Another successful Berkshire U18s season. The season got off to flying start at the end of 2016, where we took the top 23 boys from Berkshire to the regional divisional games held in Bristol. Their first game was against Somerset, which Berkshire won, scoring 4 tries and keeping a clean sheet with a very strong and organised defence. We then played Dorset and Wilts, this was a very different game, very physical up front and ended 3 tries each, with them crossing our line in the last minutes of the game.
From these two games the SW England assessors selected the top 36 players from the South West of England to go on to the next stage of the selection process. Berkshire managed to get 7 boys through to the final 36, which was a great result, and a number of other players were mentioned to us that really came very close to being selected. The seven were; Ben Atkins (Bracknell) Thomas Scott (Bracknell) Will Taylor (Reading Boys) Peter Lane (Redingensians) Louis Ellis (Pangbourne College) Ben Wickens (Newbury) and Paul Englezos (Maidenhead)
On Sunday the 15th January 2017, these 36 boys met at Hartbury College for the final selection. They were assessed on positional skills and set plays in the morning session, and then in the afternoon took part in a very physical selection game. Shirts were up for grabs and nobody was holding back. The assessors have cut the squad down to the final 23 who will know go forward and play Gloucester Academy as a warm-up game at the end of January. Then onto the big game against South East England U18s in the middle of February 2017.
Berkshire has four players in the final 23, Ben Atkins, Thomas Scott, Louis Ellis and Paul Englezos, congratulation to these boys and well done to all the boys who represented their County in this year’s divisional matches.
Once the 4 Regional matches have been played, a final 23 boys from the South West, South East, Midlands and North will be selected to form this year’s U18s England Counties squad who will travel to Ireland to play two international fixtures, best of luck to the four Berkshire boys.
Updated 30th January 2017