Next month, England U18s head to South Africa for a 3 match tour, and we were chuffed to see two familiar names in the squad.
Kieran Wilkinson and Aaron Reed, who have both played junior rugby at Hoppers, feature in the 26 man squad that will face South Africa Schools in the opening fixture on Friday 11 August in Cape Town, before matches against Wales and France respectively.
Kieran, also of Kirkham Grammar and Sale Sharks, has previously received the ‘Knee High to a Grasshopper’ award, which recognises individuals who have played 10 years of junior rugby at Hoppers.
Aaron, who is also a Kirkham Grammar and Sale Sharks player, featured in the fantastic U18 fixture against Scotland at Lightfoot Green earlier in the year.
Led by head coach John Fletcher, along with coaches Russell Earnshaw, Mark Luffman and Peter Walton, England U18 have enjoyed an impressive season so far, most recently winning all of their games in April’s International Series in Wales.
‘A fantastic opportunity’
“The tour is a fantastic opportunity for these players to play in the southern hemisphere in a challenging environment,” said Fletcher.
“On the field, I want to see us improve in each game, we are in our off season and lots of the boys will not have had much rugby so it will take a little bit of time to get them back up to speed.
“We’ve chosen a strong, talented group and we will only focus on ourselves, the skills and principles that we think are important for this age group within our pathway. We’re really looking forward to spending time with the players; it’s important for us coaches to get to know them both on and off the field.”
Well done to Kieran and Aaron, and congratulations from everyone at Preston Grasshoppers.