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Rugby News

Three Tigers named in England Under-20s

Leicester Tigers trio Jack Van Poortvliet, George Martin and Emeka Ilione have been included in the England Under-20s squad for the new season.

Norfolk-born scrum-half Van Poortvliet and Loughborough-based forward Martin were both part of the Under-20s squad last season and also made their senior debuts for Tigers during 2019/20, while back-rower Ilione, from Nottingham, is selected after previous representative honours at Under-18 level.

The player pathway programme is a vital development tool for future senior international rugby. Of the 31 players selected in England’s 2019 Rugby World Cup squad, 81 per cent played for England Under-20s and 77 per cent for the Under-U18s while 87 per cent came through a club academy.

England head coach Alan Dickens has named a 32-man Elite Player Squad for 2021 and is joined in the coaching team by Andy Titterrell as forwards coach.

Dickens said: “Selection for the squad has been based on a combination of things: the four previous regional games we had at St George’s Park, the work we do with the club academies and coaches, plus our knowledge of the players within the pathway.

“We can only name 32 in the EPS and there will be some disappointed players, but we have a much wider squad that we know will be involved and will contribute during the year.

“2020 has been a challenging year, but we faced that head-on, ensuring we had contact with players within the pathway – first by setting up calls between them and those in the senior England men’s squad. We then had mini regional camps which were something different but allowed us to get to know more of the players who were Under-20s eligible and we built from that into the four regional games.

“It has given me and the whole management team a much better platform to know the players better sooner and we’re really looking forward to getting back to preparations with this group.
“I’d also like to thank all the Premiership clubs, the academies, the coaches and Premiership Rugby for their support, particularly over the past year. It’s been a really collaborative effort.”

Emeka Ilione
Back-row Emeka Ilione steps up

England Uner-20s Elite Player Squad

Ben Bamber (Bristol Bears)
Harvey Beaton (Saracens)
Phil Brantingham (Newcastle Falcons)
Lucas Brooke (London Irish)
Arthur Clark (Gloucester Rugby)
Jack Clement (Gloucester Rugby)
Luke Green (London Irish)
Alex Groves (Bristol Bears)
Lewis Holsey (Worcester Warriors)
Ethan Hunt (Gloucester Rugby)
Emeka Ilione (Leicester Tigers)
George Martin (Leicester Tigers)

Nahum Merigan (Bath Rugby)
Marcus Rhodes (London Irish)
Ewan Richards (Bath Rugby)
Sam Riley (Harlequins)
Ethan Staddon (Bath Rugby)
Freddie Thomas (Gloucester Rugby)
Charlie Atkinson (Wasps)
Seb Atkinson (Worcester Warriors)
Deago Bailey (Bristol Bears)
Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby)
Oscar Beard (Harlequins)
Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints)
Will Joseph (London Irish)
Dan Lancaster (Leeds Tykes)
Tommy Mathews (Northampton Saints)
Raffi Quirke (Sale Sharks)
Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks)
Fin Smith (Worcester Warriors)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers)