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Mallinder to captain England U18s against Portugal

England U18s have named their side to take on Portugal tomorrow as they kick off their defence of the European Championship in Poland.

Northampton centre Harry Mallinder, son of Saints director of rugby Jim, will lead the side in what is a repeat of last year’s opening game – England won that one 82-8 but Head Coach John Fletcher is expecting a physical match.

He said: “We’re looking forward to another FIRA Tournament – it’s good for the players to experience the hotel, the food and the culture of another country, because that’s part and parcel of modern rugby.

“We played Portugal last season and we know that they won’t hold back, but we have confidence in ourselves and we’ll be looking for the guys to perform as well as they can.

“Harry will lead the side out for this game, although Sam Underhill is our tour captain, and it’s a great opportunity for both of those players.”

England U18s: Cameron Cowell (St Pauls, London Irish); Kai Little (Hartpury, Exeter), Joe Marchant (Peter Symonds, Harlequins), Harry Mallinder (Rugby, Northampton, Capt.), Rotimi Segun (Stowe, Northampton); Theo Brophy-Clews (Abingdon, London Irish), Alex Mitchell (Lymm, Sale); Owen Hills (Queen Elizabeth Wyggeston, Leicester), James Fish (Trent, Northampton), Josh Ibuanokpe (Dulwich, Harlequins); Huw Taylor (Old Swinford Hospital, Worcester), Stanley South (Whitgift, Harlequins); Joe Batley (Hartpury, Gloucester), Josh Bainbridge (Prince Henry’s, Leeds), Callum Chick (Gosforth, Newcastle).

Replacements: Ollie Adams (St Pauls’ , London Irish), Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry’s, Leeds), Jack Stanley (Truro, Exeter), George Nott (Kings Chester, Sale), Will Safe (Hartpury, Gloucester), Sam Underhill  (Sir Thomas Rich’s, Gloucester), Jack Maunder (Blundells, Exeter), Charlie Thacker (Leicester Grammar, Leicester), Lucas Slowik (Filton, Bristol), Taylor Prell (Giggleswick, Leeds).

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