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Ilione starts for new-look England U18s

Figure image

Leicester Tigers Academy back-rower Emeka Ilione lines up in the No6 shirt as England Under-18s head coach Jim Mallinder rotates his squad in South Africa.

Mallinder’s side were defeated 29-19 by Argentina in their opening fixture of the U18s International Series last Friday, and take on France at Paarl Gymnasium this Tuesday, August 13, with kick-off scheduled for 3.00pm BST.

After making his U18s debut against Argentina, Ilione is one of just four players retained in the starting XV for the second match, and shifts from the second row to the blindside.

Tigers Academy team-mates Archie Vanes, Kit Smith and Sam Edwards are all named on the bench.

Mallinder said: “We made multiple changes but the intention was always to give everyone even game time over the first two fixtures and for every player to start a game, and we’re really looking forward to them showing us what they can do at this level.

“There is a short turnaround between the two games and the players have been excellent in how they’ve recovered from the opening fixture, as well as their analysis of the game and preparation for Tuesday which is a vital part of these tours. We’ve trained well and are excited for the match.

“Tuesday will be a massive test for us, we’ve seen France play and they are big, powerful and like to move the ball around. Defensively we’ll be put under a lot of pressure, but we’re looking to get our set piece right, build on the lessons of the first match and continue to play with attacking intent.”

England face South Africa Schools in their final fixture of the tour this Saturday, August 17.

England U18s team to play France

15 Oliver Melville – Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)
14 Oscar Beard – Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
13 Will Joseph – London Irish (Millfield School)
12 Ethan Grayson – Northampton Saints (Northampton School for Boys)
11 Michael Dykes – London Irish (St Pauls College)
10 Charlie Atkinson – Wasps (Abingdon School)
9 Sam Bryan – Saracens (Felsted School)
1 Tarek Haffar – London Irish (St Pauls College)
2 John Stewart – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
3 Joe Keohane – London Irish (St Pauls College)
4 Freddie Thomas – Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
5 Ethan Staddon - Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
6 Emeka Ilione – Leicester Tigers (Rugby School)
7 Harry Taylor - Gloucester Rugby (Clifton College)
8 Will Trenholm – Harlequins (Cranleigh School)

Replacements
16 Archie Vanes – Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)

17 Phil Brantingham – Newcastle Falcons (RGS Newcastle)
18 Fin Baxter – Harlequins (Wellington College)
19 Ewan Richards – Bath Rugby (Millfield School)
20 Kit Smith – Leicester Tigers (Oakham School)
21 Daniel Eckersley – Wasps (Bloxham School)
22 Sam Edwards – Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
23 Orlando Bailey – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
24 Louis Hillman-Cooper – Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)
25 Alex Harmes – London Irish (St Pauls College)
26 Matthew Ward – Newcastle Falcons (Gosforth Academy)