England A to face Portugal

England A to face Portugal

A strong matchday 23 has been announced for England Men’s A’s fixture versus Portugal, with Bath Rugby lock Charlie Ewels named as captain. 

The A side takes on Portugal in the long-awaited fixture at Leicester Tigers Stadium this Sunday 25 February, kicking-off at 13:00 GMT and will be streamed live on England Rugby social media channels. 

The starting XV includes five players already capped by England, including Bath Rugby’s Ewels who has made 30 appearances for the Senior Men’s side after his first Saxons appearance in 2016. Of the matchday 23, 17 of the cohort have come through the men’s pathway system with caps at either U18 or U20 age-grade level.  

Harlequins back Oscar Beard is another addition to George Skivington's England Men's A setup ahead of this Sunday's clash, linking up with clubmates Fin Baxter, Sam Riley and Cadan Murley at Loughborough University this week. Beard goes into the starting XV, partnering Max Ojomoh in midfield, with the pair both having been involved with the senior squad last week.  

The squad, which features some of the biggest names from around the Gallagher Premiership, has been training in the East Midlands this week under the leadership of head coach George Skivington, attack coach Sam Vesty and defence coach Dom Waldouck. The coaching trio selected the matchday 23 in consultation with England senior men’s head coach Steve Borthwick and RFU Executive Director of Performance Rugby Conor O’Shea.  

Os Lobos will face England following an impressive showing in last year’s Rugby World Cup, which included a draw against Georgia followed by a first-ever tournament win over quarter-finalists Fiji.  

Fans attending the fixture in Leicester will have the opportunity to watch the future stars of the England Men’s senior team in action.

England Men’s A head coach, George Skivington, said: “It’s been great to get together with the group this week at Loughborough and I’ve been really impressed by the high standards they’ve shown. We’ve put the boys through a challenging programme that has tested them to the intense rigor that Portugal will arrive with on Sunday. 

“Our visitors are in the midst of the Rugby Europe Championship and will no doubt be using Sunday as an opportunity to experiment, but their strength as a union has been evident recently. They will certainly provide a stern test for us, but it’s a test that the players, Dom, Sam and I are relishing. 

"I am really excited to see the side take to the field against Portugal on Sunday. I really believe we have assembled a squad that possesses some of the most exciting developing talent the Gallagher Premiership has to offer, and I’m sure they’ll put on a show for the fans in Leicester.” 

England Men's A team to face Portugal (includes current club, community club and senior caps) 

15 Josh Hodge (Exeter Chiefs, Vale of Lune RUFC) 

14 Cadan Murley (Harlequins, Wadebridge Camels RFC) 

13 Oscar Beard (Harlequins, Farnham RUFC) 

12 Max Ojomoh (Bath Rugby, Chippenham RFC) 

11 Will Muir (Bath Rugby, Guisborough RUFC) 

10 Charlie Atkinson (Gloucester Rugby, Oxford RFC) 

9 Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, Tycroes RFC, 6 caps) 

1 Fin Baxter (Harlequins, Cobham RFC) 

2 Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons, Seaton Rangers ARLFC, 7 caps) 

3 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers, Nottingham Moderns RFC & Newark RFC, 7 caps) 

4 Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs, Devonport Services RFC) 

5 Charlie Ewels (c) (Bath Rugby, Bournemouth Rugby, 30 caps) 

6 Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints, Bromyard Rugby Club, 1 cap) 

7 Guy Pepper (Newcastle Falcons, Barnard Castle Rugby Club) 

8 Alfie Barbeary (Bath Rugby, Banbury RUFC) 


16 Sam Riley (Harlequins, Chobham RFC) 

17 Tarek Haffar (Northampton Saints, Grasshoppers RFC) 

18 Josh Iosefa-Scott (Exeter Chiefs, Melville Rugby) 

19 Ben Bamber (Sale Sharks, Langworthy Reds ARLFC) 

20 Greg Fisilau (Exeter Chiefs, Devonport Services RFC) 

21 Caolan Englefield (Gloucester Rugby, Old Rutlishians Rugby) 

22 Jamie Shillcock (Leicester Tigers, Southam RUFC) 

23 Oliver Hartley (Saracens, Hammersmith and Fulham Rugby Club) 

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