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Seven Cherry and White young guns involved as England edge Wales in Six Nations Festival opener.

Seven Cherry and White young guns involved as England edge Wales in Six Nations Festival opener.
England U18s opened their Six Nations Festival campaign with a 38-20 victory over Wales at Gillman's Ground, Hartpury.

England U18s led 24-10 at the break through two tries from Orlando Bailey and one for Joe Browning, as well as nine points from the boot of Tom Curtis, while Wales’ points came via Ioan Lloyd’s try and five points from Ed Dunford.

Gloucester Rugby Academy’s Louis Hillman-Cooper, Harry Fry, Archie Benson, Jack Clement, Josh Gray and Jenson Boughton were all involved for the victorious England side, whilst Tommy Mathews was a replacement for the Welsh.

Tries from Raffi Quirke and John Stewart sealed victory with Curtis converting both, while Wales crossed via Dylan Davies and Mason Grady.

Curtis sent over an early penalty with Wales not rolling away while Dunford levelled 15 minutes into the game.

Bailey then jinked his way through the Wales defence before beating the last defender to dive over under the posts for a first England try.

Lloyd went over in the corner after a Wales scrum saw the ball recycled by the three quarters to the right wing and Dunford’s conversion levelled the score.

Browning dived over in the left corner after good work from England’s forwards to create space out wide for the winger to dot down which Curtis converted for 17-10.

Bailey crossed for a second and England’s third on the stroke of half time with Curtis’ conversion giving Jim Mallinder’s side a 14-point advantage at the break.

Quirke sniped over for England's fourth try which Curtis converted for 31-10 while Davies crossed for a second Wales score.

Stewart then showed great power to bundle over for the final England try of the match, while Grady got a late consolation for Wales.

England U18s are led by pathway performance coach Jim Mallinder, and consultant coaches Jonathan Fisher (London Irish), Mark Luffman (Darlington Mowden Park) and Sean Marsden (Bristol Bears) for the season.

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

England next take on Ireland at Sixways Stadium, Worcester on Wednesday before ending the festival against France at Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester.

Entry for Sunday’s Festival at Kingsholm Stadium is free for all supporters.

Meanwhile, the Academy’s Stephen Varney was a replacement for Italy as they edged Scotland by 20 points to 19.

Jim Mallinder said: “It was a good positive start for us. We played some really good rugby in that first half and scored some good tries. Possession dried up a little in the second period and credit to Wales who came back into the game but I thought our defence was outstanding.

"It’s a good start to the tournament, the players will learn a lot from the experience and it gives us a good platform from which to build on.

“We need to improve our set piece and that is understandable as this is a relatively new group who have only come together recently and we'll  have to look at our attacking structure as we left a few tries out there. In defence we also need one or two little tweaks but overall we are really happy with that performance.”

England U18s side

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)

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)


16. John Stewart, Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)

17. Phil Brantingham, Newcastle Falcons (Royal Grammar School)

18. Jenson Boughton, Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury 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)

Festival fixtures

Matchday one - Saturday 13 April – live on FreeSports

Gillman’s Ground, Gloucester

England 38-20 Wales         

Matchday two - Wednesday 17 April – live on FreeSports

Sixways Stadium, Worcester

11:10    France v Italy

13:40    Ireland v England

16:10    Wales v Scotland

Matchday three - Sunday 21 April – live on FreeSports

Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester

11:10    Scotland v Ireland

13.40    England v France

16:10    Italy v Wales
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Kingsholm Stadium
Gloucester Rugby
Sat 4 Jun
KO 15:00
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