England U20 last week named an exciting 32-man Elite Player Squad for the season, which begins on Friday 1st February with their opening U20 6 Nations fixture against Ireland.
Fourteen of the squad have previous U20 experience, ten of whom played in the World Rugby U20 Championship final defeat to France last June.
A huge number of the squad have senior experience and plenty have also seen time in and around the England squad, including Worcester Warriors’ Ted Hill who was capped in the Autumn Internationals. Among the others who have been named in senior England squads is Harlequins’ Marcus Smith, Worcester Warriors’ Ollie Lawrence, Saracens’ Joel Kpoku, and fit again Cameron Redpath of Sale Sharks.
Smith, Lawrence, and Redpath are part of a midfield that looks possibly as strong as any that England U20 have had, with the likes of Kieran Wilkinson, Tom Hardwick, Fraser Dingwall, and Tom De Glanville also in the mix.
The University game is also represented in the squad with Durham’s Josh Basham selected among the forwards. The former Wellington College star left London Irish at the end of last season to pursue his education at Durham University.
The 32 will compete at the 2019 U20 Six Nations and this year’s World Rugby U20 Championships, held in Argentina this time around, with Steve Bates and Jim Mallinder leading them alongside Mark Hopley, James Scaysbrook, and Richard Whiffin who link up as part of the coach development programme agreement between England Rugby and Premiership Rugby.
The squad met last week for a training camp at Bisham Abbey and will meet up again on the 27th January to make final preparations ahead of their opening game of the Six Nations five days later.
Article by: http://www.fifteenrugby.com