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Tom Pearson and Tarek Haffar have been named in the matchday squad for England A’s clash with Portugal.
Northampton Saints ©
Tom Pearson and Tarek Haffar have been named in the matchday squad for England A’s clash with Portugal.
Northampton Saints ©

Pearson and Haffar to feature for England A against Portugal

Northampton Saints duo Tom Pearson and Tarek Haffar have been named in England A’s matchday squad for their match against Portugal this weekend. 

England A – whose attack is led by Saints’ head coach Sam Vesty – take to Mattioli Woods Welford Road for the side’s first clash since 2016, facing Os Lobos on Sunday (25 February, kick-off: 1pm) following their impressive showing in last year’s Rugby World Cup. 

24-year-old Pearson – who earned a maiden England cap last summer against Wales – starts the clash at flanker after having trained with the squad at Loughborough University this week. While Haffar – who has been previously capped three times at Under-20s level – is named amongst the replacements.

England A head coach, George Skivington, said: “It’s been great to get together with the group this week at Loughborough and I’ve been really impressed by the high standards they’ve shown. We’ve put the boys through a challenging programme that has tested them to the intense rigor that Portugal will arrive with on Sunday. 

“Our visitors are in the midst of the Rugby Europe Championship and will no doubt be using Sunday as an opportunity to experiment, but their strength as a union has been evident recently. They will certainly provide a stern test for us, but it’s a test that the players, Dom, Sam and I are relishing. 

"I am really excited to see the side take to the field against Portugal on Sunday. I really believe we have assembled a squad that possesses some of the most exciting developing talent the Gallagher Premiership has to offer, and I’m sure they’ll put on a show for the fans in Leicester.” 

Tickets for the clash at Mattioli Woods Welford Road remain available from £17.50 adults HERE

England A team to face Portugal (includes current club, community club and senior caps) 

15 Josh Hodge (Exeter Chiefs, Vale of Lune RUFC) 
14 Cadan Murley (Harlequins, Wadebridge Camels RFC) 
13 Oscar Beard (Harlequins, Farnham RUFC) 
12 Max Ojomoh (Bath Rugby, Chippenham RFC) 
11 Will Muir (Bath Rugby, Guisborough RUFC) 
10 Charlie Atkinson (Gloucester Rugby, Oxford RFC) 
9 Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, Tycroes RFC, 6 caps) 

1 Fin Baxter (Harlequins, Cobham RFC) 
2 Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, Seaton Rangers ARLFC, 7 caps) 
3 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, Nottingham Moderns RFC & Newark RFC, 7 caps) 
4 Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs, Devonport Services RFC) 
5 Charlie Ewels (c) (Bath Rugby, Bournemouth Rugby, 30 caps) 
6 Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints, Bromyard Rugby Club, 1 cap) 
7 Guy Pepper (Newcastle Falcons, Barnard Castle Rugby Club) 
8 Alfie Barbeary (Bath Rugby, Banbury RUFC) 

16 Sam Riley (Harlequins, Chobham RFC) 
17 Tarek Haffar (Northampton Saints, Grasshoppers RFC) 
18 Josh Iosefa-Scott (Exeter Chiefs, Melville Rugby) 
19 Ben Bamber (Sale Sharks, Langworthy Reds ARLFC) 
20 Greg Fisilau (Exeter Chiefs, Devonport Services RFC) 
21 Caolan Englefield (Gloucester Rugby, Old Rutlishians Rugby) 
22 Jamie Shillcock (Leicester Tigers, Southam RUFC) 
23 Oliver Hartley (Saracens, Hammersmith and Fulham Rugby Club) 

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