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Evans starts European Under-18s opener

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Leicester Tigers Academy flanker Will Evans starts in the back row for England Under-18s in the opening game of the European Championships against Portugal on Friday.England have won the European title in the last three seasons and coach John Fletcher said: “It is important we start well, put down a marker and produce a good performance that we can build on as a team over the next week or so.”   England put 10 tries on their Portuguese opponents in a 62-5 win in last year’s tournament in Poland.   England Under-18s 15 Johnny McPhillips (Newcastle Falcons, Sedbergh School) 14 Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins, Trinity) 13 Max Wright (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henry's) 12 Max Malins (Saracens, Felsted)  11 Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins, Wellington College) 10 Mark Dixon (Sale Sharks, Lymm HS) 9 Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, Blundells School) 1 Ollie Dawe (Exeter Chiefs, Bicton College) 2 Curtis Langdon (London Irish, St Pauls Sunbury) 3 Charles Capps (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henry's) 4 Tim Cardall (Northampton Saints, Moulton College) 5 Josh Caulfield (Exeter Chiefs, Bicton College) 6 Joe Craggs (Newcastle Falcons, Gosforth Academy) 7 Will Evans (Leicester Tigers, Wyggeston & QEI College) 8 Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby, Merchiston Castle School)   Replacements 16 Dan Frost (Bath Rugby, Filton College) 17 Jake Pope (Sale Sharks, Myerscough College) 18 Jack Edmonson (Bath Rugby, Sherborne) 19 Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, Haileybury College) 20 Archie White (Harlequins, Epsom College) 21 Will Allman (Northampton Saints, Trent College) 22 Alex Mitchell  (Sale Sharks, Lymm HS) 23 Theo Brophy Clews (London Irish, Abingdon School)