England U20 name side for JWC, with six of last year’s stars included

England U20 have named their side for the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship final against South Africa, and have selected the same fifteen that beat Ireland in the semi final.

It is little wonder, they dismissed of Ireland in spectacular fashion, winning 42-15 to seal their place in the final and with it a chance to become the first side bar the Junior All Blacks to retain the coveted JWC trophy.

There are two players in the starting fifteen that started in last year’s triumph over Wales, Harry Sloan at inside centre, and Ross Moriarty on the blindside flank. They are supported by loosehead prop Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, who was on the bench last year, as well as Henry Purdy who starts from the bench, as he did in last year’s triumph.

Joel Conlon and squad captain Callum Braley (Maro Itoje captains the team tomorrow) were both in the squad last season and will be on the bench for this one. The experience of those six players will be absolutely vital, be it from the start, from the bench or even in the build up to the game as they help the rest of the squad through the pressure that a final brings.

England gave been desperately trying to disassociate themselves from last year’s triumph – stating that that was a different team’s success and that they are only concentrating on creating their own history, however the experience of last year will doubtless be a huge factor tomorrow.

South Africa are not without their own JWC experience, fly half and captain Handre Pollard is at his third Championship and played a strong role in South Africa’s triumph on home soil in 2012 – he is one player in this year’s JWC who is strongly tipped for future success, and is one of four players on the shortlist for the IRB Junior World Player of the Year.

Joining him on that list are Ireland’s Garry Ringrose, New Zealand’s Tevita Li, and England’s own Nathan Earle, who starts on the left wing tomorrow.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s final, which kicks off at 08.35 BST at Eden Park and is on Live on Sky Sports 1, England Head Coach Nick Walshe said:

“This is a great opportunity for our guys – they have been excellent all trip and have fully deserved to get to where they are.”

“South Africa will be a difficult challenge, but we’re focusing on ourselves – we’re putting a real emphasis on performing for the full 80 minutes, we feel that we have played well in patches throughout the tournament but we want to see a complete performance.”

IRB JWC Final – England U20 v South Africa U20, Friday, 08.35, Sky Sports 1.

England U20 XV

15 Aaron Morris (Bedford Blues)
 14 Howard Packman (Northampton Saints) 
13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
 12 Harry Sloan (Harlequins) 11 Nathan Earle (Saracens)
 10 Billy Burns (Gloucester) 
9 Henry Taylor (Loughborough University);  1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints) 2 Tom Woolstencroft (Bath)
 3 Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie)
 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, captain)
 5 Charlie Ewels (Bath)
 6 Ross Moriarty (Gloucester) 7 Gus Jones (London Wasps)
 8 James Chisholm (Harlequins).

Replacements:  16 Jack Walker (Leeds Carnegie) 
17 Alex Lundberg (London Wasps) 
18 Biyi Alo (Saracens) 
19 Hayden Thompson-Stringer (Saracens)
 20 Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs)
 21 Callum Braley (Bristol) 22 Sam Olver (Northampton Saints)
 23 Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers).

South Africa U20 XV

15 Warrick Gelant  14 Dan Kriel  13 Jesse Kriel  12 Andre Esterhuizen  11 Sergeal Petersen  10 Handre Pollard (captain)  9 JP Smith;  1 Thomas Du Toit  2 Corniel Els  3 Dayan Van Der Westhuizen  4 JD Schickerling 5 Nico Janse Van Rensburg  6 Jacques Vermeulen  7 Cyle Brink  8 Aidon Davis.

Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweha  17 Pierre Schoeman  18 Wilco Louw  19 Victor Sekekete  20 Jean Luc Du Preez  21 Zee Mkhabela  22 Jean Luc Du Plessis  23 Duhan Van Der Merwe.

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