Jack Hiluta (Chelmsford, Essex), winner of this year’s Spanish Amateur Championship, and boy internationals Callum Shinkwin (Moor Park, Hertfordshire) and Toby Tree (Worthing, Sussex) are three of five new full caps in the England team to play France at Rochester & Cobham Park in Kent this weekend, May 12th – 13th.
The other two newcomers to top level international matches are Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire & Herefordshire) and Josh White (Chipstead, Surrey). The rest of the team is Craig Hinton (The Oxfordshire, BB&O), Ben Loughrey (Wrag Barn, Wiltshire), Neil Raymond (Corhampton, Hampshire, IoW & CI), and Ben Stow (Rushmore, Wiltshire). Non travelling reserve is Matthew Wallace (Hertfordshire).
Hiluta, 22 (picture © Tom Ward), won the Spanish title in March, beating Germany’s Marcel Schneider 4 and 3 in the 36-hole final at Alcanada. A former England boy captain, his appearances on this side of the Atlantic have been few as he has been at college in Alabama but he did finish joint third in last year’s Berkshire Trophy and was a member of the England squad at this year’s European Nations Championship in Spain. He currently leads the Titleist/FootJoy England Golf Order of Merit.
Shinkwin, 18, the 2010 England Boy Champion, has been a boy international for the past two years. He was a semi-finalist in last year’s English Amateur Championship at Woburn and is enjoying a successful 2012 season, winning the Hampshire Hog, finishing third in the Berkhamsted Trophy and fifth in the Darwin Salver.
Tree, 17, completes the treble of under 16, boy and full international against France. The England under 14 Champion in 2008, he won the under 16 title two years later and in 2011 won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. He represented GB&I against the Continent of Europe in last year’s Jacques Leglise Trophy and over the winter won the Gauteng North Open in South Africa. He was also a member of the European Nations Championship squad.
Chesters, 22, is another former under 16 cap and Midland and Shropshire boy Champion. He won the Lee Westwood Trophy last year and finished runner-up in the Simon Bolivar Cup in Venezuela. He toured Australia with the England squad last winter, gaining two top-ten finishes and was also in the European Nations Championship squad.
White, 20, also steps up from boy international and was joint winner of the recent West of England Championship at Royal North Devon. In 2011, he won the Berkshire Trophy and the Surrey Championship and was an England representative in the European Amateur and Finnish Amateur Championships and the Costa Ballena Tournament in Spain.
Hinton, 23, made his full England debut in last year’s Home Internationals in Ireland, having enjoyed a string of top ten finishes over the season including fifth in the Brabazon Trophy and sixth in the Portuguese Amateur. He also played in the Open Championship after winning the qualifier at Deal. This year, he represented England in the Jones Cup in America.
Loughrey, 23, earned his first full cap against Spain at The Berkshire last year and was also a member of the victorious England team in the Home Internationals in Ireland. Winner of the Lee Westwood Trophy in 2010, he followed that by winning the New South Wales Cup in Australia the following winter, while in 2011 he finished third in the Welsh Open Stroke Play and fifth in the Brabazon Trophy and South of England Stroke Play. He was also a member of the victorious Wiltshire team in the County Championship.
Raymond, 26, also earned his first full cap against Spain last year and played in the Home Internationals. His biggest victory came in last year’s Brabazon Trophy at Burnham & Berrow while he finished eighth on the Titleist/FootJoy Order of Merit. Over the winter he visited Australia with the England squad, winning the New South Wales Medal. He was also a member of this year’s European Nations Championship team in Spain.
Stow, 20, was another debutant in last year’s Home Internationals and a member of the Wiltshire County Championship winning team. In 2011 he won the Welsh Open Youths Championship and the South West Championship and finished runner-up in the Welsh Open Stroke Play. He was also second in the County Champions Tournament, finishing sixth on the Titleist/FootJoy Order of Merit.
The French team will comprise: Mathieu Decottignies, Edouard Espana, Romain Langasque, Nicolas Manifacier, Adrien Saddier, Antoine Schwartz, Kenny Subregis and Lionel Weber. Langasque hit the headlines during this year’s Spanish Amateur when the 17 year old shot a course record 64 during the qualifying rounds at Alcanada.
The England v France contests date back to 1934. There have been 31 matches of which England has won 26 and France five. The French won the last meeting 13-11 at Chantilly in 2010.
The match consists of four foursomes and eight singles matches on each day.