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Ford to captain England Under-18s

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Leicester Tigers Academy fly-half George Ford will captain a much-changed England Under-18s against Italy in Calvisano.

Head coach John Fletcher has made 10 changes to his side for Sunday's game against Italy in Calvisano from the side that beat France 33-16 last month.

Five changes in the backline see new wings in Chris Elder (RGS High Wycombe & London Wasps) and Mark Jennings (Lymm HS & Sale Sharks) and a new centre pairing in Jamie Elliott (Bedford & Northampton Saints) and Tommy Bell (Bacup and Rawtenstall GS & Sale Sharks). Dan Robson (Hartpury Coll & Gloucester Rugby) takes over at scrum half to partner fly-half Ford.

Five more changes in the forwards sees a new front row of Nick Auterac (Oaklands College & Saracens), Nathan Moris (Sedbergh & Newcastle Falcons) and Kyle Sinckler (Epsom Coll & Harlequins), with Billy Vunipola (Harrow & London Wasps) and Sam Northcote-Green (Dulwich Coll & London Wasps) on the flanks.

Fletcher said: "I'm delighted with the work we've been doing and looking forward to the game. It's a good opportunity for the players who haven't started an Under 18 international this season.

"It's our first away game and playing in different countries and environments is an important part of developing players."

England U18 (v Italy, Calvisano, March 7)
15 Ben Ransom (Tonbridge & Saracens)
14 Chris Elder (RGS High Wycombe & London Wasps)
13 Jamie Elliott (Bedford & Northampton Saints)
12 Tommy Bell (Bacup and Rawtenstall GS & Sale Sharks)
11 Mark Jennings (Lymm HS & Sale Sharks)
10 George Ford (Rishworth & Leicester Tigers, Captain)
9 Dan Robson (Hartpury Coll & Gloucester Rugby)
1 Nick Auterac (Oaklands College & Saracens)
2 Nathan Moris (Sedbergh & Newcastle Falcons)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Epsom Coll & Harlequins)
4 George Merrick (Whitgift & Harlequins)
5 Dominic Barrow (Prince Henry's GS Otley & Leeds Carnegie)
6 Billy Vunipola (Harrow & London Wasps)
7 Sam Northcote-Green (Dulwich Coll & London Wasps)
8 Matt Kvesic (Worcester Sixth Form Coll & Worcester Warriors)

16 Koree Britton (Ivybridge Coll & Exeter Chiefs)
17 Anthony Brennan (Twyford CofE & London Wasps)
18 Will Skuse (Bryanston & Bath Rugby)
19 Will Spencer (St Paul's Catholic & London Irish)
20 Charlie Gordon (Wellington College and London Wasps)
21 Ryan Mills (Hartpury Coll & Gloucester)
22 Elliot Daly (Whitgift & London Wasps)