Two Wasps named in England Under 18s team to play France

Date: 12 Aug 2019


England Under 18s Head Coach Jim Mallinder has named Wasps duo Charlie Atkinson and Daniel Eckersley in his team to play France on Tuesday 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 take on France at Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl (kick off 3pm BST).

The tour marks the start of the England U18 international season with the side ending the tour against hosts South Africa on Saturday 17 August.

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

An all-new front row sees Tarek Haffar, John Stewart and Joe Keohane start the fixture.

Staddon is joined at lock by Freddie Thomas, while Harry Taylor comes into the back row.

Sam Bryan starts at scrum-half, 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)

Replacements

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)

U18 International Series fixtures (all times BST):

Friday August 9 2019 – Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch

13h30   England U18 19-29 Argentina U18

Tuesday August 13 2019 – Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl

12h00   SA Schools A vs Wales U18

13h30   SA Schools vs Argentina U18

15h00   England U18 vs France U18

Saturday August 17 2019 – Hugenote High, Wellington

11h00   SA Schools A vs Argentina U18

12h30   France U18 vs Wales U18

14h00   SA Schools vs England U18