Two London Irish Academy players have been named in the England U18 side to play Scotland at Billingham RUFC on Sunday 17 March (kick-off 2pm).

London Irish’s Phil Cokanasiga will start in the centre, with fellow Exiles Academy player Luke Green named among the replacements. Cokanasiga toured South Africa with England U18s in the Aon International Series last August, while this will be Green’s first international appearance.

The U18s are led by pathway performance coaches Jim Mallinder and Steve Bates, alongside consultant coaches Mark Luffman, Sean Marsden and London Irish Academy forwards coach Jonathan Fisher.

The U18 season began with August’s AON International Series where England played France, Wales and South Africa Schools showing significant improvement throughout the tournament.

Following Sunday’s fixture, the side will next play France at Cheshunt RFC on Sunday 24 March (KO 2pm GMT) before April’s U18 Six Nations Festival.

The U18 Six Nations Festival, which is being hosted by England, will see the squad face Wales on Saturday 13 April, before matches against Ireland (Wednesday 17 April) and France (Sunday, 21 April).

The festival, which is participated in by all six unions, sees each nation play three fixtures over 10 days. The teams will be hosted by Hartpury University and Hartpury College, with matches across three venues - Gillman’s Ground, Sixways Stadium and Kingsholm Stadium.

Jim Mallinder said: “We are looking forward to taking on Scotland at Billingham RUFC. One of the advantages of playing on a brand-new AGP is whatever the weather conditions, it gives us the ability to play with ball in hand.

“I want the players to enjoy the occasion, which is a massive thing about rugby; they have to enjoy playing the game but also understand that this is a brilliant opportunity for them. They’ve come through their schools and their academies and now have an opportunity to play for England with some of the best 23 players in the country, and to show how good they are at this level. We have some good players and our challenge will be how quickly we can come together, develop and improve as a team. 

“It’s great that we’re taking this fixture to the north of England and we’re looking forward to playing in front of vocal home support at Billingham.”

England U18s

15 George Worboys Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff)
14 Joe Browning Leicester Tigers (Denstone College)
13 Louis Hillman-Copper Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)
12 Phil Cokanasiga London Irish (St Pauls College)
11 Tom Roebuck Sale Sharks (Wirral Grammar)
10 Tom Curtis Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)
9 Jack Van Poortvliet Leicester Tigers (Oakham School)
1 Harry Fry Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)
2 Sam Riley Harlequins (St George's Weybridge)
3 Jenson Boughton Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)
4 George Martin Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
5 Archie Benson Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
6 Josh Gray Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
7 Xavier Hastings Bath Rugby (Bishop Wordsworth's)
8 Nahum Merigan Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)

16. John Stewart Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
17. Luke Green London Irish (St Paul’s Catholic College)
18. Fin Baxter Harlequins (Wellington College)
19. Ewan Richards Bath Rugby (Millfield School)
20. Will Trenholm Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
21. Raphael Quirke Sale Sharks (St Ambrose College)
22. Orlando Bailey Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
23. Jude Williams Wasps (Caterham School)

England U18 2019 home fixtures

England v Scotland
Sunday 17 March, KO 2pm GMT
Billingham RUFC: for tickets click - here

England v France
Sunday 24 March, KO 2pm GMT
Cheshunt RFC: for club details click - here

U18 Six Nations Festival fixtures

Matchday one - Saturday 13 April
KO       Gillman’s Ground, Gloucester
12:00    England v Wales          
14:30    Ireland v France
17:00    Scotland v Italy

Matchday two - Wednesday 17 April
KO       Sixways Stadium, Worcester
11:00    France v Italy
13:30    Ireland v England
16:00    Wales v Scotland

Matchday three - Sunday 21 April
KO       Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
11:00    Scotland v Ireland
13.30    England v France
16:00    Italy v Wales


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