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Samson Ma'asi to captain England Under-18s

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Northampton Saints starlet Samson Ma'asi will captain England Under-18s on Wednesday for the second game of the Six Nations Festival in Wales.

The hooker is joined in the starting line-up by another Saints Academy product in Ollie Sleightholme, who starts once again for the Red Rose on the wing.

England Under-18s head coach John Fletcher has made 11 changes to the side that lost 32-27 to Scotland in the opening game of the Festival on Saturday, with Ma’asi coming back into the starting line-up to lead out the side.

England take on Italy at Cardiff Arms park on Wednesday, kick-off 12.00pm.

“We’ve reflected on the Scotland game and we know we have to be better,” said Fletcher.


“The players were bitterly disappointed to lose, however often the best learning comes from defeat, especially at this age, and I expect us to be better on Wednesday.

“We have played with good attacking intent this season in wanting to cause the opposition problems and score lots of tries. There are a couple of things in our attack that could be better, especially our integration between high numbers and low numbers and from a defensive point of view we just didn’t problem solve in that second half against Scotland.

“This is a different group of players, we’ve made lots of changes to give all the players equal opportunities to play and are excited to see this team go and show what we’re about against a good Italian side who were really unfortunate to lose to Ireland in the last kick of the game.”

England U18s
15 Josh Hodge - Newcastle Falcons (Sedbergh School)
14 Ollie Sleightholme - Northampton Saints Northampton School for Boys
13 Connor Doherty - Sale Sharks (Kirkham Grammar School)
12 Will Simonds - Wasps (The Henley College)
11 Harry Barlow - Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
10 George Barton - Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
9 Callum Pascoe - Newcastle Falcons (Gosforth Academy)

1 Lewis Holsey - Worcester Warriors (Solihull School
2 Samson Ma'asi - Northampton Saints (St Josephs) captain
3 Cal Ford - Sale Sharks (Sandbach School)
4 Will Montgomery - Newcastle Falcons (Kirkbie Kendal School)
5 Ben Donnell - London Irish (Peter Symonds College)
6 Henri Lavin - Leicester Tigers (Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth College)
7 JJ Tonks - Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)
8 Rus Tuima - Exeter Chiefs (Exeter College)

16 Alfie Barbeary - Wasps (Bloxham School)
17 Bevan Rodd - Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)
18 Jack Bartlett - Gloucester Rugby
19 George Martin - Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
20 Ted Leatherbarrow - Sale Sharks (Kirkham Grammar School)
21 Rob Farrar - Newcastle Falcons (Sedbergh School)
22 Blake Boyland - Bristol Rugby (SGS College)
23 Reece Dunn - Gloucester Rugby (St Peter's High School)
24 Jacob Morris - Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)
25 Manu Vunipola - Saracens (Harrow School)
26 Jack Reeves - Gloucester Rugby (Hartpury College)

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