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Seven young Cherry and Whites in action on busy U18 international weekend

Seven young Cherry and Whites in action on busy U18 international weekend
There were five young Cherry and Whites in action for England, and two for Wales as the U18 international period kicked off this weekend.

Louis Hillman-Cooper, Harry Fry, Jenson Boughton, Archie Benson and Josh Gray all started for the Red Rose as they defeated Scotland 36-21 scoring six tries in an entertaining contest at Billingham RUFC.

Whilst Louis Rees-Zammit was a try scorer alongside club mate Tommy Mathews as Wales recovered from a 14-0 deficit to overcome France in Cardiff.

In the North East, England led 21-14 at half-time with converted tries from Jack Van Poortvliet, Tom Curtis and Sam Riley with Scotland responding via Dan Gamble and Jamie Dobie.

Second-half scores from Tom Roebuck (2) and Joe Browning helped settle the game with Scotland also crossing via Matthew Currie.

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Gamble bundled over after a period of Scotland pressure and Sweeney’s conversion levelled the score.

Curtis jinked through for a second home try which he converted for a 14-7 lead while Jamie Dobie darted over after breaking the England 22m line.

Riley showed great power to cross for a third converted try to give England a 21-14 lead on the stroke of half-time.

Roebuck went over on the right wing for a fourth try with Currie darting his way through for Scotland's third.

Browning dived over in the corner to win the game for England and Roebuck added further gloss to the score with a second score.

“We’ve very pleased with that performance,” said Mallinder.

“This was a new side coming together, their first game of the year and we played well against a spirited Scotland side who were very competitive at the breakdown and made it difficult for us.

“Our shape was good, as was the continuity of our play and this shows that we’ve got some good players who can play an exciting brand of rugby which is what we want, but also that we have variety in our game as shown today. Our set piece was strong which is also pleasing, our breakdown is an area we need to look at and we never like to concede tries so there is work to do.”

The U18 season began with August’s AON International Series where England played France, Wales and South Africa Schools showing significant improvement throughout the tournament.

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Following Sunday’s fixture, the side will next play France at Cheshunt RFC on Sunday 24 March (KO 2pm GMT) before April’s U18 Six Nations Festival.

The U18 Six Nations Festival, which is being hosted by England, will see the squad face Wales on Saturday 13 April, before matches against Ireland (Wednesday 17 April) and France (Sunday, 21 April).

The festival, which is participated in by all six unions, sees each nation play three fixtures over 10 days. The teams will be hosted by Hartpury University and Hartpury College, with matches across three venues - Gillman’s Ground, Sixways Stadium and Kingsholm Stadium.

Tickets for the U18 Festival at Kingsholm Stadium is free for supporters on Sunday 21 April.

England U18s v Scotland

15 George Worboys Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff), 14 Joe Browning Leicester Tigers (Denstone College), 13 Louis Hillman-Copper Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College), 12 Phil Cokanasiga London Irish (St Pauls College), 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 Jenson Boughton Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College), 4 George Martin - captain-  Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College), 5 Archie Benson Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School), 6 Josh Gray Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School), 7 Xavier Hastings Bath Rugby (Bishop Wordsworth's), 8 Nahum Merigan Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)

Replacements

16. John Stewart Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School), 17. Luke Green London Irish (St Paul’s Catholic College), 18. Fin Baxter Harlequins (Wellington College), 19. Ewan Richards Bath Rugby (Millfield School), 20. Will Trenholm Harlequins (Cranleigh School), 21. Raphael Quirke Sale Sharks (St Ambrose College), 22. Orlando Bailey Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School), 23. Jude Williams Wasps (Caterham School).
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