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Merrigan to start at number eight for England U18

9 August 2018

Bath Rugby's Nahum Merrigan will start at number eight, as England U18s kick-off their opening game of the Aon U18 International Series against France U18 in South Africa.  

The side face France on Friday (10 August, KO 1.15pm BST) at Boland Landbou before fixtures against Wales (Tuesday, 14 August, KO 1.15pm BST) and South Africa Schools (Saturday, 18 August KO 1.05pm BST).

England will be captained by hooker Alfie Barbeary (Wasps Rugby), and include four members capped at U18 level with Tom Curtis (Sale Sharks - Sedbergh School), Callum Pascoe (Newcastle Falcons - Gosforth Academy) and George Martin (Leicester Tigers - Brooksby Melton College) all named in the starting XV.

To reflect a change in the pathway calendar the group in South Africa are predominately U17s with the tour now marking the start of U18 international season, as well as their England journey.

The squad in South Africa are coached by Steve Bates and Jim Mallinder, who are being assisted by Mark Luffman and Nick Kennedy.

“The real challenge for this squad and therefore the excitement is going to be that for many of them and certainly altogether as a group they are representing their country for the first time and are starting their England pathway journey,” said Bates.

“To play for your country on foreign soil is always huge challenge but also something to be proud of.
“This is the first of three highly-competitive fixtures against three established teams so it is going to be very interesting to see how they cope with that but will be a good reference point for the future and will be an experience that benefits them as they progress through the pathway.

“We want to see them play with ambition and a desire to play quickly. We want it to be a team performance where everyone makes a contribution and understands what their contribution is and how important that is.

“Alfie has played before at this level, so is experienced at U18s rugby but we feel he will handle the captaincy well, will lead from the front. He will not overcomplicate things and will be at the centre of a lot of what we do.”

England U18s squad to face France U18 

15. Louis Lynagh - Harlequins (Hampton School)
14. Josh Gillespie - Northampton Saints (Millfield School)
13. Lennox Anyanwu - Harlequins (Christ's Hospital)
12. Josh Hallett - Saracens (New Hall School)
11. Tom Roebuck - Sale Sharks (Wirral Grammar)
10. Tom Curtis - Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)
9. Callum Pascoe - Newcastle Falcons (Gosforth Academy)
1. James Whitcombe - Leicester Tigers (Woodhouse Grove)
2. Alfie Barbeary - Wasps (Bloxham School)
3. Harvey Beaton - Saracens (Sutton Valence)
4. George Hammond - Harlequins (Whitgift School)
5. George Martin - Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
6. Harry Dugmore - Harlequins (Whitgift School)
7. Jack Clement - Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)
8. Nahum Merigan - Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)

Replacements

16. Sam Riley - Harlequins (St George's Weybridge)
17. Rowan Mullis - Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)
18. Jack Hughes - Northampton Saints (Uppingham School)
19. Chunya Munga - London Irish (Leighton Park School)
20. Fin Rossiter - London Irish (Wellington College)
21. Raphael Quirke - Sale Sharks (St Ambrose College)
22. George Barton - Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
23. Phil Cokanasiga - London Irish (St Pauls College)
24. Jack Bates - Bristol Bears (SGS Filton)
25. Will Haydon-Wood - Newcastle Falcons (Sedbergh School)

Aon U18 International Series fixtures:


Friday, 10 August 2018 (at Boland Landbou)
1.15pm BST - England v France
3pm BST - SA Schools v Wales

Tuesday, 14 August 2018 (at Stellenberg)
1.15pm BST - Wales v England
3pm - SA Schools v France

Saturday, 18 August 2018 (at SACS)
11.15am BST - France vs Wales
1.05pm BST - SA Schools vs England
 

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