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Academy trio set for Six Nations Festival opening round

A trio of Bristol Academy U18s will represent their countries this weekend in the Six Nations Festival opening round.

Blake Boyland starts at scrum half as England get their campaign underway versus Scotland U18s. England U18s have played three games this season, losing to France (27-5) before sealing victories against Scotland (64-0) and Wales (42-14), a game in which Boyland touched down in the second half.  

Head coach John Fletcher said: “We want the players to express themselves both sides of the ball, to try things and also to enjoy the experience.

“Everybody is excited as it’s our first game of the festival and the experiences the players get over the course of the three matches will be helpful to their development for their future.

“The purpose of the Six Nations Festival is to provide the players with an elevated experience from their schools and academies and to put them into a different environment against different players."

Meanwhile, Nathan Chamberlain will line-up against his Bristol U18 counterpart for Scotland, following a try-scoring appearance on his international debut.

Scotland U18 head coach Iain Monaghan said: "We have three tough games and we’ll be aiming to make further progress following matches against Wales and England earlier this month.

“It’s a great opportunity for our players to play against top level opposition away from home and for us to build on what we’ve been working on.”

Centre Ioan Lloyd is listed among the replacements as Wales U18s open with a highly-anticipated clash with France.

"There is a lot to look forward to for this group of players," said Wales U18 head coach Chris Horsman. "We couldn't ask for a bigger and more exciting challenge than France first up, and it's definitely a fixture that will catch the interest of fans.

"These players are at the start of their rugby careers, so how they perform and react over the coming week or so will be crucial to their development in this sport."

Festival fixtures:

Saturday, March 31st - Centre for Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach
12 noon: Scotland v England
2.30pm: Wales v France
5pm: Ireland v Italy

Wednesday, April 4th - Cardiff Arms Park
12 noon: Italy v England
2.30pm: Ireland v Wales
5pm: France v Scotland

Sunday, April 8th - Cardiff Arms Park
12 noon: Ireland v Scotland
2.30pm: Italy v Wales
5pm: France v England


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