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Preview: Under-20s Six Nations Round Four

Preview: Under-20s Six Nations Round Four

Preview: Under-20s Six Nations Round Four

Under-20 Six Nations Championship Round 3, Myreside, Edinburgh, Scotland 23/2/2018 Scotland U20's vs England U20's Scotland's Nathan McBeth and Robbie Smith celebrate after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Craig Watson

It’s crunch time in the Under-20s as the penultimate round of fixtures will set pulses racing with yet more high-end drama.

It’s crunch time in the Under-20s as the penultimate round of fixtures will set pulses racing with yet more high-end drama.

France currently lead the way with a perfect record in the Championship with England and Wales their closest challengers.

Click here for the complete Under-20s Six Nations fixture list.

Les Bleuets entertain England in what promises to be mouth-watering contest, with Italy heading to Wales and Ireland hosting Scotland.

Ireland vs Scotland
Friday March 9, 7.15pm

Ireland narrowly lost in a thrilling 38-41 contest to Wales and head coach Noel McNamara has opted to make seven changes for the Scotland clash at Donnybrook.

Props James French and Tom O’Toole make their first starts of the Championship with Matthew Dalton coming in to replace Jack Dunne in the second row.

There’s a maiden Under-20s cap for Joe Dunleavy with Mark Keane and Angus Kernohan also making their first starts.

McNamara admits everyone was gutted by the Wales reverse but hopes his side can pick up the pieces for another testing bout.

He said: “Everyone was disappointed with the result against Wales, so it’s an opportunity to finish our time in Donnybrook on a positive note.

“We’ve made some changes for Friday night and I know the management team are looking forward to seeing those players go out and show what they can do.”

Fresh from their momentous victory over England, Scotland Under-20s have name just two changes for the contest in Dublin.

Rory Darge and Fraser Strachan come in for Guy Graham and Callum McLelland as Scotland eye a second straight victory in the Championship.

Head coach Stevie Scott said: “The boys will have taken a lot from the England win. It was a big result for us and one that the squad will remember for a long time.

“Ireland is another tough fixture. We’re on the road, which always adds another challenge, but they certainly won’t take us lightly.”

Wales vs Italy
Friday March 9, 7.15pm
Parc Eirias

Italy head to Colwyn Bay looking for their first Championship triumph and have made five changes to the side that lost in France a fortnight ago.

The visitors will be buoyed by the inclusion of Edoardo Iachizzi from the start after dotting down against France – he’s one of two new faces in the forwards.

No.8 Antoine Kouassi Koffi is the other alteration, coming in for Enrico Ghigo.

Alessandro Forcucci comes in on the wing, Albert Einstein Batista replaces Tommaso Coppo on the other wing as Nicolo Casilio switches with Luca Crosato at scrum-half.

Wales welcome back skipper Will Jones to the starting line-up following his regional duty as one of five changes to the starting team.

Wales produced a fine away performance to down Ireland last time out and head coach Jason Strange is delighted to have the returning Jones leading the charges.

He said: “It’s been a boost to the side to have the experience of someone like Will Jones back, having captained the Under-20s very well last year.”

There’s an all-new front row with loosehead Rhys Carre, hooker Dewi Lake and tighthead Kemsley Mathias all promoted from the bench with James Botham also coming in at blindside.

France vs England
Friday March 9, 9pm local time (8pm GMT)
Stade de la Mediterranee

A huge showdown awaits the top two in the Under-20s Six Nations as France host England and the table toppers have made nine changes for the English challenge.

Les Bleuets cruised to a 78-12 win over Italy in Round Three but have opted to change it around, as Clément Laporte, Pierre Boudehent, Pierre-Louis Barassi and Romain Ntamack all come into the backline.

Ntamack is at fly-half, whilst in the forwards, props Ugo Boniface and Demba Bamba start, Killian Geraci captains from the second row and Cameron Woki and Maxence Lemardelet come into the back row.

Skipper Geraci said: “We are confident, even if we must be wary of this big English team.

“We did not know what to expect at the start of the Championship but we can only be happy with our performances in the first three games. Now we must continue this momentum.”

England, meanwhile, must pick themselves up from that defeat in Scotland last time out and Steve Bates has not been afraid to make changes.

Ben Earl, fresh from scoring his first Premiership try for Saracens last week, will captain the side with Henry Walker, Marcus Street, Dino Lamb, Cameron Redpath and Gabriel Ibitoye also slotting into the XV.

James Grayson is chosen at full-back with Jordan Olowofela switching to the wing. Fraser Dingwall will partner Redpath in midfield.