- Squad of 23 has been selected to play Scotland U16s
- "It's exciting to see how much talent there is" – Shortland
Photo: Capture the Event
England U16s have named their final squad to take on Scotland U16s tomorrow (April 19) at the BMW Wellington International Festival.
The talent identification process began back in March 2013 with each of the four divisions (London and the South East, Midlands, North and South West) naming a squad of 25 in December.
Over the last week, against tough international opposition, the players have sought to impress the England U16s coaching team during two days of competition.
England U16 Head Coach Steve Shortland said: “It is a huge honour to pull on a shirt with the rose and the performances, and level of commitment shown by players this week, have proved how much it means to them to represent their country at this festival.
“It is exciting to see how much talent there is in this age group and how individuals have developed as a result of this week’s experience. It was a real challenge to select a final squad from more than 100 players but those named have earned their places. It won’t be easy taking on a very good Scotland side at the end of a demanding week but we are looking forward it and are hoping to finish a very successful tournament with a strong performance.”
The final selection process also divided the remaining players into three further squads (Saxons, Roses and Lions) each of which will compete at Wellington tomorrow.
England U16s play a second fixture against Wales at Neath RFC on April 27 and Shortland added: “The squad named today will form the basis of the one for Wales next week however we will be watching all games closely on Saturday to see who else puts their hand up.”
Fixtures for Saturday, April 19
10.00 England Roses v England Lions
12.00 England Saxons v Italy Academy Selection U17
14.30 Wales Celts v France A
14.30 England U16 v Scotland U16
England U16s (School, Club, Academy, County)
Reuben Bird-Tulloch (Eltham College, Blackheath RFC, Saracens, Kent)
George Cave (Bedford School, Bedford Blues RFC, Northampton Saints, East Midlands)
Alistair Crossdale (Altrincham GS, Bowdon RFC, Sale Sharks, Cheshire)
Thomas Curry (Bishop Heber HS, Crewe & Nantwich RFC, Sale Sharks, Cheshire)
Ben Earl (Tonbridge School, Sevenoaks RFC, Saracens, Kent)
Charlie Gowling (Sedbergh School, Newcastle Falcons, CND)
Oliver Graham (Castle School Taunton, Taunton RFC, Bath Rugby, Somerset)
Kalius Hutchinson (Coundon Court, Old Coventrians, Worcester Warriors, Warwickshire)
Gabriel Ibitoye (Trinity School, Harlequins, Surrey)
Nick Isiekwe (Nicholas Breakspear School, Old Albanians RFC, Saracens, Hertfordshire)
Ben Kelland (Royal Hospital School, Colchester RFC, Northampton Saints, Eastern Counties)
Matt Kouris (Wavell School Farnborough, Basingstoke RFC, London Irish, Hampshire)
Suva Ma'asi (Wootton School, Ampthill RFC, Northampton Saints, East Midlands)
Joseph Morris (King Edward VI Aston School, Sutton Coldfield RFC, Worcester Warriors, North Midlands)
Jack Nay (The Hayesbrook School, Saracens, Kent)
Joshua Nott (RGS Worcester, Worcester RFC, Worcester Warriors, North Midlands)
Matt Riddington (Oakham School, Leicester Tigers, Leicestershire)
Callum Sirker (Harrow School, Richmond RFC, Wasps, Middlesex)
Marcus Street (Queen Elizabeth's CC, Cullumpton RFC, Exeter Chiefs, Devon)
Will Vaughan (Heathfield Comm. School, Taunton RFC, Bath Rugby, Somerset)
Henry Walker (Bromsgrove School, Spartans RFC, Gloucester, North Midlands)
Matt Williams (Wellington College, London Irish, Berkshire)
Zac Xiourouppa (Ellesmere College, Shrewsbury RFC, Worcester Warriors, North Midlands)