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England name team as Six Nations sides face off in U20s Championship

England name team as Six Nations sides face off in U20s Championship

England name team as Six Nations sides face off in U20s Championship

Steve Bates urged caution despite his England side’s proud record as he announced the team to face U20 Six Nations Grand Slam champions Ireland in their World Rugby U20 Championship opener.

England have reached the last six finals in the annual competition, winning three, and Bates has understandably plumped for experience against the in-form Irish.

Tryscorer against the side in their U20s Six Nations defeat, Tom Willis starts at No.8, flanked by Ted Hill and Aaron Hinkley.

In front of them, Joel Kpoku and Alex Coles get the nod at lock, with Joe Heyes, Olly Adkins and Nic Dolly making up the front row.

Fraser Dingwall – who missed much of the U20s Six Nations through injury – captains the side at outside centre and is partnered in midfield by Cameron Redpath, Ollie Fox and Manu Vunipola forming the half-backs.

The back three similarly has a familiar feel about it, Ollie Sleightholme, Tom Seabrook and Tom de Glanville all having impressed in the U20s Six Nations and continuing for England in Argentina.

But Bates knows that his young charges will face a tough test if they are to replicate their prior success in the tournament, with Italy and Australia making up the rest of a competitive Pool B.

“The key element is that we are playing the side that won the U20 Six Nations, so we know it is going to be a big challenge and we have got to be right at the top of our game,” he said.

“We have to be accurate, we have to be patient and understand that if we don’t play to the best of our ability then this will be a very tough game and even if we do, we realise it will still be tight.

“The players are in really good shape, having now spent a fair amount of time with each other they have gelled extremely well and look to be a tight group and we hope that will translate to a good performance on Tuesday.

“A big factor for us is going to be the experience of our pack, a lot have played in the Premiership already, they have played a lot at U20 level and also in this tournament, so they are battle hardened.

“Having said that we are not going to play a game dominated by our forwards because we have some very exciting and talented backs but we recognise up front will be an area where we can exert some pressure.”

England U20s v Ireland

15. Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby)
14. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)
13. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints) – captain
12. Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)
11. Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby)
10. Manu Vunipola (Saracens)
9. Ollie Fox (Bath Rugby)
1. Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby)
2. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks)
3. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
6. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
8. Tom Willis (Wasps)

16. Alfie Barbeary (Wasps) – Bloxham School
17. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)
18. Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Will Capon (Bristol Bears)
20. James Kenny (Exeter Chiefs)
21. Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs)
22. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
23. Josh Basham (Newcastle Falcons)
24. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)
25. Luke James (Sale Sharks)
26. Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks)
27. Arron Reed (Sale Sharks)
28. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)