London Irish will be very well represented on the England U18 tour to South Africa next month with five players and two coaches selected as part of the touring group.
Tarek Haffar (St Pauls College), Joe Keohane (St Pauls College), Michael Dykes (St Pauls College), Alex Harmes (St Pauls College) and Will Joseph (Millfield School) have all been named in the squad.
England U18s will be led by Jim Mallinder, who will be assisted by consultant coaches Jonathan Fisher and James Lightfoot-Brown, both of the London Irish Academy, and Mark Luffman of Darlington Mowden Park.
Mallinder’s side will play fixtures against Argentina (9 August), France (13 August) and South Africa Schools (17 August) during the series.
Based at Stellenbosch Academy of Sport, the squad will fly to South Africa on 4 August for the annual development tour which marks the start of the U18 international season and for many players the start of their England journey.
Jim Mallinder said: “The U18 South Africa tour gives our players a unique experience of playing an international tournament, away from home, at the start of their pathway journey.
“To play two fixtures against southern hemisphere opposition, as well as a game against France, will be valuable for them as they look to transition through the pathway and I want them to make the most of the experience.
“I want them to understand what it takes to be part of an England team, but to feel comfortable exploring their game and developing their skills in this environment.
“The games come thick and fast so they will also get an insight into the importance of their behaviour off the pitch, focusing on recovery and analysis as well preparation for the next match.
“The tour is about more than just the matches though and I hope they also get to experience the unique culture in South Africa, form friendships with players they will progress through the pathway with and make some memories along the way.”
England men U18 squad for summer development tour:
Fin Baxter - Harlequins (Wellington College)
Phil Brantingham - Newcastle Falcons (RGS Newcastle)
Daniel Eckersley - Wasps (Bloxham School)
Jack Forsythe - Worcester Warriors (Warwick School)
Tarek Haffar - London Irish (St Pauls College)
Emeka Ilione - Leicester Tigers (Rugby School)
Joe Keohane - London Irish (St Pauls College)
Ewan Richards - Bath Rugby (Millfield School)
Kit Smith - Leicester Tigers (Oakham School)
Ethan Staddon - Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
John Stewart - Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
Freddie Thomas - Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
Will Trenholm - Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
Archie Vanes - Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
Charlie Atkinson - Wasps (Abingdon School)
Orlando Bailey - Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
Oscar Beard - Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
Sam Bryan - Saracens (Felsted School)
Michael Dykes - London Irish (St Pauls College)
Sam Edwards - Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
Ethan Grayson - Northampton Saints (Northampton School for Boys)
Alex Harmes - London Irish (St Pauls College)
Louis Hillman-Cooper - Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)
Will Joseph - London Irish (Millfield School)
Oliver Melville - Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)
Matthew Ward - Newcastle Falcons (Gosforth Academy)
U18 International Series fixtures (all times BST):
Friday 9 August 2019 – Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
12pm SA Schools A vs France U18
1.30pm England U18 vs Argentina U18
3pm SA Schools vs Wales U18
Tuesday 13 August 2019 – Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl
12pm SA Schools A vs Wales U18
1.30pm SA Schools vs Argentina U18
3pm England U18 vs France U18
Saturday 17 August 2019 – Hugenote High, Wellington
11am SA Schools A vs Argentina U18
12.30pm France U18 vs Wales U18
2pm SA Schools vs England U18
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