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Rugby News

England Under-18s include two Tigers

Leicester Tigers academy forwards George Martin and James Whitcombe have been included in the England squad for the Aon Under-18 International Series in South Africa.

Based at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, England will play fixtures against France (Friday, August 10), Wales (Tuesday, August 14) and South Africa Schools (Saturday, August 18).

To reflect a change in the pathway calendar, the group will be predominately made up of under-17s with the tour now marking the start of under-18 international season. In turn, that will allow coaches to have maximum contact time with the squad as well as allowing players to continue their journey through the international season up to the Six Nations festival next April.

Tigers second-rower Martin is among a group of five players who have already been capped at under-18 level, alongside Alfie Barbeary, George Barton, Tom Curtis and Callum Pascoe.

The 26-man squad will be coached by Steve Bates and Jim Mallinder, assisted by Mark Luffman and Nick Kennedy.

Dean Ryan, the RFU head of international player development, said: “This will likely be the first time the players have been away from home for an extended period of time playing an international rugby tournament, so that will challenge them in different ways.

“They will play three international fixtures in a short space of time, so it’s an important experience for them.

“The South Africa tour used to be the end of the under-18 programme whereas now it’s the start of the journey and allows us to connect the pathway calendar. Those that travel with us to South Africa will be eligible for the under-18 Spring internationals before having a full pre-season at their clubs in July and August, and then continuing their international journey.

“It was important to produce a model that compliments the club scene and fits in with their programme to make the journey through the pathway more seamless.”

England Under-18s


Lennox Anyanwu (Harlequins / Christ's Hospital)
George Barton (Gloucester Rugby / Dean Close School)
Jack Bates (Bristol Bears / SGS Filton)
Phil Cokanasiga (London Irish / St Pauls College)
Tom Curtis (Sale Sharks / Sedbergh School)
Josh Gillespie (Northampton Saints / Millfield School)
Josh Hallett (Saracens  / New Hall School)
Will Haydon-Wood (Newcastle Falcons / Sedbergh School)
Louis Lynagh (Harlequins / Hampton School)
Callum Pascoe (Newcastle Falcons / Gosforth Academy)
Raphael Quirke (Sale Sharks / St Ambrose College)
Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks / Wirral Grammar)

Alfie Barbeary (Wasps / Bloxham School)
Harvey Beaton (Saracens / Sutton Valence)
Jack Clement (Gloucester Rugby / Cheltenham College)
Harry Dugmore (Harlequins / Whitgift School)
George Hammond (Harlequins / Whitgift School)
Jack Hughes (Northampton Saints  / Uppingham School)
George Martin (Leicester Tigers / Brooksby Melton College)
Nahum Merigan (Bath Rugby / Beechen Cliff School)
Rowan Mullis (Gloucester Rugby  / Hartpury College)
Chunya Munga (London Irish / Leighton Park School)
Sam Riley (Harlequins / St George's Weybridge)
Fin Rossiter (London Irish / Wellington College)
Archie Smeaton (Yorkshire Carnegie / Hymers College)
James Whitcombe (Leicester Tigers / Woodhouse Grove)