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Henley to host England double header

20 December 2006

December 20, 2006

Henley will host a double-header of England internationals next year when the stars of the future will be on view in Oxfordshire.

England's Under-19 and Under-18 sides will take on their counterparts from France at the Dry Leas ground on March 24, 2007.

England Under-19 finished third at last year's IRB World Championships - securing their best-ever finish on the try-count after a 12-12 with France - and the Henley game will be their final international before heading to this year's tournament in Belfast.

The England Under-18 side will also be out emulate last year's team, who secured the Home Unions title for the first time with their 21-15 victory in the final against Wales.

Henley have recent experience in staging international matches after hosting 10 games at the 2003 IRB Under-21 World Championship and England Counties played France Amateurs there two years ago.

"We're delighted to be able to host these two high profile games and to build on our past involvement with the Under-21 World Championships and with the England Counties side," said Henley spokesman Noel Armstead.

"We're sure that the chance to watch England's Under-19 and Under-18 sides will draw a big crowd who will be able to enjoy some top class rugby."

England Under-19 programme
January 5: England Under-19 v Italy Under-19 (Sunbury, 2.15)
March 4: Wales Under-19 v England Under-19 (Aberavon, 7.15)
March 24: England Under-19 v France Under-19 (Henley)
April 4-21: IRB Under-19 World Championship (Belfast)

England Under-18 (Six Nations squad) programme
February 25: England Under-18 v Wales Under-18 (Cleve)
March 24: England Under-18 v France Under-18 (Henley)
Six Nations Festival
April 8: England Under-18 v Scotland Under-18 (Glasgow)
April 11: England Under-18 v Wales Under-18 (Glasgow)
April 14: England Under-18 v Ireland Under-18 (Glasgow)

There are two England squads at Under-18 level this season. The Six Nations squad is drawn from the 14 Regional Academies while the second squad will be drawn from the Divisional system and play internationals against Wales, Italy and Scotland before taking part in the Association of European Rugby tournament in Biarritz from March 30 to April 8.