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Home > News > South West on top and Midlands win too on final day of U16 Festival
Your News South West on top and Midlands win too on final day of U16 Festival

The Midlands and the South West were winners on the second and final day of matches in the Under 16 Divisional Festival at Moseley RFC in Birmingham today.

It gave the South West a victorious two wins out of two in the festival though the priority is developing players for the future which includes England U16's international matches in April.

The Under 16 national selectors took the lead in the make-up of the four divisional teams, mindful of the need to try different individuals and combinations in front of the England U16 coaching panel which included Phil Stanlake, the new head coach.

A biting wind on a bitterly cold morning greeted spectators at Billesley Common, but the use of Moseley's 3G all-weather training pitch made sure the matches went ahead. The Midlands edged out the North 15-10, followed by the South West defeating London & South East 5-0.

On Friday the South West had defeated the Midlands 35-15, while London & South East were 25-15 winners against the North. On Saturday morning the players were split into two squads (North and Midlands; South West and London & South East) for training at Moseley.

The second U16 Divisional Festival will be at Broadstreet RFC near Coventry on January 23-25. An elite squad of 40 players - to be announced later this week - will train together and the remaining players in contention for England selection will play a further trial match between a combined North/Midlands side and South West/London & South East.

North 10 Midlands 15

The Midlands gave an improved performance to finish the season's first Under 16 Divisional Festival with a win over the North at Moseley RFC today (Sunday January 11).

Midlands centre Charlie Walker repeated his first-day feat by scoring two tries.

Each of the North's bench players from Friday's opening 25-15 defeat to London & South East was picked from the start, while two-try wing Tom Kill was switched to full back. Five North players from the first match were unavailable through illness or injury.

North second row Tom Ailes opened the scoring after eight minutes, after a left-to-right move of several phases, before a couple of penalties conceded by the North in quick succession disrupted their defence and allowed Walker to get over for his first try.

A bitterly cold cross-wind made conditions unpredictable, and the North made a few errors, though tighthead prop Ryan Fish and No 8 Chris Downham showed up well around the field - or, to be precise, Moseley's frost-beating 3G rubber-crumb training pitch.

Midlands scrum half Christophe Ridley controlled his backline well, but the North led again in the second half when fly half Ed Hainsworth helped set up centre Ben Perkins for the try.

The restart went loose and a wicked bounce - or the kindest one from the Midlands' point of view - was seized on by replacement prop Hugh McBride to make it 10-10.

Walker squeezed in at the corner for the conclusive try in favour of the Midlands, who had tackled everything that moved in a North jersey.

North U16:

15 Tom KILL (Durham School & Durham)

14 William HEYLINGS (Hymer's College & Yorkshire)

13 Ben PERKINS (Arnold School & Lancashire)

12 Robert AVERY-WRIGHT (Queen Elizabeth Community College & Devon) *

11 Arnie ELLISON (Bradford Grammar School & Yorkshire)

10 Ed HAINSWORTH (Bradford Grammar School & Yorkshire)

9 Oliver CHAMBERS (Manchester Grammar School & Cheshire)

1 Josh THUNDERCLIFFE (Filey School & Yorkshire)

2 Tom BURTONWOOD (Baines High School & Lancashire)

3 Ryan FISH (Ripley St Thomas High School & Lancashire)

4 Joe ROBINSON (Kirkbie Kendal School & Cumbria)

5 Tom AILES (Ashton-on-Mersey High School & Cheshire)

6 Hugo GOVATT (Leeds Grammar School & Yorkshire)

7 Angus ROBERTSON (Barnard Castle School & Durham)

8 Chris DOWNHAM (Queen Katherine School & Cumbria).


Jay RUDLAND-THOMAS (Lancaster RGS & Lancashire)

Sam KERRY (Ridgewood School & Yorkshire)

Tom COATES (Wales High School & Yorkshire)

Dominic BARROW (Bradford Grammar School & Yorkshire)

Danny CASSON (South Hunsley High School & Yorkshire);


Henry FORBES (Ampleforth College & Yorkshire)

George DRURY (King's School Macclesfield & Cheshire)

Jack HARRISON (Sedbergh School & Cumbria)

Peter LUCOCK (Allerton Grange & Yorkshire)

Mark JENNINGS (Lymm High School & Cheshire).

(* switched from South West Division)

Midlands U16:

15 George SISMEY-DURRANT (Bedford School & East Midlands)

14 Tom CHELLEW (Bedford School & East Midlands)

13 Charlie WALKER (Oakham School & Leicestershire)

12 Harry KEY (Robert Smyth School & Leicestershire)

11 Jim WIGGLESWORTH (Trent College & Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire)

10 Rory LYNN (QEGS Ashbourne & Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire)

9 Christophe RIDLEY (Loughborough Grammar & Leicestershire)

1 Curtis WEAVER (Longsands College & East Midlands)

2 Tom GRIFFITHS (Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School & North Midlands)

3 David OWEN (Lawrence Sheriff School & North Midlands)

4 Joe CAIN (John Taylor High School & Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire)

5 Ashley COOPER (King Edward VI Lichfield & Staffordshire)

6 Barney WOODS (Bishop of Hereford's Bluecoat School & North Midlands)

7 Lewis HOOK (Northampton School for Boys & East Midlands

8 James WARR (Northampton School for Boys & East Midlands)


Hugh McBRIDE (Bromsgrove School & North Midlands)

Harrison GEORGE (Norwich School & Eastern Counties) *

Ryan FURNISS (Chantry High School & North Midlands)

Keifer LAXTON (John Taylor High School & Staffordshire)

Conor JOYCE (Solihull School & Warwickshire);

Josef SROKOWSKI (Norwich School & Eastern Counties) *

Jack SAMPSON (Denstone College & Staffordshire)

James HILL (Old Swinford Hospital School & North Midlands)

Daniel SMALL (Moulton College & East Midlands).


