21st Aug 2019

England u/20 Change Three For French


England men U20s head coach Steve Bates has named his side to face world champions France in Saturday's Six Nations clash at Exeter Chiefs' Sandy Park.

The side will be captained by full senior international Ted Hill for the game against the reigning Six Nations champions.

There are three changes to the side that lost to Ireland in the opening round of the competition. Cameron Redpath starts at inside-centre in place of Tom Hardwick, Ollie Lawrence is outside of him while Arron Reed will make his England U20s debut on the wing.

Hardwick is among the replacements, while centre Fraser Dingwall and wing Cadan Murley, who started in Ireland, are both ruled out through injury.

Prop Kai Owen is named as a replacement and could make his England age-grade debut, while Tom de Glanville could appear at U20s level for the first time having also been named as a finisher.

The starting XV includes five players who faced France in the final of the World Rugby U20 Championship in June.

“There was a lot of disappointment at the start of the week off the back of Friday’s result but we’ve trained really well and the players are looking forward to getting out there on Saturday and performing in front of a vocal Sandy Park crowd," said Bates.

“The game against France in the final of the World Rugby U20 Championship will have a little bearing at the weekend but the nature of U20s rugby is that it is ever evolving and players change rapidly so although a portion of our squad would have played in that final our motivation is to kick-start our Six Nations with an important victory.

“We know we didn’t look after the ball well enough last week, played from too deep and lacked a bit of organisation which you would expect from a new group at this stage in the tournament. So we’ve worked hard on our understanding and our teamwork. We’ve had a good preparation and want to go out and continue to play high-tempo, high-intensity rugby but get the balance right.

“Home advantage will be really important, we’re hoping for a large crowd and we have to get them on our side by playing some good rugby but controlling the game a little bit more. We’ve got to excite that crowd by having the confidence to play what we’ve practised because we feel that’s the best way for these guys to perform and if we do that and do that consistently the crowd will enjoy it.”

England U20s

15. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons), 14. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), 13. Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), 12. Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), 11. Arron Reed (Sale Sharks), 10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins), 9. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), 8. Tom Willis (Wasps), 7, Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester), 6. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), 5. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), 4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens), 3. Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs), 2. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks), 1. Olly Adkins (Gloucester).

Replacements: 16. Ben Atkins (London Irish), 17. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors), 18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), 19. James Scott (Worcester Warriors), 20. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs), 21. Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie), 22. Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers), 23. Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby).

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