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Hepburn to start Junior World Cup Final

London Wasps Academy prop Alec Hepburn has been selected to start for England in the Junior World Championship Final against Wales.

Hepburn came off the bench to good effect in the semi-final win over New Zealand and the final takes place on Sunday June 22, kick off 1745 (GMT), and is live on Sky Sports 2.

Hepburn replaces Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi who drops to the bench.

The meeting is the first all northern hemisphere final in JWC history, and the two sides last met back in March, when England won the Under 20 Six Nations in Colwyn Bay, beating Wales 28-15.

England Head Coach Nick Walshe says that Sunday’s meeting will be a completely different beast though: “Wales are an excellent side – as they have shown throughout this competition and we’re fully aware that it’s going to be a tough game. We did well in the Six Nations to win at their place, but that game will have no bearing on the result.

“We have prepared well, we have recovered well after the New Zealand game – and we’re ready for what promises to be an excellent final.”
England U20 starting XV to play Wales

England: 15 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) 14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby) 13 Harry Sloan (Harlequins) 12 Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs) 11 Ben Howard (Worcester Warriors) 10 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs) 9 Alex Day (Northampton Saints) 1 Alec Hepburn (London Wasps) 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs) 3 Scott Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) 4 Tom Price (Leicester Tigers) 5 Dominic Barrow (Leeds Carnegie) 6 Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby) 7 Matt Hankin (Saracens) 8 Jack Clifford (Harlequins) (c)
Replacements: 16 Scott Spurling (Saracens) 17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints) 18 Tom Smallbone (London Irish) 19 Harry Wells (Leicester Tigers) 20 David Sisi (Bath Rugby) 21 Callum Braley (Bristol Rugby) 22 Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby) 23 Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers)