England U18’s all out for revenge

ENGLAND will be gunning for revenge against Ireland in tonight’s FIRA-AER U18 European Championship semi-final in Venice (7pm, Irish time).

The Irish enjoyed a 10-7 victory the same stage in last year’s tournament en-route to an agonising penalty shoot out loss to host nation France.

Both teams posted huge scores in their first outings - England defeated Georgia 53-3 while Ireland overcame Russia 53-0.

Despite the margin of victory, Ireland show five changes from Sunday, three of which are in the backline with Naas’ Gavin Nyawata coming onto the right wing, Andrew Boyle of St Brigid’s selected at outside centre and Wicklow’s Niall Earls slots in at out-half.

Tchad Collins Francois, Eoin Griffin and Callum McKie drop to the replacements bench.

In the forwards, Karl Egan replaces Declan Farrell at hooker while Lisburn’s Dominic Gallagher is at blindside flanker ahead of Aaron Spring.

England have made just two changes to their starting line-up with Reuben Haile of Gloucstershire, who was one of four unused replacements against Georgia, taking the place of Jon Kennedy on the left wing and Matt Keyte of Surrey replacing Craig Hampson of Yorkshire at scrum-half.

The winners of today’s tie will qualify for Saturday afternoon’s Group A final which will be played at Stadio Comunale di Monigo, the home ground of Benetton Treviso.

IRELAND: L O’Dea (Shannon/Munster), G Nyawata (Naas/Leinster), A Boyle (St. Brigid’s/Leinster), D Lynch (Naas/Leinster), R Kennedy (Longford/Leinster), N Earls (Wicklow/Leinster), A Kennedy (Buccaneers/Connacht), J Robinson (Corinthians/Connacht) (capt), K Egan (Corinthians/Connacht), K Brookes (Fylde/Exiles), S Casey (Castlebar/Connacht), D Landy (Carrick-on-Suir/Munster), D Gallagher (Lisburn/Ulster), J Stephenson (London Irish/Exiles), J Bennett (Gloucester/Exiles).

Replacements: F Lynch (Virginia/Ulster), P Molloy (Waterpark/Munster), D Farrell (Leeds Carnegie/Exiles), J Simpson (Ballynahinch/Ulster), A Mulligan (Bective Rangers/Leinster), A Spring (Sligo/Connacht), M Dolan (Buccaneers/Connacht), C McKie (Brentwood/Exiles), E Griffin (Corinthians/Connacht), T Collins Francois (Truro College/Exiles), K Domican (Naas/Leinster).

ENGLAND: M Watson (St George’s College, London Irish and Surrey), N Fraser ((Haileybury College, Saracens and Essex), J Davies (Denstone College, Eccles and Lancashire), W East (St Paul’s School, Barnes, London Wasps and Middlesex — captain), R Haile (St Peter’s Sixth Form Centre, Gloucester and Gloucestershire), J Ford (Rishworth School and Yorkshire), M Keyte (Dulwich College, Harlequins and Surrey), P Austin (Worthing College, Havant and Hampshire), J Stevens (Truro College, SWERA and Cornwall), S Knight (St Peter’s Sixth Form Centre, Gloucester and Gloucestershire), D Wright (St Peter’s Sixth Form Centre, Gloucester and Gloucestershire), R Jones (Corsham School, Corsham and Dorset & Wiltshire), W Welch (RGS Newcastle, Newcastle Falcons and Northumberland), M Everard (Queen Elizabeth II School, Leicester Tigers and Leicestershire), J Parker (Millfield School, South West Regional Academy and Cornwall).

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