THE Green and Whites trio of Nic Rouse, Tim Streather
and Rhys Crane have been named in the RFU Championship XV to face
the Maori All Blacks on November 17.
HEADLINE ACT: Crane
will be joined in the Championship XV by Nottingham teammates Rouse
and Streather. PIC: Alison Bowden.
Crane's scintillating streak six tries in as many league
appearances earned the former England Sevens international a
Centre Tim Streather recovered from injury to make the trip to
Kingston Park on Friday night and is passed fit to join Mike
Rayners star-studded Championship Select team at Castle Park.
Lock Nic Rouse, who has featured for the Barbarians, England
Counties and England Schoolboys, flies the flag for the Nottingham
pack that has gone from strength-to-strength in lifting the Green
and Whites to third on the league ladder.
The Green and Whites are one of three sides, including Bedford
and Cornish Pirates, that top the billing with three
representatives in the side.
Bedford Blues Head Coach and former Welsh international Rayer,
alongside assistant coaches Ian Davies and Diccon Edwards, has
selected a minimum of one player from each of the twelve RFU
The twenty-three man squad is made up entirely of English
Qualified Players (EQP) and reflects the wealth of young talent on
offer in the RFU Championship.
Commenting on the opportunity the RFU Championship XV game
offers the players and the league as a whole, Rayer said:
"I think it's a great opportunity. Myself, Ian and Diccon have
been in this division for a while now, as have a lot of the
players. It's proven as a development pathway; there are a
few guys in the England squad who have passed through the RFU
Championship at some stage in some form. I'm a big supporter of the
RFU Championship and what it's done for player development."
Three former England Under 20 players have been named in the
squad, with Bedford's Josh Bassett the most recent representative.
The 20-year-old scored three tries for England in their successful
Six Nations campaign and also travelled to South Africa to compete
in the IRB Junior World Championship last June.
Leeds Carnegie pair Calum Green and Jacob Rowan also have Under
20 caps to their name with back row Rowan, 22, Carnegie's youngest
ever captain. He currently sits joint second with Crane in the RFU
Championship try-scoring chart.
Experience comes in the form of Cornish Pirates captain and RFU
Championship stalwart Gavin Cattle who will travel up from Penzance
with team mates Phil Burgess and Alan Paver.
RFU newcomers Jersey are represented in captain Nathan Hannay,
who is one of three second rows selected in Rayer's squad.
"There are some guys who have done really well in the RFU
Championship and have been around this division for a number of
years," Rayer said.
"It's important that you have that blend of more experienced
guys guiding the young enthusiastic players around the pitch.
That's exactly what I'm expecting of guys like Gavin Cattle, Nic
Rouse and Alan Paver, who are very experienced at this level.
"There are some really exciting looking backs in the squad
as well. I'm really excited by the potential centre partnership,
and what we have out wide. It's a good mix."
Backs: Luke Baldwin (Bedford Blues), Josh
Bassett (Bedford Blues), Gavin Cattle (Cornish Pirates),
Rhys Crane (Nottingham Rugby), Charlie Hayter
(Moseley Rugby), Dante Mama (Doncaster Knights), Tristian Roberts
(Bristol Rugby), Jake Sharp (Bedford Blues), Tim Streather
(Nottingham Rugby), Jack Tovey (Bristol Rugby).
Forwards: Dan Baines (Rotherham Titans),
Phil Burgess (Cornish Pirates), Tom Davies (Doncaster Knights),
Calum Green (Leeds Carnegie), Nathan Hannay (Jersey RFC), Mark
Irish (London Scottish), Richard Mayhew (Newcastle Falcons), Alan
Paver (Cornish Pirates), Ben Pienaar (Moseley Rugby), Nic
Rouse (Nottingham Rugby), Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie),
Oliver Tomaszczyk (Newcastle Falcons), Jon Vickers (Plymouth
Head Coach: Mike Rayer (Bedford
Blues) Assistant Coaches: Ian Davies (Cornish
Pirates) and Diccon Edwards (Leeds Carnegie)