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England Counties XV named to play Ireland March 18th


By RFU Press Office
March 12 2011

THE ENGLAND Counties XV will contain three players from the same house when they tackle Ireland’s Ulster Bank Club International Team in Dublin on Friday week (March 18, 17.30pm kick-off) following the call-up of Cambridge RUFC fly-half Dan Mugford.

Mugford call-up extends Cambridge's England Counties XV contingent

THE ENGLAND Counties XV will contain three players from the same house when they tackle Ireland’s Ulster Bank Club International Team in Dublin on Friday week (March 18, 17.30pm kick-off) following the call-up of Cambridge RUFC fly-half Dan Mugford.

Mugford lives with his team-mates Ben Spencer and Tom Wheatcroft and his inclusion in the squad takes the Cambridge contingent to four with lock Robbie Hurrell also in the team.

Mugford gets his chance following the withdrawal because of injury of London Scottish No 10 James Brown and given a run of bad luck earlier in the season, getting a call from Counties Manager Michael Old was a massive boost for the 19-year-old.

“In November I ruptured a ligament in my ankle which kept me out of the game for a month or so and while I was recovering, I was doing some DIY on a glass-panelled door and managed to cut through a tendon in my thumb.” he said: “That kept me out for another spell.

“At that stage I was simply looking to get back playing after the injury and push on to the end of the season. I certainly wasn’t expecting anything like this and it’s absolutely brilliant that the chance has come up. It’s been a real confidence booster and some light at the end of the tunnel.

“And with three of us from the same house all being involved, there’s a real buzz going around the place.”

A product of Exeter Chiefs Ivybridge Community College, Mugford played alongside Spencer before the pair decided to accept an offer to join Cambridge after coach Bob Crooks went to watch them on the advice of a friend.

“We both believed that getting game time at National League level was the key for us and we moved up to Cambridge,” said Mugford: “They’ve been really good and got behind us all the way.”

“James Brown has been a first-class member of the England Counties set-up, both on and off the field, and we’re sorry to see him having to withdraw,” says Counties Manager Michael Old: “But his bad luck opens a door for Dan and I’m sure he’ll grasp the opportunity with both hands.

“He’s next to the youngest in the squad – his housemate Ben Spencer is nine months younger at 18 – and I’m sure being with the England Counties will be a great experience for them both.

“It’s always very exciting to see young players coming into the team and testing themselves in a different, challenging environment. On our last tour to Canada we had Tom Kessell from Plymouth – a Devon team-mate of Dan’s - in the squad and he was a revelation. Hopefully these two teenagers can enjoy the same experience and really blossom in Dublin.”


England Counties (v Ulster Bank Club International Team, Old Belvedere RUFC, Dublin, Friday, March 18, 2011): Forwards - Dave Allen* (Blackheath), Sam Beaumont (Fylde), Alex Clarke (London Scottish), Matt Hall* (Blaydon), Robbie Hurrell (Cambridge), James Kellard* (Barking), Aaron Liffchak (Barking), Dan Lloyd-Jones (Barking), Alex MacKenzie (Barking), James Ngan (Barking), Steve Pape* (Rosslyn Park), Tom Standfield (London Scottish).
Backs - Gareth Collins* (Leicester Lions), Peter Hodgkinson (EalingTrailfinders), David Howells* (London Scottish), Tom Jarvis* (Stourbridge), Stefan Liebenberg (Old Albanians), Dan Mugford (Cambridge), Ben Spencer (Cambridge), James Stephenson (Blackheath), Mike Waywell (Fylde), Tom Wheatcroft (Cambridge)
(* denotes previous England Counties cap)

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Elusive win in Ireland evades Counties XV yet again
Unofficial England Rugby Union (IP Logged)
12/03/2011 17:52
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2011:03:19:09:52:06 by Kath..

 
Re: England Counties XV named to play Ireland March 18th
England News (IP Logged)
14/03/2011 17:56
England Counties make changes - but SE core can be key
Monday March 14, 2011
Issued by Tony Simpson


http://matchdaymail.rfu.com/press/lite/tools/publisher/b/0/d/2/2/b0d220a67463eb2baf8489435036c617.jpg
Aaron Liffchak

WITH a dozen of their players drawn from only three clubs, England Counties should find the challenge of bonding themselves into a cohesive unit less of a challenge than normal when they travel to Dublin to face the Ulster Bank Club International Team at Old Belvedere RFC net Friday (March 18).

The Counties squad of 22 players will have three days to get to know each other and gel into an organised unit, always a tall order when players who do not know each other’s names are brought together.

Prop Aaron Liffchak is one of strong Barking contingent in the line-up and he is confident that having club teammates involved can be a real bonus when the squad arrives in Ireland and gets down to putting some collective organisation in place.

“There are six of us from Barking, including our club captain, James Kellard and four other forwards, so that gives the team a nucleus of players who know each other,”
says Liffchak, the Director of Rugby at Trinity School in Croydon: “Add three players from Cambridge and three from London Scottish, who all play in National One, and you have a solid group of players who have valuable familiarity in a squad where 15 players will be playing at this level for the first time.

“Welding a team together in a few days is always a challenge for the coaches and the players and hopefully seeing a few familiar faces will be useful.”


Having played for England at Under 16, Under 18, Under 21, Students and Universities level, the 25-year-old is well aware of the challenge facing every new representative squad is it comes together for the first time and it is a challenge he is relishing.

“I was in the frame for the Counties last year, but having just taken up my rugby duties at Trinity, I couldn’t make myself available,” says the former Saracens and London Welsh front-row man, who was a professional player from being an 18-year-old until joining the staff at Trinity.

“Happily, my head Mark Bishop was really supportive and gave me time off to make the trip, Barking also backed us and once that had approval had been offered, it was absolutely great to be able to accept.

“It’s also a great honour for the club to have so many players involved, especially when we only came up into National One this season and no-one was expecting us to set the league alight.

“Now my targets are to make a positive impact on the squad and, of course, to win the game.”

The sixth Barking player to be called up for the Counties was David Vincent, who came into the squad when London Scottish wingman David Howells had to withdraw after picking up a shoulder injury in a club game on Saturday.

A third change to the original selection brings London Scottish lock Josh Brown into the squad as replacement for Robbie Hurrell (Cambridge), who damaged his knee playing against London Scottish on Saturday.

England Counties

(v Ulster Bank Club International Team, Old Belvedere RUFC, Dublin, Friday, March 18, 2011): Forwards - Dave Allen* (Blackheath), Sam Beaumont (Fylde), Josh Brown (London Scottish), Alex Clarke (London Scottish), Matt Hall* (Blaydon), James Kellard* (Barking), Aaron Liffchak (Barking), Dan Lloyd-Jones (Barking), Alex MacKenzie (Barking), James Ngan (Barking), Steve Pape* (Rosslyn Park), Tom Standfield (London Scottish).
Backs - Gareth Collins* (Leicester Lions), Peter Hodgkinson (EalingTrailfinders), Tom Jarvis* (Stourbridge), Stefan Liebenberg (Old Albanians), Dan Mugford (Cambridge), Ben Spencer (Cambridge), James Stephenson (Blackheath), David Vincent (Barking), Mike Waywell (Fylde), Tom Wheatcroft (Cambridge)
* denotes previous England Counties cap

 
Re: Collins leads England Counties XV in Dublin
England News (IP Logged)
15/03/2011 10:18
Collins leads England Counties XV in Dublin
Tuesday March 15, 2011
Issued by Tony Simpson

http://matchdaymail.rfu.com/press/lite/tools/publisher/5/8/1/1/5/581152996dcf25560c13274553a9b231.jpg

Gareth Collins

LEICESTER Lions captain Gareth Collins will be testing his leadership skills at a higher level this week having been chosen to skipper the England Counties XV in their game against Ireland’s Ulster Bank Club International Team at Old Belvedere RFC on Friday (March 18).

