England U20 name side for opener, former star in Wales squad

England have named their side for their opener against Japan in this year’s World Rugby U20 Championship tomorrow at 17.30.

England begin their campaign at the Stadio San Michele in Calvisano, Italy, where the championship is being held.

Former St Joseph’s College captain and current Northampton Saints Academy man Lewis Ludlam makes his debut at blindside, while Newcastle Falcons’ Will Witty also makes his debut, he is in the second row alongside the former Bryanston pupil, Charlie Ewels of Bath, who also captains the side.

Ewels is one of a number of players in the starting fifteen who were part of last year’s successful side, with James Chisholm at number 8, Jack Walker and Paul Hill in the front row, Nick Tompkins at outside centre and Aaron Morris at full back all important players in the 2014 triumph in New Zealand.

Will Owen completes the back row alongside Chisholm and Ludlam, with Bristol’s Ellis Genge, a fast rising star, alongside Walker and Hill in the front row.

Stuart Townsend travelled with the squad last year but was not an official member of the party, he gets his chance tomorrow though, starting a scrum half inside another former Bryanston pupil in Rory Jennings at fly half. Outisde Jennings will be his former schoolmate and current Bath teammate Max Clark, who partners Tompkins in the centres.

Former Shiplake College winger Tom Howe makes his first start for the U20s on the left wing, with Saracens’ George Perkins on the right wing with clubmate Morris completing the side at full back.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game against Japan, Head Coach Jon Callard said:

“Everyone has settled in really well since arriving on Thursday, training has been spot on – good intensity, great accuracy and plenty of enthusiasm. The squad are keen to get our processes right and they are looking forward to the first match.”

“The players are aware of their roles and responsibilities and are excited about the challenge ahead. We want them not to have any nerves, to play with plenty of freedom, and to enjoy the opportunity to express themselves.”

“It is tough to have Japan first because they are a relatively unknown quality. From the tapes we have studied, we know that they are a physical, passionate side who will fight hard for the ball. We need to be clinical, focus on ourselves and our systems and make full use of possession.”

Elsewhere Gloucester’s Ross Moriarty, a Junior World Championship winner with England U20 in 2013, has been named in the Welsh World Cup training squad, alongside Exeter Chiefs’ Tom Francis, and Tyler Morgan, who has been called up from the Welsh U20 squad following Jonathan Davies’ injury.

England U20 v Japan U20 – Stadio San Michele, Calviano, 17.30 – BT Sport

England U20 XV:

15 Aaron Morris (Saracens)

14 George Perkins (Saracens)

13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens)

12 Max Clark (Bath Rugby)

11 Tom Howe (Wasps)

10 Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby)

9 Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs)

1 Ellis Genge (Bristol Rugby)

2 Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie)

3 Paul Hill (Yorkshire Carnegie)

4 Will Witty (Newcastle Falcons)

5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, Captain)

6 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)

7 Will Owen (Leicester Tigers)

8 James Chisholm (Harlequins)

Replacements:

16 Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs)

17 Sebastian Adeniran-Olule (Harlequins)

18 Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks)

19 Sam Skinner  (Exeter Chiefs)

20 Charlie Beckett (Leicester Tigers)

21 James Mitchell (Sale Sharks)

22 Lloyd Evans (Gloucester)

23 Piers O’Conor (Wasps)

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