England U20 have named their 32-man training squad as they begin their preparations for this seasonâ€™s campaign.
The U20s have risen in profile enormously in the last few years, having won the IRB Junior World Championship in both 2013 and 2014, and having had several players graduate to the senior England set up.
This squad will compete in the JWC in June 2015, as well as the U20s Six Nations, beginning in February.
Seven of those involved in that most recent JWC triumph are included in this squad, as well as Exeter Chiefs scrum half Stuart Townsend, who travelled with the squad in an analysis position.
Those who were part of that squad are former England U18 captain and current Harlequins A captain James Chisholm, a Brighton College old boy, his former England U18 vice-captain and current Bath United captain, Charlie Ewels, who used to attend Bryanston School, and former Prince Henryâ€™s Grammar School front row forwards and current Yorkshire Carnegie pair, Jack Walker and Paul Hill.
In the backs the former Oaklands College star Nick Tompkins is back for a second shot alongside his Saracens clubmate Aaron Morris, and Northampton Saintsâ€™ Moulton College old boy, Howard Packman.
The squad have all been active in the Aviva A league this season, showing just how much faith the 1st XV coaches are now placing in youth following the success of the England U20s in recent years, that is despite the fact that eleven of this squad were playing for the England U18s last season, as recently as August on their South Africa tour for many, showing just how fast they are developing.
The strength of the squad is perhaps best shown by some of the names that are not included, a point that coach Jon Callard was keen to point out:
â€œThere is always huge competition at this age grade and with a lot of players getting first team rugby at their clubs itâ€™s tough to narrow that down to a group of 32. We expect players to continue to push for inclusion.â€
He followed that by praising the clubs for their work in the academies and the experience that players have been gaining:
â€œThe work that the regional academies do is outstanding and with the partnership we have established with them, the development process will go from strength to strength. This programme is now producing tough competition for places, and this is great for English rugby.”
With 22 players have been capped since the U20s were created from the ashes of the England U21s back in 2007, this squad really does represent the England stars of the future, and is well worth keeping a close eye on.
With a blend of JWC winners and U18 FIRA/AER European Championship winners, this looks as exciting an England U20s group as any. As Jon Callard explained:
â€œItâ€™s an exciting time to be involved with English rugby and we are all looking forward to working with the players in the squad. We have a good blend of guys with experience from last season and new talent emerging from across the player pathway.â€
Englandâ€™s 6 Nations campaign begins in Wales on the 7th February, before they play Italy at the home of Plymouth Albion on the 13th, Ireland in Ireland on the 27th, before two more home games; against Scotland at Darlington Mowden Park on the 13th March, and France at the Brighton American Express Community Stadium on the 20th. All England U20s home games will be live on Sky Sports.
England U20 Training Squad:
Seb Adeniran-Olule (Harlequins, Wellington College)
Joe Batley (Gloucester Rugby, Hartpury College)
Charlie Beckett (Leicester Tigers, Queen Elizabeth & Wyggeston)
Lewis Boyce (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henryâ€™s Grammar School)
James Chisholm (Harlequins, Brighton College)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, Bryanston)
Jake Farnworth (Leicester Tigers, Stafford Grammar School)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Rugby, Hartpury College)
Paul Hill (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henryâ€™s Grammar School)
Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs, Truro College)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, St Josephâ€™s College)
Will Owen (Leicester Tigers, Queen Elizabeth & Wyggeston)
Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks, St Ambrose College)
Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs)
Huw Taylor (Worcester Warriors, Old Swinford Hospital)
Kieran Treadwell (Harlequins, John Fisher)
Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie, Prince Henryâ€™s Grammar School)
Will Witty (Newcastle Falcons, Norton College)
Max Clark (Bath Rugby, Bryanston)
Lloyd Evans (Gloucester Rugby, Dean Close)
Tom Fowlie (London Irish, St Paulâ€™s Catholic College)
Tom Griffiths (Saracens, Hartpury College)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby, Bryanston)
Harry Mallinder (Northampton Saints, Rugby)
James Mitchell (Sale Sharks, Lymm High School)
Aaron Morris (Saracens, Biddenham Upper School)
Piers O’Conor (Wasps, Eastbourne College)
Howard Packman (Northampton Saints, Moulton College)
George Perkins (Saracens, Oaklands College)
Taylor Prell (Yorkshire Carnegie, Giggleswick)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens, Oaklands College)
Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs, Ivybridge Community College)
England Under 20 Six Nations fixtures:
Saturday, February 7Â – Wales U20 v England U20, Colwyn Bay.
Friday, February 13Â – England U20 v Italy U20Â â€¨Plymouth Albion, kick-off 7.45pm (Sky Sports)
Friday, February 27 – Ireland U20 v England U20
Friday, March 13 – England U20 v Scotland U20, Darlington Mowden Park, kick-off 5.30pm (Sky Sports)
Friday, March 20 – England U20 v France U20, Brighton American Express Community Stadium, kick-off 7.55pm (Sky Sports)