The 27-year-old Leicester school-teacher has been the Lions captain for two years and also has previous England Counties experience which has been an important element in his selection says Counties Manager Michael Old.

“We wanted someone who had been involved with the Counties XV and was familiar with the ethos of the team and how we do things,”
said Old: “Gareth has been a good tourist on previous trips to Korea & Japan and Canada and he also has the valuable experience of leading his club side for a couple of years.

“He follows in the footsteps of an outstanding leader from the Midlands in Matt Long, who did a terrific job in Canada last year, and I’m sure he’ll maintain those high standards.”


Collins’ initial reaction to the invitation to lead the team was one of complete shock, although there was no hesitation in accepting the job.

“It only took a milli-second to say ‘Yes’ – it’s a big honour and not something you turn down,” he said: “With more time to think about it, it’s a bit nerve-wracking, but I’m also very excited about it and looking forward to doing the job.

“My only previous experience of doing the captaincy job came when I was an 18-year-old at Lawrence Sheriff School in Rugby and over the last two seasons leading Leicester Lions.

“I’ll try to approach things in the same way that I’ve done the job with the Lions and I hope that will stand me in good stead. I think that my experience with England Counties more than anything will play a part, especially in trying to help what is a very young set of backs.

“The challenge is all the more interesting because Tom Jarvis is the only person in the squad that I’ve played with before. That makes it a bit more difficult, but it’s up to me to find out what these guys are like early on and try to do what’s right for the team.

“Part of my surprise came from the fact that a lot of the players come from the top end of National One, which is a division above where I play, but as always, I’ve never had any expectation of having a place in a Counties team and it’s always a thrill to be in that company.


And what can the Counties players expect in the confines of the dressing room?

“I wouldn’t describe myself as a screamer, although I have my moments. I’m more about seeing from the back how things are shaping and suggesting where I think we should go. We have a few old heads up front who can motivate the pack without me having to do it, but if needs be, I’ll bang on the walls.”

With tours to Korea & Japan and Canada under his belt, Collins will not lack ammunition when it comes to motivating his men.

“The last game in Canada for me was the pinnacle of my involvement with the Counties and that has helped to bring me to this position. Beating Ireland in Dublin is our only objective at this point, but Counties tours are unbelievable experiences and I want to get across to the players that if there is something in the pipeline this summer, we all have an opportunity to put ourselves forward by playing well and winning.”


England Counties
(v Ulster Bank Club International Team, Old Belvedere RUFC, Dublin, Friday, March 18, 2011): Forwards - Dave Allen* (Blackheath), Sam Beaumont (Fylde), Josh Brown (London Scottish), Alex Clarke (London Scottish), Matt Hall* (Blaydon), James Kellard* (Barking), Aaron Liffchak (Barking), Dan Lloyd-Jones (Barking), Alex MacKenzie (Barking), James Ngan (Barking), Steve Pape* (Rosslyn Park), Tom Standfield (London Scottish).
Backs - Gareth Collins* (Leicester Lions), Peter Hodgkinson (EalingTrailfinders), Tom Jarvis* (Stourbridge), Stefan Liebenberg (Old Albanians), Dan Mugford (Cambridge), Ben Spencer (Cambridge), James Stephenson (Blackheath), David Vincent (Barking), Mike Waywell (Fylde), Tom Wheatcroft (Cambridge)
* denotes previous England Counties cap

 
Re: Another Beaumont claims an England RU shirt
RFU: Press Release (IP Logged)
17/03/2011 16:51
http://matchdaymail.rfu.com/press/lite/tools/publisher/c/b/4/d/6/cb4d619672d8937057a4585e1e123db1.jpg

SAM Beaumont, son of former England and British Lions captain Bill, will be adding an England shirt of his own to the extensive family collection when he plays for the England RU Counties XV against the Ulster Bank Club International Team at Old Belvedere RFC in Dublin on Friday (March 18m 5.30pm).

