Jonathan Pendlebury, England U18 Men’s head coach, and Andy Titterrell, England U20 Men’s assistant coach, have selected a 26-player squad for a specialist Front Five Forwards Development Camp at Bisham Abbey this weekend (Friday 29 September – Sunday 1 October).
Pendlebury and Titterrell return from summer activity in South Africa’s Western Cape with their respective sides; where the U18s picked up wins over France and Western Province XV in a three-Test tour whilst the U20s finished fourth in the World Rugby U20 Championships.
Both lead age group forwards coaches and the pathways staff will now seek to build on their solid summer form with a training squad consisting of 14 previously-capped pathway players, complemented with 12 newcomers in a unique camp.
The front-row and second-row players have been selected from across 14 regional academies, including the RFU-led Midlands West Academy, Yorkshire Academy and the London & South Central Academy.
The pathway staff aim to underpin the principles of exploration and adaptation to prepare players to excel in a world-leading England team, starting with a bespoke forwards-orientated training regime.
In the first combined meeting for the men’s pathway teams this autumn, which includes players with experience from U17 to U20 camps, invitees will experience specialised coaching around the set-piece, breakdown and contact area, on top of their decision-making and attacking gameplay on each of the three days.
Alongside position-specific rugby preparation before each session, squad members will learn nutrition education from Dr. Andreas Kasper and mental skills and awareness development will be provided by James Mackenzie post-training.
Jonathan Pendlebury explained the benefits of the upcoming weekend of action in Buckinghamshire.
“We are looking forward to inviting a select group of young men on board with us this Friday in what will be the first camp of its kind at this level,” the U18 head coach said.
“The coaches and I would like to thank our supporting staff, both internal and from academies across the country, for their continuous efforts in driving forward the pathways system alongside us – weekends like these couldn’t be achieved without them.
“That all starts with instilling core values of the game, as well as developing technique and skill in a safe environment where errors are embraced as learnings.”
Andy Titterrell added: “This group wants to build good foundations for the season ahead and in their specialist skill sets for the future, we are confident this camp will be the first step in the right direction to do that.
“Having players of various ages involved ensures we have an aligned approach across the age groups as we look to strengthen our positioning and work towards these boys having bright futures in England colours.”
England Pathway squad for Front Five Development Camp
Aiden Ainsworth-Cave (Northampton Saints)
Finn Baker (Newcastle Falcons) *
Jonno Balding (Gloucester Rugby)
Oscar Beckerleg (Exeter Chiefs) *
Jack Bennett (Bath Rugby) *
Tom Burrow (Sale Sharks) *
Will Conduit (Midlands West Academy) *
Ronan Daniell (Harlequins) *
Tom Davis (Sale Sharks)
Charlie Evered (Exeter Chiefs)
Rob Gaffan (Northampton Saints)
Sam Graham (Newcastle Falcons) *
Lucas Gulley (Exeter Chiefs)
Patrick Hogg (Newcastle Falcons)
James Isaacs (Saracens) *
Scott Kirk (Bath Rugby) *
Jack Lightbown (Sale Sharks) *
Alfie Longstaff (Yorkshire Academy) *
Josh Mann (Exeter Chiefs)
Cameron Miell (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie Miller (Harlequins)
Tye Raymont (Sale Sharks) *
Billy Sela (Bath Rugby) *
Sonny Tonga’uiha (Northampton Saints)
Kepueli Tuipulotu (London & South Central Academy) *
Ben Woodmansy (Exeter Chiefs)
* denotes a previously capped layer at pathway level