- U18 Clubs & Schools squad meet up for first time
- Coaches happy despite loss to Bedford
Photo Credit: Getty Images
The England U18 Clubs & Schools squad met for the first time on Friday morning at Surrey Sports Park and were soon put to the test by coaches Dave Reed and Giles Heagerty.
Two days of extensive practice and review saw the squad have a run out against a well drilled Bedford Blues U19 Academy side on a very chilly Sunday lunch-time.
Despite suffering a 19-3 loss to a side only beaten once in their last 18 games, the England coaches were more than happy with the way the side had started to put into practice some of the techniques and strategies worked on over their weekend together.
Bedford registered the first score of the game but failed to convert the try scored on the left flank and from the restart England worked the ball back up the field led by skipper Simon Linsell and prop Alistair Wade who made good yardage into a strong Bedford defensive line.
When Bedford were penalised for killing the ball at a ruck on their own 22 metre line, fly half Tom Morton landed the resultant penalty for England.
Bedford came back strongly and managed to work the ball out wide left for a second try with ex-England Clubs & Schools U18 fly half Joe Tarrant adding an excellent conversion from the left touchline to complete the scoring at half-time 12-3.
England made several changes at half-time and despite conceding an early Bedford converted try England pressured the Bedford line several times but just couldn’t unlock the Bedford defence. If anything the game was a very useful and physical encounter for England in their run-up to their International against Ireland in Dublin on March 30.
Coach Dave Reed said: “Nothing but positives came out of the weekend for us. The players have gelled well and in three weeks’ time they will thrive on the opportunity to play again. The game was a good test against some big and skilful lads. Although we struggled a bit with our organisation in the first half which was understandable, we looked more like a team by the end of the second period. “
England Clubs & Schools’ U18 will play Ireland Clubs U18s at Coolmine RFC, Dublin on Saturday 30th March.
England Clubs & Schools U18 XV v Bedford Blues Academy
15 Tom Penny (Alnwick RFC, RGS Newcastle, North)
14 Sean Brown (Darlington Mowden Park RFC, North)
13 Lewis Jones (Dunstable RFC, Moulton College, Midlands)
12 Oliver Fewtrell (Derby RFC, Queen Elizabeth GS, Midlands)
11 Aaron Morris (Bedford Blues RFC, Biddenham Upper School, Midlands)
10 Tom Morton (Sale Sharks, Stockport GS, North)
9 Ben Pointon (Northampton Saints, Rugby School, Midlands)
1 Dan Hyam (Mellish RFC, Arnold Hill Academy, Midlands)
2 Tom Duggan (Blackheath RFC, Dartford GS, London & SE)
3 Alistair Wade (Camberley RFC, Godalming College, London & SE)
4 Dan Preston-Routledge (Leeds Carnegie RFC, Prince Henry’s GS, North)
5 Simon Linsell (Gloucester RFC, Marling School, South West)
6 Oliver Hodgson (Middlesbrough RFC, Gosforth Academy, North)
7 Harry McCartney (London Wasps, Henley College, South West)
8 Charlie Kingham (Saracens, Felsted School, London & SE)
16 Charlie Piper (Harlequins, Cranleigh School, London & SE) on for Duggan 35 mins
17 Aston Whitlow (Alnwicj RFC, Gosforth Academy, North) on for Hyam 35 mins
18 Finaly Hillicks (Harlequins, College of Richard Collyer, London & SE) on for Preston-Routledge 35 mins
19 Sam Smith (Worcester Warriors, Old Swinford Hospital, Midlands) on for McCartney 35 mins
20 Jack Maplesdon (Saracens, Woodhouse Grove School, North) on for Pointon 35 mins
21 Jordan Gott (London Irish, St. Pauls Catholic College, London & SE) on for Brown 35 mins
22 Colin Dickson (Worcester Warriors, Ellesmere College, Midlands) on for Fewtrell 35 mins