England fans at the Six Nations game against Italy at Twickenham

PROSPECTIVE ENGLAND rugby internationals of the future will be in action in the North West in two high profile matches in April.

England Under 16s will play Italy Under 17s at Macclesfield’s Priory Park ground on Wednesday April 20 (3pm) and Wales Under 16s at Fylde’s Woodlands Memorial Ground on Sunday April 24 (2.30pm).

Representing England Under 16s is a proud moment for any young rugby player and has proved an important first rung on the international ladder for a number of today’s England Elite and England Saxons squad members. Ben Foden, David Wilson, Joe Simpson, Joe Worsley, Andrew Sheridan, Danny Care  and Jonny Wilkinson, all members of the current England Elite squad, were all capped by England at Under 16 level.

The current England Saxons squad contains an even stronger contingent of England Under 16 old boys , among them Anthony Allen, Dominic Waldouck, Duncan Bell, Jordan Crane, Andy Saull, Geoff Parling, George Robson, Graham Kitchener, Matt Mullan, Steve Borthwick, Ben Skirving, Manu Tuilagi, James Gaskell, Lee Mears,  Olly Morgan, Tom Rees, Mathew Tait and Rob Webber.

George Squires, chairman of England 16 Group, said: “Playing for England Under 16s is an important first step into international rugby. When you talk to past players they always say how valuable that first international experience is, knowing what is like to prepare for an international and the emotion of representing your country. We are delighted to see that so many former England Under 16 internationals have now progressed into the England Elite and England Saxons squads and that many of them are also making their mark in the Aviva Premiership and the RFU Championship.”

Ticket prices for the England v Wales Under 16 international at Fylde RFC on April 24 are: £5 adult; £2 concessions, including U16s

Tickets are available from:

Club Office, Fylde RFC, Woodlands Memorial Ground, Blackpool Road, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire FY8 4EL. 01253 734733 or  info@fylderugby.co.uk

Preparations for the internationals at Macclesfield and Fylde and the Wellington Festival, between April 16 and 22, will begin at Abingdon School in Oxfordshire from February 22 to 25.

The England selectors have named a squad of 76 players to take part in the development camp which will be followed by a further camp at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire from March 4 to 6.

The squad, which was selected after players were assessed during a successful Divisional Festival at Broadstreet RFC near Coventry last weekend, includes George Trick, the son of former England and Bath winger David Trick, fly-half Charlie Wicks, son of former Chelsea, Derby County and Queens Park Rangers footballer  Steve Wicks, and flanker George Jeavons-Fellows, grandson of John Jeavons-Fellows, a former RFU representative on the International Rugby Board.