Northampton Saints youngster Ethan Grayson is set to earn his second England Under-18s cap on Tuesday as the Red Rose take on France in their second International Series match in South Africa.
The Northampton School for Boys back, who featured regularly for Saints in last season’s Academies League, donned an England U18s shirt for the first time last week and follows the likes of Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam and brother James to represent his country at this level.
And despite head coach Jim Mallinder making 11 changes to the side, Grayson retains his place in the starting line-up as the team embark on their second of three games in 10 days on Tuesday.
"We’re really looking forward to them showing us what they can do at this level."Jim Mallinder, England U18s head coach
Mallinder said: “We made multiple changes but the intention was always to give everyone even game time over the first two fixtures and for every player to start a game and we’re really looking forward to them showing us what they can do at this level.
“There is a short turnaround between the two games and the players have been excellent in how they’ve recovered from the opening fixture, as well as their analysis of the game and preparation for Tuesday which is a vital part of these tours. We’ve trained well and are excited for the match.
“We’ve also taken the players out to a nature reserve for a few hours where we got to see some incredible animals and that’s helped them form relationships off the pitch as well as experience the environment around them.
“Tuesday will be a massive test for us, we’ve seen France play and they are big, powerful and like to move the ball around. Defensively we’ll be put under a lot of pressure, but we’re looking to get our set piece right, build on the lessons of the first match and continue to play with attacking intent.”
ENGLAND MEN U18s TO PLAY FRANCE
U18 International Series
Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl
Tuesday 13 August, 2019
Kick-off 3pm (BST)
15 Oliver Melville – Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)
14 Oscar Beard – Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
13 Will Joseph – London Irish (Millfield School)
12 Ethan Grayson – Northampton Saints (Northampton School for Boys)
11 Michael Dykes – London Irish (St Pauls College)
10 Charlie Atkinson – Wasps (Abingdon School)
9 Sam Bryan – Saracens (Felsted School)
1 Tarek Haffar – London Irish (St Pauls College)
2 John Stewart – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
3 Joe Keohane – London Irish (St Pauls College)
4 Freddie Thomas – Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
5 Ethan Staddon - Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
7 Harry Taylor - Gloucester Rugby (Clifton College)
8 Will Trenholm – Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
16 Archie Vanes – Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
17 Phil Brantingham – Newcastle Falcons (RGS Newcastle)
18 Fin Baxter – Harlequins (Wellington College)
19 Ewan Richards – Bath Rugby (Millfield School)
20 Kit Smith – Leicester Tigers (Oakham School)
21 Daniel Eckersley – Wasps (Bloxham School)
22 Sam Edwards – Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
23 Orlando Bailey – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
24 Louis Hillman-Cooper – Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)
25 Alex Harmes – London Irish (St Pauls College)
26 Matthew Ward – Newcastle Falcons (Gosforth Academy)
U18 International Series fixtures (all times BST):
Friday August 9 2019 – Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
13h30 England U18 19-29 Argentina U18
Tuesday August 13 2019 – Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl
12h00 SA Schools A vs Wales U18
13h30 SA Schools vs Argentina U18
15h00 England U18 vs France U18
Saturday August 17 2019 – Hugenote High, Wellington
11h00 SA Schools A vs Argentina U18
12h30 France U18 vs Wales U18
14h00 SA Schools vs England U18