Shepherd and Dacres to start for England Counties against Spain XV

MATT SHEPHERD and Nile Dacres will start for England Counties in their match against a Spain XV in Guadalajara on Saturday.

The experienced duo were replacements in mid-week as England Counties hammered Basque side Euskarians 61-19.

Albion and Cornwall star Shepherd will start at full-back and while Dacres, who has spent the past two seasons at Brickfields but will join Coventry this summer, will line-up in the second-row.

Fellow Plymouth player Robin Wedlake is named on the replacements’ bench, despite scoring two tries against Euskarians.

The England Counties side are coached by former Albion boss James Shanahan. He was pleased with England’s performance earlier in the week but is expecting a tougher test tomorrow.

“We’re really happy with the start to the campaign considering we have had limited time together,” said Shanahan.

“We’re now looking ahead to a really tough test in Madrid against what we will be a quality opposition.”

England Counties*: 15. Matt Shepherd (Plymouth Albion and Cornwall), 14. James Stokes (Coventry and Warwickshire), 13. Albert Portsmouth (Cambridge and Eastern Counties), 12. Jack Lavin (Caldy and Cheshire), 11. Sam Baker (Ampthill and East Midlands), 10. Rhys Hayes (Caldy and Cheshire), 9. Pete White (Coventry and East Midlands), 1. Dan Seal (Cambridge and East Midlands), 2. Neil Sweeney (Esher and Surrey), 3. Matt Collins (Ampthill and East Midlands), 4. Nile Dacres (Plymouth Albion and North Midlands), 5. Joe Makin (Hull Ionians and Yorkshire), 6. Keith Laughlin (c) (Blaydon and Northumberland), 7. Jack Preece (Moseley and Gloucestershire), 8. Tom Baldwin (Blackheath and Kent). Replacements:  16. Fran Entressengle (Huddersfield and Yorkshire), 17. Hayden King (Old Albanians and Hertfordshire), 18. Alex Gilthrow (Clifton and Somerset), 19. Rob Birtwell (Sedgley Park and Lancashire), 20. Harry Bate (Old Albanians and Hertfordshire), 21. Tom Wheatcroft (Coventry and Leicestershire), 22. Max Trimble (Coventry and Warwickshire), 23. Robin Wedlake (Plymouth Albion and Cornwall).

*Where known, players are listed with the clubs they played for during the 2017/18


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