Newcastle Falcons pair Phil Brantingham and Matthew Ward both start for England Under-18s as they end their International Series competition against South Africa Schools on Saturday in Wellington.
The game is a 1.35pm UK-time kick-off, England going in fresh from Tuesday’s 29-25 victory over Argentina, in which winger Ward and prop Brantingham both featured from the bench.
England Under-18s head coach Jim Mallinder said: “Ending the tour against the hosts is a really nice way to finish and I’m sure it will be a great experience for the players. South Africa are unbeaten which makes it even more of a test for us, and the players are excited to take them on.
“Whenever you play a South African team it is always a very physical challenge. They have some big carriers, the forwards like to get around the corner and they test you defensively so it’s going to be a really tough encounter for the players, but one they are relishing.
“We feel we’ve advanced over the past week or so, technically and tactically we have improved as a team and the players have really bonded off the field.
“This tour has been so important for the players’ development. We came together as 26 individuals and coaches and the tournament has allowed us to gel in a competitive environment, we’ve gradually improved and this third game will allow us to see how far we’ve come.”
England Under-18s team
15 Oliver Melville – Sale Sharks (Sedbergh School)
14 Matthew Ward – Newcastle Falcons (Gosforth Academy)
13 Will Joseph – London Irish (Millfield School)
12 Louis Hillman-Cooper – Gloucester Rugby (Cheltenham College)
11 Alex Harmes – London Irish (St Pauls College)
10 Orlando Bailey – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
9 Sam Edwards – Leicester Tigers (Brooksby Melton College)
1 Phil Brantingham – Newcastle Falcons (RGS Newcastle)
2 John Stewart – Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
3 Fin Baxter – Harlequins (Wellington College)
4 Freddie Thomas – Gloucester Rugby (Dean Close School)
5 Ethan Staddon - Bath Rugby (Beechen Cliff School)
6 Emeka Ilione (captain) – Leicester Tigers (Rugby School)
7 Harry Taylor - Gloucester Rugby (Clifton College)
8 Kit Smith – Leicester Tigers (Oakham School)
16 Tarek Haffar – London Irish (St Pauls College)
17 Joe Keohane – London Irish (St Pauls College)
18 Ewan Richards – Bath Rugby (Millfield School)
19 Daniel Eckersley – Wasps (Bloxham School)
20 Will Trenholm – Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
21 Sam Bryan – Saracens (Felsted School)
22 Ethan Grayson – Northampton Saints (Northampton School for Boys)
23 Michael Dykes – London Irish (St Pauls College)
24 Oscar Beard – Harlequins (Cranleigh School)
25 Charlie Atkinson – Wasps (Abingdon School)