Tom Willis named in England U20 squad to face Italy

Date: 7 Jun 2019


Wasps youngster Tom Willis is named in the England Under 20s squad to take on Italy in their second game of the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday 8 June (kick-off 7.30pm BST, live on World Rugby platforms).

England Under 20s Head Coach Steve Bates has made 10 changes to his starting XV with props Kai Owen and Alfie Petch joining U20 debutant Will Capon in a new front-row.

Richard Capstick is named at lock, while Josh Basham and Rusiate Tuima come into the back-row.

Sam Maunder starts at scrum-half, Connor Doherty is named at outside-centre while wing Arron Reed and full-back Josh Hodge also come into the side.

Fraser Dingwall will again captain the side, switching to inside-centre with lock Alex Coles, flanker Aaron Hinkley and wing Tom Seabrook starting their second match of the tournament, as does Tom de Glanville who moves to fly-half.

Prop James Kenny is in line to make his England U20 debut as a replacement, while Manu Vunipola (concussion) and Alfie Barbeary (suspended) are ruled out of the fixture.

The side were beaten in their opening fixture of the Championship defeated by Ireland and will play their final pool fixture against Australia on Wednesday.

Steve Bates said: “There are a lot of changes but we’ve picked a team that we know can be really competitive, I want to see the players put in a performance that they are proud of and for everyone to contribute.

“We agonised over the first selection and picking this XV has been equally as tough, but this is a strong team and we expect them to play with belief and confidence and play the sort of rugby we saw at times against Ireland but with a bit more consistency and discipline.”

England U20s team to play Ireland
15. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)
14. Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby)
13. Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks)
12. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints) - captain
11. Arron Reed (Sale Sharks)
10. Tom De Glanville (Bath Rugby)
9. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)
1. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)
2. Will Capon (Bristol Bears)
3. Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs)
5. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
6. Josh Basham (Newcastle Falcons)
7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
8. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)

Replacements
16. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks)
17. James Kenny (Exeter Chiefs)
18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
19. Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby)
20. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
21. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
22. Tom Willis (Wasps Rugby)
23. Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie)
24. Luke James (Sale Sharks)
25. Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)
26. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)

England U20 fixtures and results

Tuesday 4 June: England U20s 26-42 Ireland U20s
Saturday 8 June: England U20s v Italy U20s (KO 7.30pm BST), live on World Rugby platforms.
Wednesday 12 June: England U20s v Australia U20s (KO 7.30pm BST), live on World Rugby platforms.
Knockout stages on Monday 17 June and finals day on Saturday 22 June, live on ITV.