Three Chiefs named in U18 England Men's Squad

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England U18 Men’s head coach Jonathan Pendlebury and assistant coach Will Parkin have selected their 26-player squad to travel to Parma, Italy for the 2024 U18 Men’s Six Nations Rugby Festival.

The third edition of the tournament, which sees Portugal and Georgia incorporated for the first time, opens on Saturday 30th March with each side playing three 70-minute matches across the week. The tournament serves as a key step on the development pathway for athletes and provides an opportunity for some of the brightest young talent in the game to feature on the international stage.

18 of the 26 selected players have represented the U18 age-grade previously, with 11 of those earning their first England bow in a recent fixture against France at Rugby Tango Chalonnais.

The eight-strong cohort of uncapped players includes Exeter Chiefs’ Israel Akinrowo, Olly Allport and Jonno Balding of Gloucester Rugby, Tyler Offiah (London & South Central), Fraser Rawlins (Saracens) and Harlequins trio Elliot Williams, Felix Bateman-Champain and Ollie Streeter.

Eight Premiership Rugby academies, as well as the RFU-centralised academies of London & South Central, Midlands Central and Midlands West, are represented in the makeup of the squad. 21 colleges and schools also see their students represent the England Rugby pathway on the international stage this spring.

Bath Rugby’s back-row forward Connor Treacey has been selected by Pendlebury and Parkin as England’s tournament captain. Treacey made his debut for the U18 Men in last summer’s U18 International Series in South Africa, appearing in all three Tests against France, Western Province and South Africa, before recently leading his club to the Premiership Rugby U18 Academy League title. He earned his first cap as captain in the aforementioned game against France this month.

The U18 Men face three 70-minute games across the tournament, taking on Wales (MD1 – Saturday 30th March, 17:45 kick-off), Scotland (MD2 Tuesday 3rd April, 13:15 kick-off) and Georgia (MD3 Sunday 7th April, 17:30 kick-off).

Parma’s Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi will stage the Festival for the first time, with tickets to all three match days will be free of charge and fixtures available to watch on Six Nations channels.

Jonathan Pendlebury said: “This past weekend, Abingdon School kindly offered their facilities to allow us to prepare for what promises to be a really engaging tournament, no less now with the inclusion of Portugal and our matchday three opponents, Georgia.

“Our purpose is to support our players in exploring in their competitive opportunities as give them the tools to excel as England players as they have for their academies. We have every confidence that they will, and they are fully prepared to represent their country with pride.

“Now with our selection now finalised, the playing squad and staff group eagerly anticipate our trip to Parma. Connor is a player who gives us another layer of leadership and his recent success with his club only adds to that, we’re proud to have him as our captain for these three fixtures.’

Will Parkin said: “I'd like to congratulate Connor on his captaincy, he is a fantastic player and with a large number of U17s coming out to the tournament and representing England for the first time, it’s brilliant to have him leading the group off the back of his recent success with Bath.”

“It's been great to work with our settled group now, they have been excellent in camp and shown a strong desire to perform at the highest level. They all sat and watched the U20s win the Six Nations last week, so they will take a huge amount of inspiration from that when they are representing their country next week."

England U18 Men’s U18 Six Nations Festival squad (includes current academy, school and community club)

Aiden Ainsworth-Cave (Northampton Saints, Bedford School, Bedford Blues RFC) *

Israel Akinrowo (Exeter Chiefs, Exeter College, Devenport Services RFC)

Olly Allport (Gloucester Rugby, Dean Close College, Stow-on-the-wold & District RFC)

Jonno Balding (Gloucester Rugby, Radley College, Overton RFC)

Felix Bateman-Champain (Harlequins, Worth School, East Grinstead RFC)

Lucas Friday (Harlequins, Trinity School, Bromley RFC) *

Sam Graham (Newcastle Falcons, Durham School, Durham City Rugby Football Club) *

Dan Green (Sale Sharks, St Ambrose School, Bowdon RUFC) *

Patrick Hogg (Newcastle Falcons, Durham School, Blaydon Rugby Club) *

Seb Kelly (Sale Sharks, Kirkham Grammar, Rochdale RUFC) *

George Knowles (Midlands West, Hereford Cathedral School, Ledbury Rugby Club) *

Nick Lilley (Exeter Chiefs, Exeter College) *

James Linegar (Bath Rugby, Kingswood School, Chippenham RFC) *

Josh Mann (Exeter Chiefs, Truro College) *

Jamie Miller (Harlequins, Whitgift School, Battersea Ironsides Rugby Club) *

Finn Newton (Saracens, Haileybury, Hertford RFC) *

Tyler Offiah (London & South Central, Wellington College, Ealing Trailfinders)

George Pearson (Midlands Central, City of Oxford College, Buckingham RUFC) *

Fraser Rawlins (Saracens, Haileybury, Saracens)

Solomon Shand (Gloucester Rugby, Hartpury College, Aylesbury RFC) *

Jimmy Staples (Harlequins, Seaford School, Worthing Rugby Club) *

Ollie Streeter (Harlequins, Gordon’s School, Haywards Heath RFC)

Connor Treacey (c) (Bath Rugby, Beechen Cliff, New Milton RFC) *

Jonny Weimann (Northampton Saints, Bedford School, Royston Rugby Club) *

Elliot Williams (Harlequins, Gordon’s School, London Irish Amateur RFC)

Rafe Witheat (Northampton Saints, Stowe School, Ampthill RUFC) *

*denotes a player capped at England U18 level

England U18 Men’s Festival Fixtures
Each team will play 1 x 70min match on each match day, with four matches taking place each day.
Matchday 1 (Saturday 30th March)
England v Wales (17:45 kick-off)

Matchday 2 (Wednesday 3rd April)
Scotland v England (13:15 kick-off)

Matchday 3 (Sunday 7th April)
England v Georgia (15:30 kick-off) 

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