"Massive Honour" - Gloucester Head Coach George Skivington to Coach England 'A' Against Portugal - Page 3 of 3 - Ruck

“Massive Honour” – Gloucester Head Coach George Skivington to Coach England ‘A’ Against Portugal


Jonny Hill of England during the Match between England and Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on 19 June 2022. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

4. Lewis Chessum (Leicester Tigers)

5. Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks)

With Ollie Chessum firmly establishing himself in England’s senior second row, we predict that his younger brother Lewis could be called-up to pack down the scrum for England A. Lewis Chessum has been steadily progressing at Welford Road, and has gained his first senior caps in a Leicester Tigers shirt. Chessum has been running out in the Premiership Rugby Cup since 2021, and is consistently amongst the top performers in the England U20s team.

We can see the Chessum brothers lining up together for England once Maro Itoje hangs up his test match boots, but for now the younger brother Lewis must bide his time for England A. After narrowly missing out on the Rugby World Cup squad despite multiple Summer test caps, we can see Jonny Hill taking on Portugal as a fringe member of the Six Nations England squad. Hill will most likely be involved at the England camp, and the Sale Sharks man now has increased opportunity given the vacancy left by David Ribbans’ move to France.


Tom Pearson of England on the break during the Summer Nations Series Rugby match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on August 5, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

6. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)

7. Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints)

8. Alfie Barbeary (Bath Rugby)

In similar fettle to an all-Chessum England second row, we can see an all-Curry flanking partnership taking shape in the not so distant future. Ben Curry was unfortunate to miss out on the Rugby World Cup squad, as he suffered a heart-breaking hamstring injury late on in the 2022/23 Premiership season. The Sale Sharks captain missed the Premiership Final, with his hopes of a trip to France curtailed in the process.

We predict to see Tom Curry in the Six Nations fold, with Borthwick spoilt for choice across the back-row despite Courtney Lawes’ international retirement. Ben Curry has a point to prove on his return to the squad, and a strong run out on the blindside against Portugal would certainly work to his favour. We can see Borthwick selecting Tom Pearson to line up on the open-side flank against Portugal, and build his stock amongst England’s most talked about young talents.

Try celebrations for Tom Pearson of London Irish as he dives over to score during the Gallagher Premiership match between London Irish and Harlequins at The Gtech Community Stadium, London on 29 January 2023 (Photo: Danny Loo/PPAUK)

Tom Pearson came into his own with starring performances for London Irish last season. Following the financial collapse of the Exiles, Pearson was promptly snapped up by Northampton Saints and has wasted no time with four tries already to his name at Franklin’s Gardens. Wrapping up our starting XV for the England A side to face Portugal is Alfie Barbeary, who is an exciting talent that England fans need to mark for the future. The Bath man made a name for himself at Worcester Warriors, with Bath winning the bidding war for his signature following the collapse at Sixways last season.

Barbeary is as powerful as they come. Built like a tank with a Ferrari’s engine, Barbeary has a frightnening top speed and explosive first step into contact. We have previously named the 23-year-old to start for England at number eight in England’s 2027 Rugby World Cup squad, with the next step on his journey coming in his breakthrough with England A.


Onto the replacements now, with all of these exciting talents hoping to make their mark in the England A side.

Try celebrations for Chandler Cunningham-South of London Irish during the Gallagher Premiership match between London Irish and Leicester Tigers at The Gtech Community Stadium, London on 25 February 2023 (Photo: Danny Loo/PPAUK)

16. Fin Baxter (Harlequins)

17. Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale Sharks)

18. Afolabi Fasogabon (Gloucester Rugby)

19. Rus Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)

20. Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins)

21. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)

22. Manu Vunipola (Saracens)

23. Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks)