- Leach and Peck called up to England Students side
- Students expect tough evening ahead against France Universities
The England Students squad include two newcomers, both scrum-halves, in their line-up for this Friday evening's international against France Universities at the Complexe Sportif Emile Pons a Riom, 6.30pm kick-off.
UWIC’s Josh Leach gets a place in the starting line-up following the early knee ligament injury to Bristol’s Grant Nicholls in the previous game against Irish Colleges and will partner Bath fly-half Paul Roberts in a new look half-back combination.
Newcastle No.9 Harry Peck is also brought in on the bench.
"They’ve both come in and trained well and adapted well to the style of play that we want them to play," says team manager Keith Green.
Another change to the starting line-up sees Loughborough’s Will Warden in the second-row alongside Northumbria’s Andrew Archibald.
There is no change to the back row that all scored in the 42-9 rout of the Irish Colleges side in the snow at Gosforth a couple of weeks ago. The victory included an opening brace of touchdowns from skipper and No.8 Phil Burgess.
But nobody in the Student’s squad is expecting such a comfortable ride against a very strong France Universities side that has paved the way to the countries senior team for several players over recent seasons.
“It’s going to be very tough, the structure they have over there puts them at the very top,” admits Green. “For example that little French winger, Marc Andreu, who played so well against Italy last Saturday played against us a couple of years ago.
“But, it’s a challenge we are all relishing and want to take head on. That’s what you are in sport for.”
England Students to face France Universities
Louis Messer (UWIC); Sean Morris (Oxford), Tom Mitchell (Bristol), Matt Humphries (UWE), Tom Hockedy (Exeter); Paul Roberts (Bath), Josh Leach (UWIC); Matt Berry (Loughborough), Adam Bellamy (Bristol), Oliver Mines (Durham); Will Warden (Loughborough), Andrew Archibald (Northumbria); Mark Wilson (Northumbria), Evan Stewart (Manchester), Phil Burgess (Loughborough - c). Reps: Patrick Crossley (Cambridge), Tim Brockett, Royce Cadman (Hartpury), Ben Maidment (Cambridge), Harry Peck (Newcastle), Mike Ward (Durham) James Crozier (Durham)