Josh Basham has paid tribute to the London Irish Academy as he gets set to represent England Under-18s against Wales in their second game of the summer development tour in South Africa today (kick-off 1.15pm BST).
Second row Basham and fellow club teammate Ollie Hassell-Collins have been named in the starting line-up for this afternoon’s contest and will be looking to help England to two wins out of two.
“London Irish have played a massive role in my development and have got me to where I am now,” said Basham, who featured for the Exiles during the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s.
“Academy coaches Patrick O’Grady and Richard Pryor as well as Declan Danaher have invested considerable time in helping grow as a rugby player.”
Looking ahead at today’s dual with Wales, Basham said: “I’m really excited and I’ve played against them once before, so we know it’s going to be a tough challenge for us but one which we are relishing.
“They pose a big physical threat in a number of areas and they are well-drilled, well-structured and well-organised.”
Today’s game is live on S4C’s Facebook page.
England U18 team to face Wales
Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, St Paul’s School), Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby, Dean Close School), Cadan Murley (Harlequins, Bishop Wordsworth's School), Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks, Sedbergh School), Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby, Beechen Cliff School), Kieran Wilkinson (Sale Sharks, Kirkham Grammar School), Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie , New College Pontefract), Tom Willis (capt) (Wasps, The Henley College), Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby, St Peter’s High School), Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs, Exeter College), Alex Coles Northampton Saints, The Perse School), Josh Basham London Irish, Wellington College), Nick Rigby (Worcester Warriors, Warwick School), Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors, Bromsgrove School), George Head (Harlequins, Tonbridge School).
Replacements: Tom Rowland (Bristol Rugby, Bristol Grammar School), Will Capon (Bristol Rugby, Bristol Grammar School), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, Wyggeston & QEI College), James Scott (Worcester Warriors, Malvern College), Sam Moore (Sale Sharks, Sedbergh School), Will Porter (Wasps, Merchant Taylors' School), Sam Spink (Wasps, Wellington College), Nick David Worcester Warriors, Warwick School).
Results & fixtures
Friday 11 August: England U18 24-8 France - Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
Tuesday 15 August: England U18 v Wales - Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl (1.15pm BST)
Saturday 19 August: England U18 v SA Schools - City Park, Athlone (1pm BST)