As part of the change of the England pathway, England u/19 are to play Wales u/19 on Sunday 07 April 2019. The fixture is a continuation of the pathway which began with the England u/18 squad who played in the International Series during 2018 in South Africa. England played on this tour against France, Wales and South Africa.
Wales u/19 however, has been reintroduced after a decade of not playing at u/19 level. "We have changed the age bracket within our international pathway to move teams in line with the way international rugby eligibility sees age groups and the U19s will only be those boys born in the year 2000."
England U18s next take on Scotland at Billingham RUFC on Sunday 17 March and France a week later at Cheshunt RFC before April’s U19s fixture against Wales. All these matches in preparation for the 2019 U18 Six Nations festival later in April, which will be hosted by England.
“The fixture gives us an opportunity to look at a particular group of players who have not yet transitioned into the U20s Elite Player Squad," said England coach Mallinder.
“It gives us progression through the season which started with the summer development tour where we took a young U18 squad to South Africa. We then have two U18 fixtures for our 1 September and 1 January birthday age groups before the U19s fixture. Whichever England team you take to Wales it is always a tough fixture and it is a challenge the players should embrace."
“One of the really good things about our pathway system is that we are not just developing players but coaches also and these fixtures are a fantastic opportunity for them. They are young and aspiring coaches and I’m really looking forward to working alongside them.”
"Certainly it is an opportunity for the boys involved in the U19s to put their stamp on things and hopefully put themselves forward for selection for the U20s World Cup out in Argentina. The game against England is going to be a real test and the game certainly gives the boys something to aspire to," added Lewis, coach of the Wales u/19 Team.