’Neill (Royal School Armagh/Ulster)
Ronan Quinn (Glenstal Abbey/Munster, captain)
Andrew Smith (St. Michael’s College/Leinster)
Ben Watson (St. Gerard’s School/Leinster)
Youth Olympic Games Qualifier Groups (Rugby Europe Men’s U18 7s Championship)
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D|