Charlie FRANKHAM (Sharnbrook School & East Midlands)

Oliver SIMCOX (Old Swinford Hospital School & North Midlands)

(* switched from London & South East Division)

South West 5 London & South East 0

The South West made it two wins out of two to finish on top in the season's first Under 16 Divisional Festival at Moseley RFC in Birmingham today (Sunday January 11).

Both teams moved their replacement front row from Friday's opening matches up to start this second and final match, and the South West combination had a lot to live up to after the first-day performances by Luke Cowan-Dickie, William Tanner and Tom Heard.

Matthew Jones began in the second row for the South West today, having been called into Friday's replacements when Jake Coplestone replaced the injured Julian Watkins of Cokethorpe School in the team which defeated the Midlands, 35-15.

A fierce diagonal cross-wind grew stronger as the match went on, and made getting the ball wide and kicking out of hand unpredictable ventures.

London & South East lock George Merrick very nearly reprised his try-scoring efforts from Friday, but was just held up in a scoreless first half.

Both sides changed their front rows with 20 minutes remaining, as the South West, with help from the wind, reversed London's first-half advantage in territory. London's defence was sound, though, while the South West's back row defence led by flanker Louis Spencer was equally efficient.

The decisive try came five minutes from the end. Second row Will Graulich caught a line-out for the South West, his fellow forwards drove it on and replacement hooker William Tanner scored his third try of the festival.

South West U16:

15 Alex DAVIS (QEH School & Bristol)

14 Alex BROWN (Bramdean School & Devon)

13 Tom WALLACE (RGS High Wycombe & Buckinghamshire)

12 Elliott MARKHAM (Wellington College & Berkshire)

11 Ian CLARK (Colston's Collegiate School & Bristol)

10 Freddie GABBITASS (Millfield School & Somerset)

9 Ollie MASSY-BIRCH (Kelly College & Devon)

1 Mike FLOOK (Sir Bernard Lovell & Gloucestershire)

2 Nico WOODWARD (Brockworth Enterprise School & Gloucestershire)

3 Jake CAULFIELD (Priory Community School & Somerset)

4 Matthew JONES (Gosford Hill School & Oxfordshire)

5 Vadim TOCZYLKIN (Wellington College & Oxfordshire)

6 William GRAULICH (King's School Gloucester & Gloucestershire)

7 Louis SPENCER (Churchdown School & Gloucestershire)

8 Freddie CLARKE (Millfield School & Somerset)


Luke COWAN-DICKIE (Mounts Bay School & Cornwall)

William TANNER (Queen's College Taunton & Somerset

Tom HEARD (West Somerset College & Somerset)

Jake COPLESTONE (St John's School Marlborough & Berkshire)

Henry CONCHIE (Truro School & Cornwall);

Tommy BELL (Ivybridge & Devon)

James DOWNING (Millfield School & Somerset).


Charlie GORDON (Wellington College & Oxfordshire)

Note to desks: In Friday's match - Midlands 15 South West 35 - the South West No 6 was Jake COPLESTONE (St John's School Marlborough & Berkshire) not Julian WATKINS. Coplestone's place on the bench was taken by Matthew JONES (Gosford Hill School & Oxfordshire).

London & South East U16:

15 Jack MASTERS (King's School Canterbury & Kent)

14 David ONYEME (Langley School & Eastern Counties)

13 Samuel HILL (Queen Elizabeth Community College & Devon)

12 Ben AXTEN-BURRETT (John Fisher School & Surrey)

11 Nathan YARDE (Trinity School Croydon & Surrey)

10 Rob STEPHEN (King's School Canterbury & Kent)

9 Frederick GULLIFORD (St George's School Harpenden & Hertfordshire)

1 Nick AUTERAC (Mill Hill School & Middlesex)

2 Thomas CROZIER (RGS Colchester & Eastern Counties)

3 David COUTTS (Mill Chase CTC & Hampshire)

4 George MERRICK (Carshalton Sports College & Surrey)

5 Jack HADDOW (Watford Grammar School & Middlesex)

6 Tom KNIGHT (Reedham High School & Eastern Counties)

7 Herbie BUTLER (Oratory School Reading & Surrey)

8 Alex STOUT (RGS Guildford & Surrey).


Callum BLACK (Swanmore College & Hampshire)

Kieran BALL (Felsted School & Essex)

Matt HANKIN (Langley Park School & Kent).


Kyle SINCKLER (Graveney School & Surrey)

Tom CRAWFORD (Chislehurst & Sidcup School & Kent);

Elliot DALY (Whitgift School & Surrey)

Elliot McCLEAN (Woodcote High School & Surrey).

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