Harry Randall and Ollie Hassell-Collins named in England A squad for game against Portugal

Harry Randall has been selected in the England A squad
Harry Randall has been selected in the England A squad
©Steve Haag

The England A squad for the upcoming clash against Portugal has been unveiled.

The 27-member squad has five England internationals in Jamie Blamire, Nick Isiekwe, Tom Pearson, Harry Randall and Ollie Hassell-Collins while 21 have been involved through the England Rugby pathway and achieved caps at either U18 or U20 level.

This will be the first time England A will be playing since they faced South Africa in 2016 with the squad selected by England head coach Steve Borthwick in consultation with George Skivington, who will be in charge of the 'A' side.

Bath’s Alfie Barbeary returns from his suspension for the clash but there is no place for Zach Mercer.

“We’re delighted to see the return of A Team rugby as such an important part of our rugby’s development and to announce the squad for the forthcoming fixture against Portugal," said Borthwick.

“We have got a lot of talented and exciting young players in England, and this is a great opportunity for them to show they can play international rugby. We have selected players in this initial squad who we believe have the potential to be in the England team in the very near future.

“One of the very important aspects of this A Team is to provide a platform for players who have come out of the U20s and who are playing club rugby, allowing them to experience the international environment.

“It’s great to have the fixture at the Leicester Tigers’ stadium. It's an area where the supporters know and love their rugby. I have no doubt the players will revel in the support they will get from the stands.”

The squad will assemble at Loughborough University on 20th February.

England A squad:

Forwards: Fin Baxter, Tarek Haffar, Jamie Blamire, Sam Riley, Seb Blake, Josh Iosefa Scott, James Harper, Nick Isiekwe, Arthur Clark, Ben Bamber, Rusiate Tuima, Tom Pearson, Guy Pepper, Alfie Barbeary, Greg Fisilau, Jack Clement

Backs: Caolan Englefield, Harry Randall, Charlie Atkinson, Jamie Shillcock, Ollie Sleightholme, Oliver Hartley, Rekeiti Ma’asi-White, Cadan Murley, Ollie Hassell-Collins, Josh Hodge, Sam Harris