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Trio open Six Nations festival with England

England Under-18s head coach Jim Mallinder has named Leicester Tigers trio George Martin, Jack van Poortvliet and Joe Browning in his squad for the opening game of the Six Nations Festival.

England take on Wales at Hartpury on Saturday (2.10pm, live on FreeSports TV), before fixtures against Ireland (Wednesday) and France (next Sunday).

Second-rower Martin will captain the side, with the starting XV containing six members of the squad that toured South Africa in August.

The festival, which is being hosted by England at Hartpury University and College, will see three sets of fixtures at Gillman’s Ground, Sixways Stadium and Kingsholm, all live via FreeSports TV.

Mallinder said: “It’s been a few weeks since this age group last met up and the challenge for the team now is to quickly switch on to how we want to play.

“I think it’s brilliant for the players to get this festival experience. It’s exciting for the players to see their opposition in and around the site, some of whom they know from club rugby, but most of whom they are not too familiar with and I think it’s good that they will not only play against them but spend some time with them off the pitch also.”

Tigers academy forward Ben Muncaster is also at the festival as part of the Scotland Under-18 squad.

England Under-18s

15 Joe Carpenter, Yorkshire Carnegie (Woodhouse Grove)

14 Joe Browning, Leicester Tigers (Denstone College)

13 Louis Hillman-Cooper, Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)

12 Orlando Bailey, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)

11 Tom Roebuck, Sale Sharks (Wirral Grammar)

10 Tom Curtis, Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)

9 Jack van Poortvliet, Leicester Tigers (Oakham School)

1 Harry Fry, Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)

2 Sam Riley, Harlequins (St George's Weybridge)

3 Fin Baxter, Harlequins (Wellington College)

4 George Martin, Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)(c)

5 Archie Benson, Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)

6 Jack Clement, Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)

7 Josh Gray, Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)

8 Nahum Merigan, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)

Replacements

16 John Stewart, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)

17 Phil Brantingham, Newcastle Falcons (Royal Grammar School)

18 Luke Green, London Irish (St Paul’s Catholic College)

19 Ewan Richards, Bath Rugby (Millfield School)

20 Will Trenholm, Harlequins (Cranleigh School)

21 Raphael Quirke, Sale Sharks (St Ambrose College)

22 Phil Cokanasiga, London Irish (St Pauls College)

23 George Worboys, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff)