- England set for Wales challenge
- Adam Faulkner injured for Pontypridd trip
England Deaf have included four new caps in their squad for the Deaf International against Wales at Pontypridd’s Sardis Road ground on February 5 (2.30pm).
Flanker Barney Reed (Brighton) and winger James Manley (Cleobury Mortimer) have been named in the starting XV with South Leicester fly-half Simon Cottom and Hertford winger Simon Lawrence among the replacements.
But England will be without winger Adam Faulkner as they attempt to beat Wales for the first time. Faulkner, who scored six tries in the victory over Essex Bishops in a warm-up match in the autumn, suffered a serious shoulder injury playing for Wharfedale last Saturday.
The Wales match will be the first of two internationals played by England this season. They host Scotland at Broadstreet on March 12 (1pm). This match has been brought forward by 24 hours from its original date.
Players are eligible to play for England Deaf if they a combined average hearing loss of 25dB or more in both ears This roughly translates to a minimum hearing loss in both ears or a moderate hearing loss in one ear but can hear normally in the other.
Not all of the players wear hearing aids or only communicate by sign language. This has never stopped all the players communicating and playing rugby as a squad.
England Deaf Rugby Union can offer Deaf Awareness advice to clubs and schools Integrate Deaf and Hard of Hearing players to clubs and liaise with club members to ensure the player(s) are managed correctly.
England Deaf team to face Wales
15 Leigh Bialik (Haywards Heath)
14 Martin Ryan (West Park St Helens)
13 Craig Orrick (West Park St Helens)
12 Guy Lavery (Cheeky Ladies London)
11 James Manley (Cleobury Mortimer)
10 Mark Lewis (Brighton)
9 Lee Woollard (Sidcup)
1 Nick Todd (Petersfield)
2 Brett Pruce (Aylestone St James)
3 Len Fincham (South Leicester)
4 Dan McAllister (Luton)
5 Kris Mannering (Richmond)
6 Barney Reed (Brighton)
7 Ian Collins (Sevenoaks)
8 Joshua Corcoran (Hertford)
Rob Hill (Princes Risborough)
Tim Aldridge (Twickenham)
Truter Bothma (Old Whitgiftians)
Bob Turner (Old Leamingtonians)
Simon Cottom (South Leicester)
Simon Lawrence (Hertford)
Rhys Stickings (Thanet Wanderers)