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Home > News > England U16 hopefuls make international bid
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Your News England U16 hopefuls make international bid

England's Under 16 hopefuls will step up their preparations for this season's international matches when the first Divisional Festival takes place at Moseley RFC's Billesley Common ground this weekend.

Four trial matches will bring together the brightest young talent from around England's four divisions, in front of the national selectors including the new England Under 16 head coach, Phil Stanlake.

On Friday January 9, the Midlands play the South West followed by London & South East against the North. On Sunday January 11, it will be the North against the Midlands followed by the South West meeting London & South East.

The festival was switched from Broadstreet RFC to Moseley's 3G all-weather pitch to take account of the current cold snap in the area, and it is a crucial stage as England Under 16 build towards the annual Four Nations Tournament in Wales.

England U16 will face Wales, France and Italy in the competition which runs from April 6 to 16.

And the England U16 A team will play three matches of their own in the Millfield International Festival in Somerset from April 6 to 12. Teams taking part include Scotland, France A, Wales A, USA, Canada and Portugal, with one more to be confirmed.

The next step after this weekend is for the England selectors to pick a squad of 40 players who will train at the second Divisional Festival at Broadstreet RFC on the weekend of January 23-25. The squad will train on Friday and Saturday, January 23 and 24. And those not involved in that session will have their chance to shine in a match between a combined London & South East/South West team and the Midlands/North at Broadstreet on Sunday January 25 (10am).

That will be followed by a development session for 60 players at Cokethorpe School in Oxfordshire from February 6 to 8, which kicks off a series of squad camps and practice matches before the much-anticipated international fixtures in April.

Kick-off times for the RFU's Under 16 Divisional Festival 2009 at Moseley RFC:

Friday January 9:

Midlands v South West, 12.50pm

London & South East v North, 2.30pm

Sunday January 11:

North v Midlands, 9.30am

South West v London & South East, 11am

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