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Five Tigers for national ‘North v South’ fixture

Five members of the Leicester Tigers Academy’s league-winning campaign have been included for an England Under-17s development camp this weekend.

The camp, being held in Bristol between this Friday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1, will also host a ‘North v South’ fixture as pathway staff look to identify members of next season’s England U18s squad.

Tigers forwards Seb Smith and Phil Tandoh, plus wings Jake Sterland and Henry Joule – who dived in for the decisive score in the Academy League Final – are all named in the 48-player squad by England U18s head coach Jonathan Pendlebury.

The competitive fixture on Sunday between the northern academies versus their southern counterparts also allows guest coaches and support staff an opportunity to manage players and teams outside of their usual environments.

Pendlebury is supported by Tigers Academy coach Tom Harrison and Northampton Saints’ James Craig – who will coach the south team – while the north squad will be overseen by Andy Dawling (Saracens) and Alex Guest (Gloucester).

“This is the very start of the pathway journey for these players, the majority of whom will go on to form our U18s squad whose international season begins with the tour to South Africa in August,” explained Pendlebury.

“We have selected who we feel are the best year 12 and U17s players at this moment in time, and this is recognition for their performances over the past few months.

“They have been chosen through their performances in school fixtures and the academy leagues as well as through communication with their academy coaches. This is another development opportunity on top of what they get in their academies.

“This is the second time the RFU have hosted the north-south fixture, building on the success of last year and it’s an opportunity not just to identify players, but also for academy coaches and management to broaden their own skills and experience.”

The RFU’s head of regional academies, Don Barrell, added: “Over the past few years we have proactively sought to engage academy staff so they have opportunities to come in and work, share and learn from other people from different clubs.

“We’ve invited coaches, medics, S&C staff and analysts to collaborate together, with support from the RFU, and put on a weekend’s worth of events culminating with a north versus south fixture on Sunday between the best players from those academies.

“It is a great development opportunity for all involved, and we’re thankful to all the academies for their support and in turn we hope they will find it a hugely valuable experience in their development as coaches and practitioners.”

North Squad

Morgan Adderly-Jones – Gloucester (Hartpury College)
Emeka Atuanya – Northampton Saints (Northampton School for Boys)
Alfie Bell – Wasps (King Henry VIII, Coventry)
Freddy Clark – Yorkshire Carnegie (Woodhouse Grove School)
Ben Copley – Yorkshire Carnegie (Hymers College)
Will Cusack – Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)
Ollie Dawkins – Wasps (RGS High Wycombe)
Mark Dormer – Newcastle Falcons (RGS Newcastle)
Ben Douglas – Newcastle Falcons (Gosforth Academy)
Greg Fisilau – Wasps (City of Oxford College)
Aaron Florestein – Wasps (Merchant Taylors School)
Ewan Greenlaw – Newcastle Falcons (Durham School)
Ned Hawker – Yorkshire Carnegie (Woodhouse Grove School)
Henry Joule – Leicester Tigers (Oakham School)
Rekeiti Ma'asi-White – Wasps (Harrow School)
Guy Pepper – Newcastle Falcons (Barnard Castle School)
Seb Smith – Leicester Tigers (Stamford School)
Jasper Spandler – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
Jake Sterland – Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
Phil Tandoh – Leicester Tigers (Stamford School)

Fin Thomas – Worcester Warriors (Stourport High & 6th Form (AASE))
Nye Thomas – Sale Sharks (Liverpool College)
Olly Tomalin – Yorkshire Carnegie (St Peter's School)
Toby Wilson – Worcester Warriors (Stourport High & 6th Form (AASE))

South Team

Tom Ahl – Bath Rugby (Dauntsey's School)
Henry Arundell – London Irish (Harrow school)
Monty Bradbury – London Irish (Wellington College)
Fyn Brown – Wasps (Shiplake College)
Kofi Cripps – Wasps (Rugby School)
Tobias Elliott – Saracens (Watford Grammar School)
Kian Gentry – Exeter Chiefs (Exeter College)
Mackenzie Graham – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
Milo Hallam – Exeter Chiefs (Truro College)
Jesper Hartikainen – London Irish (Hampton School)
Zack Hill – Saracens (Oaklands College)
Geordie Irvine – Northampton Saints (Oundle School)
Nathan Jibulu – Harlequins (Seaford College)
Matty Jones – Bristol Bears (SGS Filton College)
Tom Lynagh – Harlequins (Epsom College)
Tom Miles – Worcester Warriors (King Henry VIII, Coventry)
Kitan Ojo – Harlequins (Epsom College)
Ehimen Osebor – Saracens (Haileybury College)
Tom Parkin – Yorkshire Carnegie (Rishworth School)
Kaden Pearce-Paul – Saracens (Ravens Wood School)
Dylan Power – Bristol Bears (Colston's School)
Ben Rowley – Worcester Warriors (Ellesmere College)
Mikey Summerfield – London Irish (Hartpury College)
Bailey Williams – Exeter Chiefs (Truro College)