- Counties XV name squad to face France Federale
- Six more newcomers on bench
England Counties XV have named six new caps in their starting line-up for their international against France Federale XV in Nevers on Friday, January 31 (8pm).
Coventry’s former Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints centre Luke Myring will make his Counties debut alongside Darlington Mowden Park wing Cameron Mitchell with Exmouth’s former Exeter Chiefs, Bristol and Harlequins scrum half Richard Bolt also winning his first cap.
In the pack tighthead prop Matt Shields and number eight Gavin Jones, who were both called into the squad earlier this week, will make their debuts along with Henley Hawks’ open-side flanker Rob Stapley.
There are also six potential new caps among the replacements, where only Matt Heeks of Rosslyn Park and Sean Taylor of Preston Grasshoppers have played for England Counties before.
Fylde fly half Chris Johnson will captain the side having taken over from Wharfedale number eight Rob Baldwin, who is suspended having accumulated three yellow cards for foul play during this season.
England Counties XV v France Federale XV
15 Jim Wigglesworth (Cambridge)
14 Chris Briers (Fylde)
13 Jack Adams (Cinderford)
12 Luke Myring (Coventry)
11 Cameron Mitchell (Darlington Mowden Park)
10 Chris Johnson (Fylde – captain)
9 Richard Bolt (Exmouth)
1 Robbie Kalbraier (Blaydon)
2 Brett McNamee (Old Albanians)
3 Matt Shields (Tynedale)
4 Chris Wearmouth (Blaydon)
5 Ben Hilton (Launceston)
6 Tom Stradwick (Blackheath)
7 Rob Stapley (Henley)
8 Gavin Jones (Blaydon)
16 Johnny Matthews (Sedgley Park)
17 Jamal Ford-Robinson (Cambridge)
18 Bertie Haskins (Blackheath)
19 Pierce Phillips (Darlington Mowden Park)
20 Mark McCraith (Bishop’s Stortford)
21 Matt Heeks (Rosslyn Park)
22 Kiba Richards (Worthing)
23 Sean Taylor (Preston Grasshoppers)