Beaumont Junior has already played for the Barbarians and is booked to make another appearance in April, but this will be his first England selection and comes in the same city that his father first pulled on a senior England shirt against Ireland in 1975.

“I’m a bit nervous about the game, but it’s a great feeling and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it,” says 25-year-old Fylde and Counties No 8: “It’s going to be a hard game, but I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get going. Obviously my ambition is to play well and help us to get a win. I think the preparation has been very good considering how little time there is.

“The group has come together very well and the training has been hard. Everybody has gelled together well and the work has been fairly sharp, with very few mistakes being made. Let’s hope we can take that into Friday.”


Inevitably, comparisons with the famous father will be made when he runs out in an England shirt at Old Belvedere, but he does not see his family ties as exerting any real pressure.

“I’ve never had any pressure from dad to play the game. He’s just let me get on with it and supported me all the way. I started at Fylde in the minis and worked my way through to play for Lancashire Under 18s. Then I played at university before going back to Fylde to get fully involved and got picked for the Lancashire senior team.

“The game for the Barbarians last year was against Bedford and that was a great experience. Now I’m looking forward to the next game at Richmond, when my younger brother Josh will also be playing.

“It will be great to wear an England shirt for the first time and sing the national anthem, but any celebrations will have to be low key – I’m flying back early on Saturday to play for Fylde in a local derby against Preston Grasshoppers. At least that’s what I’m saying now.”


Young Beaumont is one of nine players in the starting line-up who will be making their Counties XV debut on Friday as the customary merry-go-round that is the selection process for this team unfolds along familiar lines.

Blaydon hooker Matt Hall is the only survivor from the team which beat their Irish Counterparts at Stourbridge last year, while Blackheath’s Dave Allen (2007) and his Barking back-row colleague James Kellard (2009) are the only other players to have faced the Irish previously.

The back division contains only skipper Gareth Collins at full-back with any previous experience at this level and with the Irish side containing the bulk of the team which played at Stourbridge

Said Manager Mike Old: “We’ve had two very good day when training has been extremely sharp. I’ve never before been in training sessions where a ball hasn’t been dropped in two hours. That shows the skill levels and the commitment of the players.

“I’m pleased with the selection, which was one of the toughest we’ve had and I don’t think we have any weak links in the team. I'm happy with Sam’s selection, he’s earned his chance as a specialist No 8 and he forms a very strong back-row of players with differing styles.”

England Counties (v Ulster Bank Club International Team, Friday,March 18, 2011 at Old Belvedere RFC, Dublin, 5.30):
Gareth Collins (Leicester Lions) capt; David Vincent (Barking), Peter Hodgkinson (Ealing Trailfinders), Tom Wheatcroft (Barking), Tom Jarvis (Stourbridge); Dan Mugford (Cambridge), Ben Spencer (Cambridge); Alex Clarke (London Scottish), Matt Hall (Blaydon), Aaron Liffchak (Barking), Steve Pape (Rosslyn Park), Josh Brown (London Scottish), James Kellard (Barking), Dave Allen (Blackheath), Sam Beaumont (Fylde).
Replacements:
Dan Lloyd-Jones (Barking), Alex MacKenzie (Barking), James Ngan (Barking), Tom Standfield (London Scottish), Stefan Liebenberg (Old Albanians), Mike Waywell (Fylde), James Stephenson (Blackheath).

 
Re: England Counties XV named to play Ireland March 18th
Admin: (IP Logged)
19/03/2011 09:51
Elusive win in Ireland evades Counties XV yet again
Friday March 18, 2011
Issued by Tony Simpson

Ulster Bank Club International Team 16 England Counties 8

ENGLAND Counties hopes of winning on Irish soil for the first time were undone at Old Belvedere RFC in Dublin tonight when they paid dearly for letting scarce scoring chances slip through their fingers in a game where defences generally held sway.

