Tuima named in England U19s squad
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs forward Rusiate Tuima has been named in the England Under-19s side to face Wales Under-19s on Sunday 7 April at Morganstone Brewery Field, Bridgend RFC (kick off, 2pm).
The powerful back-row forward is one of five players who have been capped at Undere-20s level, joining hooker Alfie Barbeary, centres Jack Reeves and Harry Barlow, as well as full-back Josh Hodge in the starting XV.
Elsewhere, props Cal Ford and Bevan Rodd, lock Will Montgomery, fly-half Will Haydon-Wood, wing Jacob Morris and Harry Barlow were all capped by England U18s last season.
Lock Hugh Tizard, flanker Izaiha Moore-Aiono and scrum half Jonny Law will make their age-grade debuts for England on Sunday, while flanker Freddie Lockwood could do likewise as a finisher.
The development fixture is a continuation of England’s U18s programme which began with a three-game tour to South Africa, before U18s matches against Scotland and France earlier in March. England will also host the 2019 U18 Six Nations festival later in April at Hartpury College and University.
The U18s are led by pathway performance coaches Mallinder and Steve Bates, alongside consultant coaches Mark Luffman, Sean Marsden and Jonathan Fisher. U20 coach James Scaysbrook, who is part of the coach development programme agreement between England Rugby and Premiership Rugby, will take charge of defence on Sunday.
England U19s pathway performance coach Jim Mallinder said: “This fixture gives us a really good opportunity to see a number of players who have either not played too much U20 rugby during the Six Nations or our U18 players with September birthdays who are too old for the U18 Six Nations Festival and will be pushing to get into the U20 Elite Player Squad next season.
“We have some really good individuals in the squad and the challenge is to use the limited time we have in training to come together on Sunday and play well, enjoy ourselves as well as look like a cohesive team.
“Whenever you see an England-Wales match at any level there is always that fierce rivalry and we know Sunday will be no different. Wales are well-organised at age-grade level and we know it will be a real challenge for this group but it is one we’re looking forward to.”
England U19s side to face Wales U19s
15. Josh Hodge Newcastle Falcons
14. Louis Lynagh Harlequins (Hampton School)
13. Harry Barlow Harlequins
12. Jack Reeves Gloucester Rugby
11. Jacob Morris Gloucester Rugby
10. Will Haydon-Wood Newcastle Falcons (Sedbergh School)
9. Jonny Law Leicester Tigers (Rugby School)
1. Bevan Rodd Sale Sharks
2. Alfie Barbeary Wasps (Bloxham School)
3. Cal Ford Sale Sharks
4. Will Montgomery Newcastle Falcons
5. Hugh Tizard Harlequins
6. Joe Howard Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)
7. Izaiha Moore-Aiono London Irish
8. Rusiate Tuima Exeter Chiefs
16. Ben Atkins London Irish
17. Zac Nearchou Wasps (Radley College)
18. James Whitcombe Leicester Tigers (Woodhouse Grove)
19. Freddie Lockwood Newcastle Falcons (Barnard Castle)
20. Jack Clement Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)
21. Raphael Quirke Sale Sharks (St Ambrose College)
22. Tom Curtis Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)
23. Josh Gillespie Northampton Saints (Millfield School)