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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Friday, August 17th 2018

Bates retains England U18 starting berth for South Africa clash

Jack Bates retains his starting spot on the wing as England U18s name their side to play South Africa Schools in their final fixture of the U18 International Series on Saturday.

The side have recorded two defeats to France (41-21) and Wales (26-20) while in South Africa.

Coaches Steve Bates and Jim Mallinder have made eight changes to the starting XV for the fixture at SACS, Newlands (1.05pm BST).

Hooker Alfie Barbeary (Wasps) returns to captain the side in a new front row, while lock George Martin (Leicester) and flanker Harry Dugmore (Harlequins) also start Saturday’s game.

Josh Hallett (Saracens) and Lennox Anyanwu (Harlequins) form a new centre partnership and Louis Lynagh (Harlequins) returns at full back.

Jack Bates receives his England U18 cap.

Steve Bates said: “We made progress with our execution and defence in the Wales game and had several opportunities to win the match. We still have work to do in lots of areas but we’ve spent the past couple of days working hard to continue improving and developing.

“This is a young group, playing only their third game together against more experienced U18s sides and that is affecting our cohesion and organisation.

"We tightened up our defence well against Wales but we still need to make it much more secure so sides have to work harder to score and feel under more pressure when they’re on the ball, which in turn will make us more competitive in both defence and attack.

“Any international fixture is always special, but to play South Africa in South Africa will be a proud moment for these players who will play with a huge amount of passion.”