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England Counties relishing Twickenham debut
England News (IP Logged)
10 March, 2009 16:26
England Counties relishing Twickenham debut

Spectators at the RBS Six Nations England v France fixture this Sunday, March 15th are in for a feast of top class international rugby as England Counties XV take on France Amateurs straight after the main game.

England Counties will make their first ever appearance at the home of rugby, following Martin Johnson's side onto the Twickenham turf and kicking off at 5.30pm.

The England Counties management team have the luxury of picking a team from the same squad that travelled to Ireland and earned a highly creditable 13-13 draw with Ireland Clubs XV at Donnybrook, Dublin last month.

England Counties manager, Danny Hodgson said:
"It's great to have the same squad together for the Twickenham game. The players will really benefit from the time they spent together in Ireland and we'll be hoping to capitalise on all the hard work that was done over there."

"It is absolutely immense for us to be playing at Twickenham. It's a far cry from the days of playing through the rain at Newbury and everyone is of course, really looking forward to it. Although many of the lads have played at Twickenham for their counties, this will be very different. It is bound to be very inspiring being in and around the same dressing rooms as England for what is a massive game against France".

"I expect our game to be just as tough. France are always very good at this level, especially in the forwards. They narrowly beat Scotland Clubs in their last match at Stade de France, so they are used to playing on the big stage. However, we've had good results against them recently, so we are confident of putting on a good show for the spectators at Twickenham".

England Counties Squad v France Amateurs

at Twickenham,
Sunday March 15th , 5.30pm:

- Robert Baldwin (Wharfedale & Yorkshire), Thomas Bason (Blackheath & Kent), Luke Collins (Redruth & Cornwall), Ben Gerry (Stourbridge & North Midlands), Rupert Harden (Tynedale & Northumberland), Darren Jaques (Redruth & Cornwall), James Kellard (Barking & Essex), Simon Legg (Blackheath & Kent), Joshua Lord (Launceston & Cornwall), James Rule (Hull Ionians & Yorkshire), Jason Smithson (Blaydon & Northumberland), Liam Wordley (Blackheath & Staffordshire).

- Gavin Beasley (Tynedale & Northumberland), Mark Bedworth (Wharfedale & Yorkshire), Adam Billig (Stourbridge & North Midlands), Mark Billings (Southend & Essex), Robert Cook (Nuneaton & Warwickshire), James Doherty (Wharfedale & Yorkshire), Jack Harrison (Tynedale & Northumberland), Christopher Johnson (Huddersfield & Yorkshire), Paul Knight (Cinderford & Gloucestershire), Sam Smith (Blackheath & Middlesex).

Re: England Counties relishing Twickenham debut
black and gold (IP Logged)
10 March, 2009 21:19
No doubt this list has already gone to the program printers but for the record it's,


Re: England Counties relishing Twickenham debut
SK 88 (IP Logged)
10 March, 2009 23:25
What's the point of playing at twickenham?

Why not play in the shire's and let other people watch the counties players, as has always happened before?

Re: England Counties relishing Twickenham debut
RFU: Press Release (IP Logged)
13 March, 2009 23:39
England Counties side to play France Amateurs at Twickenham

England Counties have named their team to play France Amateurs at Twickenham this Sunday, March 15.

The Counties side have been training at The Lensbury Club in Teddington this week and get their first chance to walk the Twickenham turf tomorrow.

They play their first ever fixture at Twickenham on Sunday, taking to the pitch straight after Martin Johnson's side face their French counterparts, kicking off at 5.30pm.

England Counties XV

15 Rob Cook (Nuneaton & Warwickshire)
14 Jack Harrison (Tynedale & Northumberland)
13 Adam Billig (Stourbridge & North Midlands)
12 Mark Bedworth (Wharfedale & Yorkshire)
11 Sam Smith (Blackheath & Middlesex)
10 Chris Johnson (Huddersfield & Yorkshire)
9 James Doherty (Wharfedale & Lancashire)
1 Darren Jaques (Redruth & Cornwall)
2 Liam Wordley (Blackheath & Staffordshire)
3 Rupert Harden (Tynedale & Northumberland)
4 Luke Collins (Redruth & Cornwall)
5 Josh Lord (Launceston & Cornwall)
6 Tom Bason (Blackheath & Kent)
7 James Kellard (Barking & Essex)
8 James Smithson (Blaydon & Northumberland)


16 Ben Gerry (Stourbridge & North Midlands)
17 Simon Legg (Blackheath & Kent)
18 James Rule (Hull Ioanians & Yorkshire)
19 Rob Baldwin (Wharfedale & Yorkshire)
20 Paul Knight (Cinderford & Gloucester)
21 Gavin Beasley (Tynedale & Northumberland)
22 Mark Billings (Southend & Essex)

France Amateurs

15 Guillaume Pszonak (Auvergne)
14 Bertrand Artero (Languedoc)
13 Xavier Ferrero (Provence)
12 Julien Rivier (Bourgogne)
11 Renaud Delmas (Perigord Agenais)
10 Julien Lesgourges (Cotes Basque Landes)
9 Guillaume Dulay (Perigord Agenais)
1 Christophe Marchand (Perigord Agenais)
2 Francois Daros (Midi Pyrenees)
3 Nicolas Mateos (Perigord Agenais)
4 Simon Pinet (Centre)
5 Martin Michel (Bretagne)
6 Sylvain Peguillan (Midi Pyrenees)
7 Ronald Delfabbro (Bourgogne)
8 Bruno Rolland (Roussillon)


16 Jean Phillippe Jacouton (Bourgogne)
17 Olivier Pujo (Armangnac Bigorre)
18 Yannick Ouadec (Centre)
19 Stanislas Durand (Provence)
20 Paul Dubert (Cote Basque Landes)
21 Benoit Albert (Midi Pyrenees)
22 Julien Jeuvray (Bourgogne)

Re: England Counties relishing Twickenham debut
RFU: Press Release (IP Logged)
16 March, 2009 00:10
French victory can't dent England Counties pride on Twickenham debut

England Counties XV 19 France Amateurs 27

England Counties did everything they could to beat a classy French Amateurs side today Sunday March 14. But their pride at making their Twickenham debut wasn't quite enough to carry them through and despite scoring three impressive tries they lost 19-27 in front of a vociferous West Stand crowd.