In contrast the Irishmen engineered even fewer chances than their opponents, but on the two occasions they opened up the Counties rearguard, they nailed the score.

The visitors had the better of the first half in terms of possession, but while they sought to move the ball wide as often as possible, they found the Irish defence watertight.

On the couple of occasions when cracks appeared, handling errors denied them points and it was left to scrum-half Ben Spencer to notch their only score with a sixth-minute penalty

Though fly-half Barry Keshan missed a couple of penalty shots, he hit the target at the third attempt after 36 minutes to leave the sides level at the break.

The crucial breakthrough came seven minutes after the restart when the Counties lost possession at the back of a scrum near the Irish 22 metre line as they were exerting serious pressure once again. This time the ball was transferred smartly through the backs to overcover wingman David Mongan, who showed plenty of pace and a strong hand off to gallop in from half-way.

Prior to that score the Counties had done well to contain the tight forward driving which is the hallmark of the home side, but when they won a position near the visitors line after 58 minutes, they moved the ball through a number of phases before lock Simon Crawford powered over.

The Counties got back into contention on the hour with a well worked try through the backs. Centre Peter Hodgkinson did the spadework with a break and a perfectly timed scoring pass to full-back Gareth Collins, who just had enough pace to outrun the cover and score.

At that stage the Counties started to find themselves at odds with the referee’s interpretation of events and their opponents started to turn the screw via some well-organised ball retention which culminated in a last minute penalty by Keeshan to settle the outcome.
“I think we tried to play an awful lot of rugby, but a couple of mistakes let us down,” said Counties Manager Mike Old: “We’re very disappointed, but it’s what Ireland do to us year in and year out – they capitalise on their chances and make us pay or not taking ours.

“But I think our boys showed huge commitment and huge passion.”

"I'm very disappointed because I thought we playded as well as in any Counties game I've been involved in" said captain Gareth Collins: "But at this level you have to take the chances when they come your way. Tonight the Irish lads managed that, but we didn't."

England Counties XV:
Gareth Collins (Leicester Lions) capt; David Vincent (Barking), Peter Hodgkinson (Ealing Trailfinders), Tom Wheatcroft (Barking), Tom Jarvis (Stourbridge); Dan Mugford (Cambridge), Ben Spencer (Cambridge); Alex Clarke (London Scottish), Matt Hall (Blaydon), Aaron Liffchak (Barking), Steve Pape (Rosslyn Park), Josh Brown (London Scottish), James Kellard (Barking), Dave Allen (Blackheath), Sam Beaumont (Fylde).
Replacements all used: Dan Lloyd-Jones (Barking), Alex MacKenzie (Barking), James Ngan (Barking), Tom Standfield (London Scottish), Stefan Liebenberg (Old Albanians), Mike Waywell (Fylde), James Stephenson (Blackheath).

Ulster Bank Club International Team: John O'Brien (Buccaneers); John Cleary (Galwegians), Eric Moloney (Dolphin), Evan Ryan (Clontarf), David Mongan (Old Belvedere); Barry Keeshan (Dolphin), Gerry Hurley (Cork Constitution); John Ryan (UCC), Richie Sweeney (St. Mary's College), Christy Condon (Dolphin), Philip Donnellan (UCC), Simon Crawford (Clontarf), Hugh Hogan (St Mary's College), Barry O'Mahony (Clontarf), Frank Cogan (Cork Constitution) capt.
Replacements all used: Ciaran Kavanagh (Clontarf) Ger Slattery (Young Munster), Liam Og Murphy (Young Munster), Damian Hall (St. Mary's College), Matt D'Arcy (St. Mary's College), Alan Kingsley (Young Munster), Stuart Morrow (Ballynahinch).

Referee: L Hodges (Wales)

Tony Simpson

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