- England Counties U20s to play two fixtures against Georgia
- Squad includes players from 14 counties
Photo: RFU Archive
England Counties U20s have named their squad for next month’s tour to Georgia.
The 25 players will assemble on May 11 and depart the following day for Tbilisi, where they play two fixtures against Georgia U20s on Wednesday, May 15 and Saturday, May 18.
Fourteen counties are represented following selection during the Development Weekend (March 29-31) at Welbeck College, when the top 22 players from each of the four divisions competed for places.
Counties U20s Team Manager Malcolm Ross said: “There were a number of players knocking on the door but we believe we have the right side for this tour. This squad offers a strong set piece and excellent outside attacking ability.
“They are an athletic and intelligent group who are keen to learn and develop. I think they will adapt very quickly to the patterns and structures we have prepared for them.”
A number of players have previous representative honours, including Jim Wigglesworth and Nico Woodward, who both featured in the squad last season. Wigglesworth went on to represent the senior England Counties on their June tour to East Africa.
Ross added: “The mix of representation from the four divisions is very different to previous seasons. Wigglesworth is the only player from the Midlands this time, whereas last year the squad was dominated by that division. The reverse is true of London and the South East and to now have a larger contingent from there reflects the work of their coaches.
“We are also delighted to see a spread of players from level three to seven as it shows the extent of talent we have available to pick from.”
During the week-long tour the squad will visit schools and offer development opportunities to the host coaches and players.
“We want the squad to be ambassadors and get out and meet as many people as possible – to share knowledge, techniques and experiences,” added Ross.
“Georgia will be a strong physical side but it will be valuable for them to face a team who play a more expansive form of rugby. Our hosts are eagerly anticipating our first tour to their country and I think it will be an experience of a lifetime for our players.”
England Counties U20s squad:
Ricky Cano (Hartpury College RFC, Gloucestershire, South West)
Mike Flook (Dings Crusaders RFC, Somerset, South West)
David Coutts (Esher RFC, Hampshire, London & South East)
Zac Cinnamond (Wadebridge Camels, Cornwall, South West)
Nico Woodward (Cinderford RFC, Gloucestershire, South West)
Will Roberts (Loughborough Students RFC, Hertfordshire, London & South East)
Josh Pettet (Sevenoaks RFC, Kent, London & South East)
Gareth Baxter (Cambridge RFC, Eastern Counties, London & South East)
Guy Van Den Dries (Darlington Mowden Park RFC, Yorkshire, North)
George Oram (Medway RFC, Kent, London & South East)
Jesse Liston (Canterbury RFC, Kent, London & South East)
Edward Webster (Preston Grasshoppers RFC, Lancashire, North)
Samir Kharbouch (Henley Hawks RFC, Berkshire, South West)
David Jones (Caldy RFC, Cheshire, North)
Thomas Banks (Bishop Stortford RFC, Hertfordshire, London & South East)
Nick Foster (Old Albanians RFC, Hertfordshire, London & South East)
Alex Seers (Chobham RFC, Surrey, London & South East)
Rob Avery-Wright (Newton Abbot RFC, Devon, South West)
David Massey (Reading Abbey RFC, Berkshire, South West)
Aiden Moss (Canterbury RFC, Kent, London & South East)
Joe Allott (Sandal RFC, Yorkshire, North)
Mike Stanway (Unattached, Eastern Counties, London & South East)
Jack Rossiter (Richmond RFC, Berkshire, South West)
Ryan Redman (Medway RFC, Kent, London & South East)
Jim Wigglesworth (Hull RFC, NLD, Midlands)