All four Leicester Tigers players on tour with England’s Under-18s have been named in the starting XV for the first game of the International Series in South Africa this Friday.
Archie Vanes, Emeka Ilione and Kit Smith all start in the England forward pack against Argentina, while Sam Edwards is in from the off at scrum-half. All four make their England age-grade debut.
The match is the first of three for Jim Mallinder’s squad in this summer’s U18 International Series, with games against France and South Africa Schools to come later in August.
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 face Argentina’s U18s side this Friday, August 9 at the Paul Roos Gymnasium, with kick-off scheduled for 1.30pm BST.
England U18s 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 (c) – 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)