- England Under 18 captain Gus Jones ready for South Africa
- A-Level results due out while on tour in the Rainbow Nation
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What would England Under 18 captain Gus Jones prefer, an unbeaten three match tour to South Africa or favourable A-Level results? Answer, unsurprisingly, is “both.”
With the England Under 18 side safely touched down in Cape Town, Jones has said that he can’t wait for the three match series to kick off – starting with northern hemisphere rivals Wales on Friday before taking on France and then the host nation.
The London Wasps flanker led the Under 18 side to a maiden FIRA/AER tournament victory last April in Madrid and the 18-year-old is ready for more of the same, while keeping a close eye on the calendar as his A-Level results are due to come through on August 16, with a place at Oxford University at stake.
“The results come in between the France and the South Africa game, so I’ll either be on a massive high for that last match or wanting to take out some serious frustration, but I can’t control what happens now so fingers crossed it’s good news!
“But it’s great to be back with all the guys,” he said. “It’s been a while since Madrid and everyone’s in good spirits and we can’t wait to get going and to play some rugby.
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“There’s a feel good factor within this squad and the banter’s flying around already, our wing Nathan Earle won’t shut up about his try for Saracens during pre-season when he sidestepped All Blacks legend Mils Muliaina!
“We have three massive Test matches out here. Wales and France will be after us after we beat them earlier in the year and South Africa will be a huge, huge challenge.
“The worst thing we can do is look back at our previous results and think ‘ok we’ve beaten Wales and France, we can do it again’, it will be different over here and I’m sure that they won’t want to lose to England twice in a season.”
The tour represents last time the majority of the squad will play for the Under 18 side, a fact not lost on Jones who appreciates the history and the legacy behind the shirt.
“Some great players have represented the England Under 18s – players that have gone on to play senior rugby for England – and it’s an absolute honour to be able to wear the shirt," he added. "It’s been a great experience, probably the best experience of my life, and to do it with your mates makes it even more special.
“That last game will be tough, knowing it’s our last game together, but fingers crossed we’ll be moving on to bigger things.”