Congratulations to Alex Moon (W 12-15) and Josh Hodge (P 12-18) who have been named in the England squad for the upcoming Six Nations Championship, which runs from 1st February-14th March.

England coach Eddie Jones announced the 34-man squad on 20th January, which includes 22 players involved in the World Cup last year.

23-year-old Alex, a Northampton Saints lock, will be looking to make his debut for the England side during the Championships. Abbie Scott (R 09-11) (Red Roses) and Phil Dowson (P 93-00) are the were the Old Sedberghians to play for England most recently. Recently retired Mike McCarthy (SH 93-00) also earned 19 appearances for Ireland having made his debut in 2011 Six Nations Championship.

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Standing at over two metres tall, former England U18 and U20 lock Alex has had an upbringing surrounded by rugby – his father Jon helped coach at Ipswich RFC while his uncle Steve played for rugby league side Bradford Bulls.

Moon, 23, joined Saints in 2015 as part of the academy set up and helped the club with the Premiership Rugby A League title in 2017 and 2018.

It was under Saints Director of Rugby Chris Boyd where he got his chance in the Saints first team as he made his first start for the club last season as he made 18 appearances and scored his first ever try in the Black, Green and Gold.

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Meanwhile, 19-year-old Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons) is one of two players called up as apprentices for training with the squad, meaning he will train with the squad but won’t be considered for any of the matches.

Left-footed, goal-kicking full back Josh Hodge was the top points scorer at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship last summer as he slotted all of his 24 attempts at the sticks and scores two tries.

A talented all-round sportsman, the 19-year-old joined Sedbergh on a sports scholarship for running and rugby, was part of the Preston North End academy from age seven and represented Great Britain at Under 21 level at the age of 15 in clay pigeon shooting.

Hodge’s natural speed and elusive footwork are a key part of his game and is part of the Newcastle side that top the Championship this season with a perfect record so far with nine wins from nine.

England’s Six Nations squad, just a day after scoring a spectacular solo try on his Falcons debut.

Eddie Jones commented, “Did you see the try he scored yesterday? It was like out of one of those e-games. He beat 15 defenders, then he ran around the touch judge, still scored. I saw him play in Argentina last year with the Under 20s and I was really impressed by him. Tall, fast, kicks goal from 60 meters. An interesting prospect, so we want to have a look at him a bit closer.”

England finished a distant fifth last year, having last won the Championship in 2017, and start their campaign away to France on Sunday 2nd February.

Welsh prop and grand-slam winner Tom Francis (W 05-08) will miss the tournament due to a shoulder injury which he suffered against South Africa in last October’s World Cup Semi Final.

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