England Under 18 name side to face Georgia
Thursday March 29, 2012
Issued by Stefan Curtis
England U18 Head Coach John Fletcher
England Under 18 Head Coach John Fletcher has named his side to take on Georgia for Friday's opening game of the 2012 FIRA tournament in Madrid, kick off 9.30am UK time.
England were losing finalists in last year’s event and kick off this season’s competition against a strong Georgian side at the Universitaria Madrid. Eton College’s Gus Jones captains England and Fletcher is looking forward to the game.
He said: “This is a big tournament for the lads and Georgia up first will be a big test. For the past few years they have been getting stronger – they play to their strengths, they have big forwards, they’re physical and they will be a handful.
“It will be a big challenge – particularly for our forward pack – we play them on a narrow pitch, so it’s exciting and we’re looking forward to it.
Fletcher added: “Playing in this competition is actually quite humbling for our guys, we’ll see players that are not as well supported as us and it’s a good leveller. Last year we did some work with Serbia which was really interesting, it was great to see our guys breaking down the language barrier and communicating through rugby, which is what it’s all about.”
England U18 starting XV v Georgia
15 Zach Kibirige (Yarm School) (Newcastle Falcons)
14 Howard Packman (Moulton College) (Northampton Saints)
13 George Catchpole (Leicester Grammar) (Leicester Tigers)
12 Nick Carpenter (Filton College) (Bristol Rugby)
11 Nathan Earle (Oaklands) (Saracens)
10 Sam Olver (Oundle School) (Northampton Saints)
9 Tom Chapman (Colfe’s School) (Saracens)
1 Harry Rudkin (Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth 1st) (Leicester Tigers)
2 Harry Thacker (Leicester Grammar) (Leicester Tigers)
3 Scott Wilson (Sedbergh School) (Newcastle Falcons)
4 Maro Itoje (Harrow School) (Saracens)
5 Charlie Ewels (Bryanston School) (Bath Rugby)
6 Max Northcote-Green (Millfield) (Bath Rugby)
7 Gus Jones (Eton College) (London Wasps)
8 Joel Conlon (Ivybridge Community College) (Exeter Chiefs)
Cornish-Kiwi Pohe enjoying England U18 duty
Monday April 2, 2012
Issued by Stefan Curtis
Javiah Pohe in training
England Under 18 centre Javiah Pohe’s route to John Fletcher’s side isn’t the most conventional.
Born in Napier to a Kiwi dad and a Cornish mum, Javiah spent his formative years playing rugby league for Wainuionata before a move to England and Leicester Tigers, via Cornwall, gave the 17-year-old the chance to play union.
He scored his first international try against Georgia in the opening game of this season’s FIRA tournament, his country’s final score in the 58-8 win, but is quick to remember how it all began.
Still with a prominent New Zealand twang, he said: “My parents got me into rugby when I was five years old – my dad played and I followed in his footsteps. I started off with a bit of touch at my local club in New Zealand and then gave union a go when I came over to England to live in Cornwall.
“It was great living on the south coast, I tried my hand at surfing and started to play union for Redruth. It was a great environment to learn the game – on the beach and in the sun, I really enjoyed it.”
New Zealand is never far from Javiah’s thoughts though, and with last year’s World Cup in his home country, he watched the final celebrations with a smile on his face.
“I’m proud of my heritage,” he said. “I love watching the All Blacks play, their players are role models. But I’m also massively proud to play for England.”
Javiah’s move to Leicester came about just before his 16th birthday when the Tigers academy manager got hold of his father, who was also coaching at Redruth, and he has been on an upward curve ever since.
“I got on for 20-minutes against Nottingham in a pre-season friendly which was good, and have also played three A-League games this season,” he said.
“I’m really enjoying it at Tigers and it’s good to see young guys like Manu [Tuilagi] and George Ford given first team opportunities.”
Back with his England hat on, Javiah says that he enjoys the change in environment and mixing it up with Fletcher (“a great coach and really funny”) and the brightest young things of the English game.
“I like coming away because it’s something new, we have a really good group of players who all play for each other and play for the shirt and that’s what it’s all about.
“There are some really talented players in the centres and I enjoy the competition. Our aim is to improve game on game and so far I think we’re achieving that.”
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