Tom Willis named in England U20 squad to face Ireland

Date: 16 Jun 2019


Wasps youngster Tom Willis is named in the England Under 20s squad to take on Ireland on Monday at the World Rugby U20 Championship fifth-place semi-final (KO, 7.30pm BST) in Rosario, Argentina.

Willis scored his second try of the tournament for England as they defeated Australia Under 20s in Santa Fe 56-33 on Wednesday in their final pool fixture.

England Under 20s Head Coach Steve Bates has made two changes from that game.

Kai Owen is named at loosehead prop, while Alex Coles comes into the second row.

There is a positional switch also with Richard Capstick moving from lock into the back row with England’s backline unchanged for the fixture.

Centre Fraser Dingwall will again captain the side, while Ollie Hassell-Collins is named as a finisher, having been called into the squad as an injury replacement for Arron Reed (Sale Sharks).

Despite victories over Australia and Italy in their pool, England failed to progress into the top four of the competition, having lost their opening fixture to Ireland.

They will instead contest the fifth-place semi, with Wales and New Zealand the other semi-final fixture before finals day on Saturday 22 June.

Backrow forward Josh Basham (ankle) is ruled out of the remainder of the tournament and has returned home, while prop Alfie Petch is not available for selection due to concussion.

Steve Bates said: “We felt it was important to give the majority of the side that played against Australia another go as it was by far our best performance of the tournament. The challenge for our squad now is to back up that performance with one that is better.

“We cannot approach it with any degree of complacency or lack of acknowledgment that it took a lot of hard work, commitment and team work to perform at that standard against Australia. We’ve got to keep moving forward as a team and continue to develop.

“This will be the third time we’ve played Ireland this season and in both games discipline has let us down, so we’ve got to the learn the lessons from those two fixtures.”

England U20s v Ireland U20s
15. Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby)
14. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)
13. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints) - captain
12. Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)
11. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)
10. Manu Vunipola (Saracens)
9. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)
1. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)
2. Will Capon (Bristol Bears)
3. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
6. Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs)
7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
8. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)

Replacements
16. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks)
17. Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby)
18. James Kenny (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Tom Willis (Wasps Rugby)
20. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
21. Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie)
22. Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks)
23. Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby)
24. Luke James (Sale Sharks)
25. Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish)

England U20 fixtures and results
4 June: England U20s 26-42 Ireland U20s
8 June: England U20s 24-23 Italy U20s
12 June: England U20s 56-33 Australia U20s
17 June: England U20s v Ireland U20s, 7.30pm BST live on ITV 4
22 June: Finals day, live on ITV 4

Scotland Under 20s

Elsewhere Wasps Academy's Cameron Anderson has been named at full-back by Scotland Under 20s for their match against Italy on Monday 17 June (kick-off 2.30pm BST) in the World Rugby U20 Championship 9th place semi-final, live on World Rugby platforms.