- Two practice matches this month against Combined Academies U17 sides
- England U16 A also in action against Northampton and London Wasps
Photo: Getty Images
The England Under 16 squad will take on a Combined Academies team of U17 players drawn from the England Rugby Academies in a practice match at Cokethorpe School in Oxfordshire this Sunday (March 7).
It will conclude the second day of a weekend’s training camp and is the first of two practice fixtures this month against different Combined Academies U17 sides, the second of them at Cokethorpe on March 21.
The Combined Academies side will be coached by Diccon Edwards and Ian Peel, and it includes players from 11 of the 14 regional England Rugby Academies - among them back-rowers Julian Watkins and Alex Stout who were capped for England U16 last season.
The England U16 A squad has been trimmed to 26 players from the 28 named last week and will train this weekend at Rugby School, with a practice fixture against Northampton Saints U17 on Sunday March 7. They will also play London Wasps U17 at Warwick School on March 21.
No caps are awarded for these warm-up games which tend to be split into three periods and are designed for the England U16 coaches to test individuals and combinations ahead of the international matches in April.
The fixtures for the Four Nations Tournament, hosted by Italy from April 3-10, will be confirmed later this week but are set to include a showpiece meeting between Italy and England at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome, venue for the Italian national side’s RBS 6 Nations matches.
"It will be good to see some old faces and we expect strong opposition from this side," said Phil Stanlake, England U16 lead coach.
"We asked for combined teams in our two practice matches this month because we face big tasks in the internationals in Italy.
"We’ll play a different academies side in our second training fixture at Cokethorpe a fortnight later and the idea is to raise the standards as we head towards the Four Nations Tournament.
"Our preparation has been different this year, with the equivalent of around six days’ training compared with 10 last season before we get into the internationals, but we have accepted that and tailored our work accordingly.
"The attitude of the 26 players in the squad has been superb and all the coaches and selectors are looking forward to seeing how they develop in the next few weeks which should be an exciting time for all concerned."
England U16 v Combined Academies U17
Backs: Jack Arnott, Full back, St Boniface College & Devon; Anthony Watson, Full back, St George's College & Surrey; Marcus Webber, Full back, The Manchester Grammar School & Cheshire; Jordan Burns, Wing, Epsom College & Surrey; Oliver Cicognini, Wing, Ermysted’s Grammar School & Yorkshire; George Catchpole, Centre, Norwich School & Eastern Counties; Tom Stephenson, Centre, Bloxham School & Buckinghamshire; Tom Wallace, Centre, RGS High Wycombe & Buckinghamshire; Jonathan Burn, Fly half, The Duchess’s Community High School & Northumberland; Will Hooley, Fly half, The Leys School & Eastern Counties; Callum Braley, Scrum half, Colston’s & Bristol; Samuel Pointon, Scrum half, Rugby School & East Midlands.
Forwards: Damon Poole, Loose-head prop, Bromsgrove School & North Midlands; Tom Smallbone, Loose-head prop, London Oratory School & Middlesex; Jamie Charlton-Little, Hooker, Perins School & Hampshire; Max Crumpton, Hooker, The King John School & Essex; James Thraves, Tight-head prop, Highfields School Derbyshire & Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire; Scott Wilson, Tight-head prop, Eyemouth High School & Northumberland; Jake Oldaker, Lock, King Edward's School Bath & Dorset & Wilts; Adam Peters, Lock, Pangbourne College & Buckinghamshire; Matt Thomas, Lock, Shiplake College & Oxfordshire; Harry Ledger, Back row, Whitgift School & Surrey; Hugo Peterson, Flanker/No.8, Sedbergh School & Cumbria; Jack Allcock, Open-side flanker, Sedbergh School & Cumbria; Gabriel Carroll, Open-side flanker, St Joseph's College & Eastern Counties; Alex Bradley, No.8, Bishop Wordsworth School & Hampshire.
Combined Academies U17: 15 Joe Gadd (Bristol Rugby); 14 Arnie Ellison (Leeds Carnegie), 13 Charlie Jewers (London Wasps), 12 James Middleton (London Wasps), 11 James Lightfoot (London Irish); 10 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), 9 Christophe Ridley (Leicester Tigers); 1 Alec Hepburn (London Wasps), 2 Scot Spurling (Saracens), 3 Jake Caulfield (London Irish), 4 Tom Jubb (Saracens), 5 George Sandford (London Irish), 6 Julian Watkins (London Wasps), 7 Joe Buckle (Bath Rugby), 8 Alex Stout (Harlequins).
Replacements: Tom Heard (Gloucester Rugby), Sam Kerry (Leeds Carnegie), David Sisi (London Irish), Barney Woods (Worcester Warriors), Steve Uren (Bristol Rugby), Tom Nichols (London Wasps), Tommy Allen (London Wasps), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs).
England U16 A v Northampton Saints U17
Backs: Guy Bentley, Full back, Hampton School & Middlesex; Tahir El-Mahdi, Wing, Audenshaw School & Lancashire; Alex Wootton, Wing, Sedbergh School & Cheshire; Niall Crosley, Centre, Bishop Rawstorne High School & Lancashire; Ralph Dowds, Centre, King Edward VII and Queen Mary School Lytham & Lancashire; Jordan Husband, Centre, Northampton School for Boys & East Midlands; Alex Smith, Centre, Colfe’s School & Kent; Andrew Hodgson, Centre/Fly half, The King's School Macclesfield & Cheshire; Oliver Claxton, Fly half, Adams’ Grammar School & Staffordshire; Jonathan Taylor, Fly half, Cheadle Hulme School & Cheshire; Simon Sexton, Scrum half, Wellington College & Surrey; Sebastian Tullie, Scrum half, Bradford Grammar School & Yorkshire.
Forwards: Kieran Davies, Loose-head prop, Sidmouth College & Devon; Tomas Rhodes, Prop, Flegg High School & Eastern Counties; Luke Cole, Hooker, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe High School & Yorkshire; Harry Thacker, Hooker, Leicester Grammar School & Leicester; Matthew Beaumont, Tight-head prop, Bradford Grammar School & Yorkshire; Alex Gale, Tight-head prop, Coombeshead College & Devon; Daniel Grange, Lock, Ilkley Grammar School & Yorkshire; Thomas Hilton-Stevens, Lock, RGS Guildford & Surrey; Harry Wells, Lock, The King’s School Peterborough & Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire; Max Northcote-Green, Blind-side flanker, Millfield School & Somerset; Gus Jones, Open-side flanker, Eton College & Oxfordshire; George Rigby, Open-side flanker, Lord Wandsworth College & Berkshire; Rory Anderson, No.8, Eton College & Surrey; James Bloxham, No.8, Millfield School & Somerset.
Northampton Saints U17: 15 Chris Lord; 14 Tom Chellew, 13 De La Rey Veenenedaal, 12 Adam Page, 11 Will Kiddle; 10 Felix Streeton, 9 Alex Day (capt); 1 Danny Herriott, 2 Henri da Costa, 3 James Palmer, 4 Fraser Heathcote, 5 Ben Brownlie, 6 Nick Coward, 7 Chris Albrow, 8 Jamie Warr.
Replacements: Tom Crozier, Danny Hobbs, Jack Allen, Munasti Ziumbe, George Humphreys, Anthony Hensman, Clarke Davidson, Lewis Jones.