The U19 England Academies side take on the touring Australian Schools at Cinderford on Saturday (2pm) looking to build on the winning exploits of both their Regional U19 Squad, 27-12 victors at Lymm last week, and last Sunday's 30-28 triumph by England U18's at Sale.
It's the final match in the Australian Schools seven game UK tour and their third in a week having also played a second match against a second Regional U19 side at Hartpury College on Wednesday (16th).
Drawn from the Academy players from within each of the 14 Guinness Premiership clubs the team is certain to include many of last seasons unbeaten England U18 side who climaxed their season with a three match unbeaten tour run in South Africa.
It's a thrilling and exciting prospect for the ardent rugby fans at Cinderford who can expect to see a whole host of highly talented players in action such as flanker and last seasons skipper Alex Gray once again reunited with Leicester Tigers rising young star fly half George Ford.
Other gifted players likely to be in the starting line-up include the London Wasps pairing of right wing Christian Wade and full back Jack Wallace plus sparkling London Irish wing Sam Edgerley.
In charge of the squad is England U20 Head Coach and the former Gloucester favourite and England fly-half Mark Mapletoft who is expecting to see his sides talents thoroughly tested in all departments on Saturday.
"Saturday will be a big test I've no doubt, the Australians will be fired up to end their tour with a win. But, we've got to look at our performance and we'll certainly be expecting a big performance from ourselves."
"We'll have only come together this week, almost as a scratch side and, having lost to us twice, they'll be really geared up for it. I think it will give us a level as to where we are at."
"We'll be looking for a good set piece, to keep the ball alive, off the floor and to play with ambition."
However, they will certainly be wary of a backlash from the visitors who have lost four of their five tour matches to date and have failed to impress Mapletoft so far against the English teams and, in particular, at Sale last Sunday against the England U18 side.
"I was disappointed with them in certain areas, in fact, they struggled all over the pitch," he sums up. "They did defend quite well at times but I was quite shocked at how poor they were. I know we've got an outstanding group of players and it can be difficult away from home but I would have expected more from them."
Mapletoft is also equally adamant that in the last three years since helping create the pathway from the England U18 squad, through the Academies team and into the England U20's squad the gap between Northern and Southern Hemisphere rugby has, All Blacks apart, been seriously eroded away.
"I think we're starting to break down the myth of the Southern Hemisphere sides," he says with huge conviction. "And, I think, now we've got to develop lads who are 'students' of the game and understand all aspects of Elite level performance."
It's certainly been a disappointing week so far for the tourists whose Team Manager Graeme Dedrick admits, while the results have not all gone their way, they are now aiming to finish their tour in a blaze of glory.
"I guess the driving force will be the disappointment of losing to the England U18 side. We've certainly sorted out the issues that arose from that match and we'll be giving Saturday's final match everything we've got. It will be very difficult and there are things we've got to improve on but, if we can do that, I'm confident we can get a result."
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