27 April 2023
Afolabi Fasogbon and Ollie Allan will start for Alan Dickens’ England under-19 side this Friday (28th, 7.45pm kick-off) against Italy under-19s, with George Makepeace-Cubitt named as a replacement.
The fixture at Bedford Blues RFC provides an avenue for players to continue their international development through the England Rugby pathways programme.
Dickens’ men will look to follow up last weekend’s 60-14 win over Wales against an Italy side that they defeated in a corresponding fixture last term, where they took a 41-20 victory.
Fasogbon starred in the win against Wales in Bristol by touching down for a try, and was accompanied by fellow Senior Academy prospects Makepeace-Cubitt and Connor Cross on the day.
Scrum-half Allan, who missed out on a match-up with Wales through illness, partners with Bath Rugby’s Sam Harris in the half-backs as Sale Sharks’ openside flanker captains the side this Friday.
Versatile back Makepeace-Cubitt joins an extended bench made up of bench James Isaacs, Scott Kirk, James Halliwell, Harry Browne, Patrick Pearce, Archie McParland, Josh Bellamy, Ludo Kolade and Aaron Tull.
The match will be streamed on the England Rugby YouTube channel.
Tickets are still available online, starting at £10 for adults and £1 for children.
Dickens said: “This is our second clash in as many weeks, after our match against Wales last week in Bristol.
“It was a pleasing result for us but even better was seeing these players develop and perform at the international level in their own age group.
“We have a number of players who were either part of the team that faced Italy in the Under-20 Six Nations or played in this same fixture last year at Verona.
“There are shared learnings from those experiences with the group.
“Tomorrow’s match against the Azzurri is another opportunity and a challenge.
“They take to the pitch with passion, play expansive rugby with a strong set-piece and maul focus, and their players gel well having played a lot of rugby together.”
England men’s under-19 team v Italy
1 Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale)
2 Craig Wright (Northampton)
3 Afolabi Fasogbon (London Irish)
4 Harvey Cuckson (Bath)
5 Joe Bailey (Exeter)
6 Nathan Michelow (Saracens)
7 Tristan Woodman (Sale)
8 Zach Carr (Harlequins)
9 Ollie Allan (London Irish)
10 Sam Harris (Bath)
11 Tobias Elliott (Saracens)
12 Sean Kerr (Harlequins)
13 Toby Thame (Northampton)
14 Alex Wills (Sale)
15 Ben Redshaw (Newcastle)
16 James Isaacs (Saracens)
17 Scott Kirk (Bath)
18 James Halliwell (Bristol Bears)
19 Harry Browne (Harlequins)
20 Patrick Pearce (Bristol Bears)
21 Archie McParland (Northampton)
22 Josh Bellamy (Harlequins)
23 Ludo Kolade (Harlequins)
24 George Makepeace-Cubitt (London Irish)
25 Aaron Tull (Bristol Bears)