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International experience for under-18 quartet

Loosehead prop Alex Maxwell played his part in Scotland’s unbeaten campaign in the Under-18 Six Nations Festival while three of his Leicester Tigers academy colleagues also played in the tournament.

Maxwell, England forwards George Martin and Henri Lavin, and Wales fly-half Sam Costelow are all members of the Leicester Tigers squad that went unbeaten through the Under-18 Academy League season and claimed the title with a Final victory over Gloucester.

A student at Brooksby Melton College, Maxwell joined the Scotland squad for the festival and started Sunday’s 19-17 win over Ireland which gave them a third successive win.

“We asked them to give us a performance and they did that today, especially in defence,” said Scottish head coach Iain Monaghan. “They’ve had three great experiences against three different teams over the last 10 days and they have found themselves in different scenarios they wouldn’t normally face.”

England included Martin in their starting line-up for their final fixture against France, with club colleague Lavin among the replacements, but were beaten 24-14 by France.

After narrow defeats by Scotland and Italy earlier in the tournament, England trailed 10-0 at half-time in their final game, played at Cardiff Arms Park, but came back to lead before France finally took the victory.

Head coach John Fletcher said: “I thought it was a really good advert for under-18s rugby and was played with a really good intent.

"We’ve played well in the first half against Scotland, the second half against Italy and we performed well for most of this game. These are young players and they are in an environment where they are encouraged to try things and they will learn lots from these three games.”

Wales used Tigers fly-half Costelow as a second-half replacement in their 27-18 win over Italy, ending the tournament with two wins from  three fixtures.