Joe Tunney added to England U18 Squad
Wasps Academy second row Joe Tunney has been added to the England Under 18s 26-man squad for the South Africa tour.
Tunney joins fellow Wasps Tom Willis, Will Porter and Sam Spink in the squad for the three match development tour of South Africa (6-21 August).
Lock Alex Coles, full back Nick David and prop Tom Rowland also come into the squad while James Dun, Marcus Smith, Kieren Verden as well as Ted Hill drop out.
Led by head coach John Fletcher, along with coaches Russell Earnshaw, Mark Luffman and Peter Walton, England U18 have enjoyed an impressive season so far, most recently winning all of their games in April’s International Series in Wales.
England’s fixtures in South Africa for the ‘U19 International Series’ have also been amended with the side now playing France on 11 August (1.15pm BST), Wales (15 August 1.15pm BST) and SA Schools (19 August 1pm BST).
“It’s disappointing for those guys that are not coming who are injured, however, they will be back towards the early part of the season so that’s positive for them,” said Fletcher.
“For those players that have been called into the squad it’s also an exciting time for them and a great opportunity. They all narrowly missed out on selection and now they get their chance.”
The tour plays a pivotal role in a player’s development through the national age grade programme with three players - Joe Cokanasiga, Ben Curry and Tom Curry - from last year’s U18 group named in the England senior squad for the series against Argentina in June.
In addition, 11 of last year’s squad progressed to feature in the 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia which saw England reach the final.
“I’ve been to South Africa a number of times,” added Fletcher. “It’s a great environment to take the players to as Wales and France are strong opposition from a northern hemisphere point of view while South Africa is a significant test at 18s because they are such a physical team.”
England U18 squad for 2017 tour to South Africa:
Josh Basham (London Irish, Wellington College)
Will Capon (Bristol Rugby, Bristol Grammar School)
Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs, Exeter College)
Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, The Perse School)
Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors, Bromsgrove School)
George Head (Harlequins, Tonbridge School)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, Wyggeston & QEI College)
Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby, St Peter’s High School)
Sam Moore (Sale Sharks, Sedbergh School)
Nick Rigby (Worcester Warriors, Warwick School)
Tom Rowland (Bristol Rugby, Bristol Grammar School)
James Scott (Worcester Warriors, Malvern College)
Joe Tunney (Wasps, Dr Challoners GS)
Tom Willis (Wasps, The Henley College)
Nick David (Worcester Warriors, Warwick School)
Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby, Beechen Cliff School)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, Bedford School)
Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie , New College Pontefract)
Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish, St Paul’s School)
Cadan Murley (Harlequins, Bishop Wordsworth's School)
Will Porter (Wasps, Merchant Taylors' School)
Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks, Sedbergh School)
Arron Reed (Sale Sharks, Kirkham Grammar School)
Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby, Dean Close School)
Sam Spink (Wasps, Wellington College)
Kieran Wilkinson (Sale Sharks, Kirkham Grammar School)
Friday 11 August: England U18 v France - Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch (1.15pm BST)
Tuesday 15 August: England U18 v Wales - Paarl Gymnasium, Paarl (1.15pm BST)
Saturday 19 August: England U18 v SA Schools - City Park, Athlone (1pm BST)