Wasps pair called up to England U20s

Date: 26 Nov 2018

Wasps Academy duo Tom Willis and Will Simonds have both been called up to the 45-man England Under 20s squad for a development camp at Loughborough University from Friday 30 November to Sunday 2 December 2018.

Willis and Simonds have both impressed in the Premiership Rugby Cup and Shield fixtures this season, with Willis having gone on to shine in the recent Gallagher Premiership matches.

The upcoming camp will give England pathway coaches an opportunity to assess players further ahead of U20 Elite Player Squad (EPS) selection in January 2019. The group include 15 players capped at U20 level last season.

The 32-Elite Player Squad, which will compete in the 2019 U20s Six Nations as well as the World Rugby U20 Championship in May/June, are led by Head Coach Steve Bates as well as fellow Pathway Performance Coach Jim Mallinder.

Mark Hopley, Richard Whiffin and James Scaysbrook also join for the season as part of the latest coach development programme agreement between England Rugby and Premiership Rugby.

The development camp in Loughborough will also give the coaches an opportunity to discuss playing themes and principles for the season ahead.

England U20s open their Six Nations campaign against Ireland at the Irish Independent Park in Cork on Friday 1 February (kick-off 19.15 GMT).

The side then take on France on Saturday 9 February at Sandy Park (12.05 GMT), home of Exeter Chiefs, live on Sky Sports.

The U20s then head to the ZipWorld Stadium, Colwyn Bay to face Wales on Friday 22 February (19.05 GMT), live on S4C, before a second home fixture of the tournament with the side playing Italy on Friday 8 March at Bedford Blues’ Goldington Road (19.45 GMT), live on Sky Sports.

Their final fixture of the Six Nations will be against Scotland on Friday 15 March at Northampton Saints’ Franklin’s Gardens (19.45 GMT), live on Sky Sports.

The 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship will be held in Argentina.

Steve Bates said: “The development camp gives us an opportunity to cover some basic details with a larger number of players who could all be required at various points during the Six Nations.

“It also gives us a chance to look closely at the wider group and players outside of the 32-man EPS who might be used during the international season.

“We’ve selected the training squad through a combined effort of working with the academy management and watching the players over the past few months.

“We want the players to have high energy, a desire to play the game quickly and with a degree of flexibility. We’d like them to quickly adapt to playing with new players and to have different ideas about how to play.

“It will also be the first time we’ve had the opportunity to work with the new coaches and they have played a full part in the planning of the sessions, the technical aspects of how we want to play as well as the delivery of this camp.”


Ollie Adkins (Gloucester Rugby), Josh Basham (Durham University), Will Capon (Bristol Bears), Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs), Andy Christie (Saracens), Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks), Ben Donnell (London Irish), James Dun (Bristol Bears), Taylor Gough (Leicester Tigers), Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby), Joel Kpoku (Saracens), Jon Kpoku (Saracens), Samson Ma'asi (Northampton Saints), Tom Marshall (Newcastle Falcons), Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors), Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs), Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks), James Scott (Worcester Warriors), Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs), Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Willis (Wasps).  


Tom De Glanville (Bath Rugby), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks), Reece Dunn (Gloucester Rugby), Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie), Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers), Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish), Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons), Luke James (Sale Sharks), Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors), Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), Cadan Murley (Harlequins), Cam Nordli-Kelemeti (Newcastle Falcons), Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), Arron Reed (Sale Sharks), Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby), Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), Will Simonds (Wasps), Manu Vunipola (Saracens), Gus Warr (Sale Sharks), Kieran Wilkinson (Sale Sharks).


England U20 Six Nations fixtures:

Ireland v England

Friday 1 February, KO 19.15 GMT

Irish Independent Park, Cork


England v France

Saturday 9 February, KO 12.05 GMT – live on Sky Sports

Sandy Park, Exeter. For tickets, please visit: englandrugby.com/tickets


Wales v England

Friday, 22 February, KO 19.05 GMT – live on S4C

ZipWorld Stadium, Colwyn Bay.


England v Italy

Friday, 8 March, KO 19.45 – live on Sky Sports

Goldington Road, Bedford. For tickets, please visit: englandrugby.com/tickets


England v Scotland

Friday, 15 March, KO 19.45 – live on Sky Sports

Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. For tickets, please visit: englandrugby.com/tickets