LEDBURY Colts star George Knowles will be representing his country at the upcoming U18 Six Nations Festival in Italy.

Knowles - who has played at Ledbury through the age groups - is part of England's 26-man squad for the tournament, that kicks off this weekend in Parma at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

The third edition of the tournament, which sees Portugal and Georgia incorporated for the first time, starts on Saturday 30th March with each side playing three 70-minute matches across the week.

England U18 fixtures: Match day 1 (Saturday 30th March) - England v Wales (17:45 kick-off); Match day 2 (Wednesday 3rd April) - Scotland v England (13:15 kick-off); Match day 3 (Sunday 7th April) - England v Georgia (15:30 kick-off).

This is not the first time Knowles will be pulling on the white shirt. He played in the recent test with France ahead of this tournament and impressed enough to earn himself a spot on the plan for Italy. He will represent both Ledbury and the Midlands West centralised academy.

Eight Premiership Rugby academies, as well as the RFU-centralised academies of London & South Central, Midlands Central and Midlands West, are represented in the makeup of the squad.

21 colleges and schools also see their students represent the England Rugby pathway on the international stage this spring. 

"Our purpose is to support our players in exploring their competitive opportunities, and give them the tools to excel as England players as they have for their academies," said head coach Jonathan Pendlebury.

"We have every confidence that they will, and they are fully prepared to represent their country with pride," Pendlebury added.

"With our selection now finalised, the playing squad and staff group eagerly anticipate our trip to Parma."