England men U18s have had their summer development tour to South Africa cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jonathan Pendlebury’s side had been due to play three fixtures in the U18 International Series against participating unions: South Africa Schools, Argentina, France or Wales in August.
The tour traditionally marks the start of the U18 international pathway season for England.
The England men U18s summer development tour to South Africa has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.— England Rugby (at 🏠) (@EnglandRugby) April 21, 2020
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“These are unprecedented times, not only for rugby in South Africa, but across all spheres of life all over the globe,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“Unfortunately, we had to make some very tough calls in terms of our local competitions, but we have had the buy-in and support from the local franchises and unions.
“The decision to cancel certain competitions and tournaments is in line with what has been happening across various sporting codes all over the world.”
LIST | 5 England players who could swap nations for 2023 World Cup
We’ve not included Billy Vunipola, as we think he is likely to be still in the reckoning for England in three years time.
1. Manu Tuilagi (Samoa)
- Current number of caps: 41
- Age at the start of RWC 2023: 32
- Did you know: He was named Manusamoa, after the name of the Samoan national team
The England centre, who was born in Fogapoa and came to the UK at the age of 13, is one of a clutch of Pacific Island players whose eligibility status could change if the restrictions are relaxed. He is the younger brother of Freddie, Henry, Alesana, Anitelea and Sanele Vavae Tuilagi, all of whom are Samoan internationals and also played for Leicester. It would be fantastic for the powerhouse to complete the set.