England Counties U18 and Ireland Clubs & Schools U18 have named their sides for Wednesday’s clash at United Services Portsmouth Rugby Ground.
The two ‘second string’ U18 international sides meet for a two game series, with the second game taking place at the same location on Saturday.
England took part in a training game against Ealing Trailfinders last month, while Ireland played a two-game series against Canada U19, scoring fifty points in each game.
Ireland have selected five Irish Exiles in the starting fifteen, with four in the backline. Millfield’s Oran McNulty starts at full back, with Henley College’s Tom Bacon on the right wing. Cranleigh’s Hayden Hyde is at outside centre, with Sedbergh’s Michael Cooke at fly half.
Denstone College’s Joshua Dunne starts at number 8, the sole Exile in the pack, while Beechen Cliff’s Chris Moore is on the Ireland Clubs & Schools bench.
There are no direct schoolmate head to heads with anyone in the England side, however a number of players will be familiar with one another, playing on the same circuit as many of them do.
Prince Risborough’s Evan Davies is at full back for England, with Epsom College’s Theo Barkway Hall and St Olave’s Aaron Grandidier-Nkannand on the wings. St John’s College’s Zachary Clow and Solihull’s William Rigg are the centre partnership.
Seaford College’s Joshua Goodwin starts at scrum half, with Luke Bouchier of Oaklands Academy at outside half.
Up front England select Brockenhurst College’s Luke Spring, Moulton College’s Charlie Fleckney, and Isaac Thompson of Oakham in the front row. Behind them Brighton College’s George Cook and Haileybury’s Oliver Moody make up the second row.
The back row, meanwhile, sees Waddesdon Church of England School’s Matthew Wilkinson at six, with Reed’s Austin Wallis at openside and Stamford’s Edward Cox at 8, a trio that will be key as they look to turn over Ireland after the Irish U18 Clubs and Schools side won bot of last year’s fixtures at Ashbourne RFC.
Commenting to www.englandrugby.com England Counties U18 Team Manager Dave Penberthy said:
“The standard has improved year on year and this year the selection process was really tough, we know Ireland will be very well prepared and will bring a huge amount of physicality but there is a lot of excitement amongst our squad and a real sense of team unity already.”
England Counties U18 v Ireland U18 Clubs & Schools – Wednesday 4th April, 2pm, United Services Portsmouth Rugby Ground
England Counties U18 XV:
15 Evan Davies (Prince Risborough), 14 Theo Barkway Hall (Epsom College), 13 Zachary Clow (St John’s College, Southsea), 12 William Rigg (Solihull), 11 Aaron Grandidier-Nkanand (St Olave’s GS), 10 Luke Bouchier (Oakland Academy), 9 Joshua Goodwin (Seaford College), 1 Luke Spring (Brockenhurst College), 2 Charlie Fleckney (Moulton College), 3 Isaac Thompson (Oakham), 4 George Cook (Brighton College), 5 Oliver Moody (Haileybury), 6 Matthew Wilkinson (Waddesdon C of E), 7 Austin Wallis (Reed’s), 8 Edward Cox (Stamford).
Replacements: 16 Harry Clayton (Stamford), 17 Jamie White (Worcester 6th form College), 18 James Sherlock (Lymm HS), 19 Matas Jurevicius (Hayes), 20 Cameron King (St Edward’s, Oxford), 21 George Speakman (Moulton College), 22 Thomas Knight-Owen (Peter Symonds College), 23 Aaron Simmonds (Truro College).
Ireland U18 Clubs & Schools XV:
15 Oran McNulty (Bath Academy/Millfield/IQ Rugby), 14 Tom Bacon (Henley College/Wasps/IQ Rugby), 13 Hayden Hyde (Harlequins Academy/Cranleigh School/IQ Rugby), 12 Saul O’Carroll (Buccaneers/Garbally College), 11 Shane Jennings (Ballinasloe/Garbally College), 10 Michael Cooke (Sedbergh School/IQ Rugby), 9 Charlie O’Doherty (Newcastle West/Ard Scoil na Mhuire), 1 Mark Donnelly (CBC Cork), 2 Aaron Hennessy (The Alfa Project, Scariff/Ennis), 3 Liam Winnett (Buccaneers/Marist College), 4 Eoin O’Connor (Waterpark/Gaelcholaiste Phortlairge), 5 Darragh Murray (Buccaneers/Coláiste Chíaráin), 6 Ed Brennan (Blackrock College), 7 Evan Murphy (Nenagh Ormond/Nenagh CBS, captain), 8 Joshua Dunne (Nottingham Academy/Denstone College/IQ Rugby).
Replacements: 16 Mark Nicholson (Wicklow/Colaiste Chill Mhantain), 17 Fionn Flanagan (Bruff), 18 Paddy McAlpine (Campbell College), 19 Paddy Kelly (St. Munchin’s College), 20 Chris Moore (Beechen Cliff School/IQ Rugby), 21 Shane Murphy (Skerries/St. Joseph’s Rush), 22 Thomas Armstrong (Methodist College Belfast), 23 Tommy Downes (CBC Cork).