Bertrand Artero opened the scoring for France Amateurs in the 10th minute with a long penalty but just five minutes later England had their noses in front. Clever inter-passing between England Counties centres, Adam Billig and Mark Bedworth saw Billig go over in the corner for a try converted by Bedworth to give them a 7-3 lead.

The trusty boot of Artero brought France back into the game in the 18th minute and a superb try by Renaud Delmas, who sprinted round the isolated England full back Rob Cook, gave them the lead just four minutes later. Artero converted the try to give the French a 7-13 lead which they kept until half time.

But England drew first blood in the second half and a great try by Luke Collins after a scintillating break by James Kellard brought them right back into contention. Bedworth missed the conversion to leave them just one point adrift at 12-13.

In the 57th minute winger Sam Smith was sent to the sin bin and Artero accepted another easy penalty chance to make it 12-16 to France. But this spurred England on and just a minute later Rob Baldwin, just on for Jason Smithson, scored their third try after a break by Jack Harrison. Bedworth converted and England had the lead 17-16.

But it was the strength of the French kicking which was to be the difference between the two sides. Artero scored another penalty in the 66th minute to level the game 19-19 and with just three minutes remaining Benoit Albert kicked the drop goal which gave France the lead back, 19-22.

Then a minute later with England pressing hard to find a winner a mistake by the forwards let in French scrum half Guillaume Dulay for the try which killed the match and gave them a 19-27 victory.

Danny Hodgson, England Manager said afterwards:
"I told the team they should be very proud. There is more to England Counties than just out-scoring our opponents we're representing the whole of County rugby and to be able to do it at Twickenham today was fantastic".

"They should be very proud of themselves, they've certainly made me very proud. They really fed off the atmosphere today and scored three great tries. We play with an adventurous spirit and enjoy our rugby".

"Yes we made mistakes and the line-out wasn't great but that's what happens at this level. It was a great occasion and really we acquitted ourselves very well".

England Counties XV

1 Darren Jaques (Redruth & Cornwall), 2 Liam Wordley (Blackheath & Staffordshire), 3 Rupert Harden (Tynedale & Northumberland), 4 Luke Collins (Redruth & Cornwall), 5 Josh Lord (Launceston & Cornwall), 6 Tom Bason (Blackheath & Kent), 7 James Kellard (Barking & Essex), 8 James Smithson (Blaydon & Northumberland), 9 James Doherty (Wharfedale & Lancashire), 10 Chris Johnson (Huddersfield & Yorkshire), 11 Sam Smith (Blackheath & Middlesex), 12 Mark Bedworth (Wharfedale & Yorkshire), 13 Adam Billig (Stourbridge & North Midlands), 14 Jack Harrison (Tynedale & Northumberland), 15 Rob Cook (Nuneaton & Warwickshire) Replacements: 16 Ben Gerry (Stourbridge & North Midlands), 17 Simon Legg (Blackheath & Kent), 18 James Rule (Hull Ioanians & Yorkshire), 19 Rob Baldwin (Wharfedale & Yorkshire), 20 Paul Knight (Cinderford & Gloucester), 21 Gavin Beasley (Tynedale & Northumberland), 22 Mark Billings (Southend & Essex)

Tries: Billig, Collins, Baldwin
Cons: Bedworth 2
Substitutions: Billings off for Billig (50), Smithson off for Baldwin (53), Johnson off for Gerry (70), Wordley off for Rule (70), Collins off for Beasley (70)

France Amateurs

1 Christophe Marchand (Perigord Agenais), 2 Francois Daros (Midi Pyrenees), 3 Nicolas Mateos (Perigord Agenais), 4 Simon Pinet (Centre), 5 Martin Michel (Bretagne), 6 Sylvain Peguillan (Midi Pyrenees), 7 Ronald Delfabbro (Bourgogne), 8 Bruno Rolland (Roussillon), 9 Guillaume Dulay (Perigord Agenais), 10 Julien Lesgourges (Cotes Basque Landes), 11 Renaud Delmas (Perigord Agenais), 12 Julien Rivier (Bourgogne), 13 Xavier Ferrero (Provence), 14 Bertrand Artero (Languedoc), 15 Guillaume Pszonak (Auvergne) Replacements: 16 Jean Phillippe Jacouton (Bourgogne), 17 Olivier Pujo (Armangnac Bigorre), 18 Yannick Ouadec (Centre), 19 Stanislas Durand (Provence), 20 Paul Dubert (Cote Basque Landes), 21 Benoit Albert (Midi Pyrenees), 22 Julien Jeuvray (Bourgogne)

Tries: Delmas, Dulay
Cons: Artero
Pens: Artero 4
Drop goal: Albert
Substitutions: Ferrero off for Albert (half time), Marchand off for Jacouton (54),
Lesgourges off for Jeuvray (58), Peguillan off for Ouadec (60), Daros off for Pujo (62), Rolland off for Durand (63)

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