England U20s named for France clash – 2012/13 Schoolboy stars dominate


England Under 20s Head Coach Nick Walshe has named his side to take on France in the opening game of their Six Nations campaign at the Stade Leo Lagrange in Draguignan on Friday night.

The squad includes eleven of the squad that were involved with the England U18s squad last year, while seven have played with the U20s before.

Among the squad are seven of Fifteen Rugby’s ‘All Star Schools Squad’ from the 2012/13 season, showing just how many top rugby players are currently plying their trade in schoolboy rugby.

The side is led by scrum half Callum Braley, who was described by Head Coach Nick Walshe as being similar to the World Cup winning captain, Jack Clifford:

“Callum is similar to last season’s captain, Jack Clifford, in the sense that when he talks people listen. He might not be the loudest, he doesn’t scream or shout, but he’s a real leader and a top guy and I know he’ll lead the guys well.”

Braley spoke of his shcok and surprise at receiving the news that he called a “massive honour”:

“It was a bit of a shock to be asked to captain the team, but it’s something I’m really looking forward to and excited about. It’s a massive honour, and a great challenge – we’re looking to defend our Six Nations title, and that kicks off on Friday.”

The game kicks off at 19.55 and is at the Stade Leo Lagrange in Draguigan, in the South of France, and Walshe spoke of the challenge that playing France in France presents:

“Playing France in France is about as tough as you can get in the Six Nations,” he explained. “We played them twice last season and performed well on both occasions. Will that have a bearing on Friday night? We’d like to think so, but we need to execute our basics well and the rest will take care of itself.”

What do you think of the England U20s side? Who will be the first to break into the senior England set up? Let us know via the comments box below, or through Twitter on @FifteenRugbyXV

England U20s XV:

15 Nathan Earle (Saracens)
14 Zach Kibirige (Newcastle Falcons)
13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
12 Tom Stephenson (Northampton Saints)
11 Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers)
10 Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby)
9 Callum Braley (Bristol Rugby, captain); 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints)
2 Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers)
3 Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie)
4 Maro Itoje (Saracens)
5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
6 Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby)
7 Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs)
8 James Chisholm (Harlequins).

Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft (Bath Rugby)
17 Alex Lundberg (London Wasps)
18 Adam Jamieson (Bath Rugby)
19 Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby)
20 Will Owen (Leicester Tigers)
21 Henry Taylor (Loughborough University)
22 Sam Olver (Northampton Saints)
23 Howard Packman (Northampton Saints).

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