England U18 Head Coach John Fletcher has named his team to play Portugal as they begin their defence of the Under 18 European Championship tomorrow.

England put 10 tries past their Portuguese opponents, beating them 62-5, in their opening match of last year’s tournament in Poland.

Scrum-half Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, Blundells School) will lead the age-group side out tomorrow in Montauban, southern France.

Fletcher said: “We have played Portugal a number of times in recent seasons.  We know what to expect and they will be up for the challenge. It is important we start the tournament well, put down a marker and produce a good performance that we can build on as a team over the next week or so.” 

The team go into the tournament having won two of their three games this season, with victories over France (21-5) and Scotland (39-27), before a narrow defeat to Wales (23-15) earlier this month.

England have won the European title the previous three seasons. 

England squad to face Portugal (KO 4pm GMT)

15. Johnny McPhillips (Newcastle Falcons, Sedbergh School) 
14. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins, Trinity) 
13. Max Wright (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henry's) 
12. Max Malins (Saracens, Felsted)  
11. Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins, Wellington College) 
10. Mark Dixon (Sale Sharks, Lymm HS) 
9. Jack Maunder (Exeter Chiefs, Blundells School) 
1. Ollie Dawe (Exeter Chiefs, Bicton College) 
2. Curtis Langdon (London Irish, St Pauls Sunbury) 
3. Charles Capps (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henry's) 
4. Tim Cardall (Northampton Saints, Moulton College) 
5. Josh Caulfield (Exeter Chiefs, Bicton College) 
6. Joe Craggs (Newcastle Falcons, Gosforth Academy) 
7. Will Evans (Leicester Tigers, Wyggeston & QEI College) 
8. Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby, Merchiston Castle School) 

Replacements

16. Dan Frost (Bath Rugby, Filton College) 
17. Jake Pope (Sale Sharks, Myerscough College) 
18. Jack Edmonson (Bath Rugby, Sherborne) 
19. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, Haileybury College) 
20. Archie White (Harlequins, Epsom College) 
21. Will Allman (Northampton Saints, Trent College) 
22. Alex Mitchell  (Sale Sharks, Lymm HS) 
23. Theo Brophy Clews (London Irish, Abingdon School) 

Tournament schedule:

Friday 27th March 
England U18 v Portugal U18 kick off 4pm (UK time), Montauban 

Tuesday 31st March 
England U18 v TBC, kick off 6pm (UK time), Blagnac 

Saturday 4th April 
England U18 v TBC, kick off TBC, Toulouse