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Home > News > England U18 name side for France clash
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Your News England U18 name side for France clash
18
FEB

ENGLAND Under 18 return to action on Sunday against the only side to have dented their impressive 14-match winning run.

England, coached by John Fletcher and Peter Walton, haven't been beaten in an international at this level since an 11-3 defeat against Australia in Brisbane in 2007.

But France - visitors to Newbury this weekend - edged past them in a training game last season and will threaten all over the field, according to former Newcastle Falcons boss Fletcher.

Fly half George Ford (Rishworth & Leicester Tigers) leads the side at Monks Lane and Fletcher makes seven changes to the team that beat Australian Schools 30-28 at Sale in December.

Injured Dulwich College and Harlequins lock Sam Twomey (knee) and Harrow and London Wasps flanker Billy Vunipola are replaced by George Merrick (Whitgift & Harlequins) and Will Skuse (Bryanston & Bath Rugby) respectively, while props Luke Cowan-Dickie (Truro Coll & Exeter Chiefs) and Anthony Brennan (Twyford CofE & London Wasps) make their first starts.

In the backline, Joel Hodgson (RGS Newcastle & Newcastle Falcons) takes over at scrum half, Ryan Mills (Hartpury Coll & Gloucester) comes in at inside centre and Charlie Walker (Oakham & Leicester Tigers) on the left wing.

"We played France last year in a training game - three 20 minute periods - and they beat us by a point after we'd scored three tries each," said head coach Fletcher.

"They'll be tough - big aggressive forwards, quick backs. We know what they'll throw at us and last year they were very strong at Under 17 level."

England, though, are buoyant after their last outing, when replacement wing Tommy Bell finished off a superb 80 metre attack to secure victory over an older Australian side at Heywood Road.

Fletcher added: "We try and develop players to play a game with a lot of threats, no matter what the opposition do. Wherever they're looking to defend we look to score somewhere else, driving, kicking, moving the ball wide.

"The current squad are a good bunch. There's hardly any carry over from last year so it takes time for a new squad to gel but they've come together well and that showed in the game they played against Australia. Scoring right at the end to win such a good game was really good for their spirit and morale."

ENGLAND UNDER 18 (v France at Newbury, Sunday, 3pm)

15 Ben Ransom (Tonbridge & Saracens)

14 Marland Yarde (Whitgift & London Irish)

13 Elliot Daly (Whitgift & London Wasps)

12 Ryan Mills (Hartpury Coll & Gloucester)

11 Charlie Walker (Oakham & Leicester Tigers)

10 George Ford (Rishworth & Leicester Tigers, Captain)

9 Joel Hodgson (RGS Newcastle & Newcastle Falcons)

1 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Truro Coll & Exeter Chiefs)

2 Koree Britton (Ivybridge Coll & Exeter Chiefs)

3 Anthony Brennan (Twyford CofE & London Wasps)

4 George Merrick (Whitgift & Harlequins)

5 Dominic Barrow (Prince Henry's GS Otley & Leeds Carnegie)

6 Will Skuse (Bryanston & Bath Rugby)

7 Chris Walker (Prince Henry's GS Otley & Leeds Carnegie)

8 Matt Kvesic (Worcester Sixth Form Coll & Worcester Warriors)

Replacements

16 Nick Auterac (Oaklands Coll & Saracens)

17 Nathan Morris (Sedbergh & Newcastle Falcons)

18 Kyle Sinckler (Epsom Coll & Harlequins)

19 Will Spencer (St Paul's Catholic Coll & London Wasps)

20 Sam Northcote-Green (Dulwich Coll & London Wasps)

21 Dan Robson (Hartpury Coll & Gloucester Rugby)

22 Jamie Elliott (Bedford & Northampton Saints)

23 Mark Jennings (Lymm HS & Sale Sharks)

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