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Hills starts for England Under-18s

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Leicester Tigers prop Owen Hills is named in the England under-18s line-up to take on Portugal in their opening game of the FIRA/AER European Championship in Poznan, Poland, on Friday.

Hills is in the front row while Tigers centre Charlie Thacker is named as a replacement as England open the defence of their title.

England won last year’s opening game against the same opponents 82-8 but head coach John Fletcher is expecting a physical match.

He said: “We’re looking forward to another FIRA Tournament. We played Portugal last season and we know that they won’t hold back, but we have confidence in ourselves and we’ll be looking for the guys to perform as well as they can.”

England Under-18s
15 Cameron Cowell (St Pauls Catholic College, London Irish)
14 Kai Little (Hartpury College, Exeter Chiefs)
13 Joe Marchant (Peter Symonds, Harlequins)
12 Harry Mallinder (Rugby School, Northampton Saints)
11 Rotimi Segun (Stowe School, Northampton Saints)
10 Theo Brophy-Clews (Abingdon School, London Irish)
9 Alex Mitchell (Lymm High School, Sale Sharks)
1 Owen Hills (Queen Elizabeth Wyggeston College, Leicester Tigers)
2 James Fish (Trent College, Northampton Saints)
3 Josh Ibuanokpe (Dulwich College, Harlequins)
4 Huw Taylor (Old Swinford Hospital, Worcester Warriors)
5 Stanley South (Whitgift School, Harlequins)
6 Joe Batley (Hartpury College, Gloucester Rugby)
7 Josh Bainbridge (Prince Henry’s Grammar, Leeds Carnegie)
8 Callum Chick (Gosforth Academy, Newcastle Falcons)

16 Ollie Adams (St Pauls Catholic College, London Irish)
17 Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry's Grammar, Leeds Carnegie)
18 Jack Stanley (Truro College, Exeter Chiefs)
19 George Nott (Kings School Chester, Sale Sharks)
20 Will Safe (Hartpury College, Gloucester Rugby)
21 Sam Underhill  (Sir Thomas Rich’s School, Gloucester Rugby)
22 Jack Maunder (Blundells School, Exeter Chiefs)
23 Charlie Thacker (Leicester Grammar, Leicester Tigers)
24 Lucas Slowik (Filton College, Bristol Rugby)
25 Taylor Prell (Giggleswick School, Leeds Carnegie)