England men under-18s name team to play Argentina in International Series
England men under-18s head coach Jim Mallinder has named his team to face Argentina in their first game of the under-18 International Series in South Africa on Friday at Paul Roos Gymnasium (KO 1.30pm BST).
Harlequins tighthead prop Fin Baxter will captain the side, with nine players making their England age-grade debut.
Of the six players in the starting XV already capped for England under-18s, prop Phil Brantingham of Newcastle Falcons joins Baxter in the front row.
Bath’s Ewan Richards starts in the second row, with Will Trenholm at No 8.
Orlando Bailey is named at fly-half, while Gloucester’s Louis Hillman-Cooper is picked at outside centre. Of the replacements, prop John Stewart has also been capped for England.
The development tour to South Africa marks the start of England under-18s’ international season, with Mallinder’s side also taking on France and South Africa Schools.
Former Northampton Saints director of rugby Mallinder is joined by consultant coaches Jonathan Fisher (London Irish), James Lightfoot-Brown (London Irish) and Mark Luffman (Darlington Mowden Park).
Mallinder said: “This is an exciting time for the team, their first game together on tour and I know how much they are looking forward to it.
“We’ve not had a huge amount of preparation time, but we have a clear game plan and I want to see the players go out and execute it on Friday. I also want to see them enjoy themselves and show how good they are.
“For many of these players it is their first time pulling on an England shirt and this will be a special moment for them starting their international journey.
“To represent your country is a huge honour and to do it in South Africa is very exciting. We’ve trained really well, in brilliant surroundings here in Stellenbosch and I’m sure they will do their country proud.”
England under-18s team to play Argentina
15. Oliver Melville – Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)
14. Matthew Ward – Newcastle Falcons (Gosforth Academy)
13. Louis Hillman-Cooper – Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)
12. Ethan Grayson – Northampton Saints (Northampton School for Boys)
11. Alex Harmes – London Irish (St Pauls College)
10. Orlando Bailey – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
9. Sam Edwards – Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
1. Phil Brantingham – Newcastle Falcons (RGS Newcastle)
2. Archie Vanes – Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
3. Fin Baxter (captain) – Harlequins (Wellington College)
4. Ewan Richards – Bath Rugby (Millfield School)
5. Emeka Ilione – Leicester Tigers (Rugby School)
6. Kit Smith – Leicester Tigers (Oakham School)
7. Daniel Eckersley – Wasps (Bloxham School)
8. Will Trenholm – Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
16. John Stewart – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
17. Tarek Haffar – London Irish (St Pauls College)
18. Joe Keohane – London Irish (St Pauls College)
19. Freddie Thomas – Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
20. Harry Taylor – Gloucester Rugby (Clifton College)
21. Sam Bryan – Saracens (Felsted School)
22. Charlie Atkinson – Wasps (Abingdon School)
23. Will Joseph – London Irish (Millfield School)
24. Oscar Beard – Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
25. Michael Dykes – London Irish (St Pauls College)
Under-18 International Series fixtures (all times BST):
Friday August 9 2019 – Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
12h00 SA Schools A vs France U18
13h30 England U18 vs Argentina U18
15h00 SA Schools vs Wales 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