Howard Packman and Josh Skelcey both started in England Under-18's win over Scotland ©
Rugby News, Academy News Mixed fortunes for Saints’ international contingent
The Saints’ England Under-18 quartet were all involved as their South African tour ended in style with victory over France, but it was a tough weekend for Samu Manoa and his USA teammates as their Rugby World Cup qualification hopes were dealt a serious blow by Canada.
At a windy Boland Stadium in Worcester Howard Packman, Josh Skelcey and Sam Olver all started for England Under-18, the latter kicking the conversion of England’s opening try in the hard fought 12-8 result. Second row Josh Peters was also involved on Saturday afternoon as the youngsters ended the three match trip to South Africa on a high following heartbreak against the Springboks and victory over Wales.
Late that evening, however, Manoa was unable to prevent the USA slipping to a 9-27 defeat to Canada in Charleston that now leaves the side in need of a big turnaround in Toronto if they are to qualify as Americas 1 for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
With the Webb Ellis trophy in attendance, the Eagles never recovered from a 13-point half-time deficit and now have it all to do when the great North American rivals clash once more this coming Saturday. An aggregate defeat would mean facing Uruguay home and away in a final bid to advance as Americas 2.