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England to play Angola, Cuba and Japan as they defend last year's Toulon title in May

Friday 14 Apr 2017
England will return to Toulon in May to defend their 2016 title

England will face Japan, Angola and Cuba as they return to defend their title in the annual Toulon Tournament in May.

The draw for this year’s competition took place on Friday and the Young Lions were placed in Group A, which will see them face Japan for the second year in succession after a Lewis Baker goal was enough to beat them en-route to winning the competition last season.

And there will be a first ever international meeting at any level with Cuba, with the Caribbean nation entering the prestigious tournament for the first time in their history.

Ironically, England's only previous encounter with Angola came in Toulon in the 1995 competition when Nicky Forster scored the winner for a Young Lions team containing Phil Neville and David Beckham.

This year is the 45th Toulon Tournament and sees a different format to previous years, with 12 nations involved in three groups of four.

The age range for the Tournament this year is for players born during or after 1997 but with England Under-19s having qualified for the Euro Finals in Georgia in July, it is most likely going to be an U18s squad heading to the south of France to defend the title.

Last summer’s success came when Gareth Southgate led his U21s squad to victory in group matches against Portugal, Guinea, Paraguay and Japan before beating hosts France in the final.

This year’s competition runs between 29 May and 10 June, and fixture details will be confirmed in due course.

The 12 nations competing in Toulon 2017 are: Wales, Ivory Coast, Scotland, France, England, Japan, Czech Republic, Bahrain, Cuba, Angola, Indonesia and Brazil.

The fixtures

Angola v England: Monday 29 May, Stade de Lattre, Aubagne

Cuba v England: Thursday 1 June, Stade d'Honneur, Salon de Provence

Japan v England: Sunday 4 June, Stade de Lattre, Aubagne
Semi-final: Thursday 8 June, Stade Parsemain, Fos-sur-Mer

Final/Third-place: Saturday 10 June, Stade de Lattre, Aubagne

 

 

By Nicholas Veevers