England have named their side for their final U20 6 Nations game of the campaign.
The young England side host Scotland at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens, kicking off at 7.45pm and live on Sky Sports. England beat Italy 35-10 in the last round, bouncing back from defeat to Wales in Round 3 following victory over France and defeat to Ireland, who will win the Grand Slam if they beat Wales and have already wrapped up the Championship.
Scotland, meanwhile, secured their first victory of the campaign last week with a win over Wales, having lost their opening three games, however last year they also only won once, but it came against England.
England head coach Steve Bates has made 8 changes to the side that beat Italy and there are some big names coming into the squad, not least in the centres where Sale Sharks’ Cameron Redpath and Worcester Warriors’ Ollie Lawrence link up, both of whom have trained with the senior England squad.
Saracens’ Manu Vunipola comes in at fly half, with Yorkshire Carnegie’s Ollie Fox retaining his place at scrum half. Tom De Glanville of Bath moves from the centres to full back, with London Irish’s Ollie Hassell-Collins again on the wing, Sale Sharks’ Aaron Reed comes in on the left wing.
The back row remains unchanged, Wasps’ Tom Willis again captaining the side from the blindside flank, with Gloucester’s Aaron Hinkley at openside and Rus Tuima of Exeter Chiefs at number 8.
There is significant change in the front row though with all three players changed, Worcester Warriors’ Kai Owen starts at loosehead with Leicester Tigers’ Joe Heyes at tighthead, Northampton Saints’ Samson Ma’asi starts at hooker.
In the second row Worcester Warriors’ James Scott keeps his place, while Northampton Saints Alex Coles comes in for Saracens’ Joel Kpoku alongside him, which allows Kpoku’s twin brother Jon to take up a place on the bench.
He will be making his debut when he comes on, as will Sale Sharks scrum half Gus Warr and Wasps’ Alfie Barbeary at hooker. Barbeary is still a schoolboy at Bloxham School and is one of the most talked about young players in the game, as if making your U20 debut in the front row as a schoolboy were not evidence enough of that.
Elsewhere on the bench Olly Adkins and Alfie Petch cover the two prop positions, with Exeter Chiefs’ Richard Capstick again the back row cover. Warr has a familiar half back partner alongside him on the bench in clubmate Kieran Wilkinson, who started against Italy and scored a wonderful try. Newcastle Falcons’ Josh Hodge completes the bench.
Speaking to www.englandrugby.com ahead of Friday night’s encounter, Steve Bates said:
“We feel this Friday is a good opportunity to take a closer look at the players who have not had that much involvement during the tournament, while also including those that are returning from Premiership duty, we are mindful that making too many changes will be disruptive so we’ve tried to keep them to a minimum.”
“We are still developing our game and have very clear goals in terms of what we want to achieve on the field in terms of performance. What we’re looking for on Friday is a bit more continuity in our play and more consistency in our performance in terms of looking after the ball and managing the game.”
“We’ve used a lot of players in the tournament and feel that will be beneficial for us going into the World Rugby U20 Championship in June. We can only take 28 players to the World Rugby U20 Championship and selection is going to be very difficult so for them every opportunity they have to impress us is an important one.”
England U20 XV v Scotland: Friday, 7.45pm, Franklin’s Gardens (Live on Sky Sports)
15 Tom de Glanville (Bath), 14 Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish), 13 Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), 12 Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), 11 Arron Reed (Sale Sharks), 10 Manu Vunipola (Saracens), 9 Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie), 1 Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors), 2 Samson Ma’asi (Northampton Saints), 3 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), 4 Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), 5 James Scott (Worcester Warriors), 6 Tom Willis (Wasps), 7 Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester), 8 Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs).
Replacements: 16 Alfie Barbeary (Wasps), 17 Olly Adkins (Gloucester), 18 Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs), 19 Jon Kpoku (Saracens), 20 Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs), 21 Gus Warr (Sale Sharks), 22 Kieran Wilkinson (Sale Sharks), 23 Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons).
England U20 Six Nations Fixtures:
Round 1: Ireland 35-27 England
Round 2: England 31-19 France
Round 3: Wales 11-10 England
Round 4: England 35-10 Italy
Round 5: Scotland – Friday 15th Mar, 7.45pm, Franklin’s Gardens (live on Sky Sports)