The penultimate round of the 2021 U20 Six Nations takes place on Wednesday, with England within touching distance of the title as the only side on three wins from three.
They beat Ireland last time out in a battle of the unbeaten sides, and Ireland now face a tricky task against an Italy side that will be full of confidence after beating Scotland heavily last time out.
Scotland have a tricky assignment as they seek their first victory of the tournament, they face France who were in superb form against Wales last time out and who have also beaten Italy in a tight game.
England and Wales meanwhile go head to head in the late fixture, Wales looking to beat their old rivals on home turf, while England go in search of a victory that would all but seal the title for them.
All three games can be viewed on the U20 Six Nations YouTube channel, as will be the case for the final round of games, which take place on Tuesday 13th July.
Italy v Ireland – Wednesday, 2pm, U20 Six Nations YouTube
Italy enjoyed a truly brilliant 43-3 victory over Scotland last time out, a deserved victory and one that built on the promise they had shown in their earlier fixtures.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, they make very few changes with just one alteration in the starting XV as Luca Rizzoli comes in for Mirco Spanolo at loosehead. On the bench there are three new faces as Fabrizio Boshetti, Mattia Ferrarin, and Sedbergh old boy Michele Brighetti all await their opportunity.
Ireland, meanwhile, have taken the change to really shuffle things after last week’s 24-15 defeat to England, their first of the tournament and a game that really put England in the driving seat for this U20 Six Nations title. In the backline there are just two survivors as Ben Rankin replaces Ben Moxham on the right wing, and Chay Mullins comes in for Chris Cosgrave on the left, and it is a whole new midfield with James Humphreys, Ben Carson, and Jude Postlethwaite coming in for Tim Corkery, Cathal Forde, and Shane Jennings at 10, 12, and 13.
Up front there are plenty of changes, Mark Morrisey comes into the second row, with Daniel Okeke coming in at 8, those changes see Alex Soroka moving back to his more familiar position of 6 in place of Donnacha Byrne, and captain Alex Kendellen moving from 8 to 7 in place of Oisin McCormack. Meanwhile in the front row Eoin de Buitlear replaces Ronana Loughnane at hooker and George Saunderson replaces Temi Lasisi at loosehead. Liam Bishop, Fergal O’Donoghue, Josh O’Connor, Levi Vaughan, and Reuben Crothers all come on to the bench.
France v Scotland – Wednesday, 5pm, U20 Six Nations YouTube
France come in to this one off the back of a 36-19 victory over Wales that was, if anything, even more convincing than the scorelines suggests. They take the opportunity to really shuffle their pack against a Scotland side that has struggled, with on Haddad starting against Scotland in the forwards from the starting 8 against Wales. Bibi Biziwu, Boudou, and Yemsi come in for Bordenave, Montgaillard, and Mallez in the front row, with Marcurdy and Verge replacing Ployet and Warion in the second row. Baudonne and Ntamack replace Bochaton and Tixeront and 6 and 8 respectively.
In the backline things are more settled, Reybier switches wing from 11 to 14 to accommodate returning superstar Epee on the left, who replaces Bielle Biarrey, they only other change in the backline sees Parisien replace Gailleton at outside centre. Moukoro, Kiteau, Le Corvex, Riguet, and Garcia all come onto the bench after missing out on the 26 last time out.
Scotland, meanwhile, change 11 after that disappointing defeat against Italy that leaves them still searching for a first victory of the campaign. Up front there are six changes, just skipper Alex Samuel and back row Archie Smeaton retain their places. Tom Bantalava, Patrick Harrison, and Corey Bowker replace Cole Lamberton, Jamie Drummond, and George Breese in an all new front row, while Euan Ferrie replaces Max Williamson in the second row. Rory Jackson replaces talisman Ben Muncaster at 8, while at 7 Sedbergh old boy Rhys Tait replaces Kirkham Grammar old boy Ollie Leatherbarrow.
There is a similar change in the backline at Sedbergh old boy Ollie Melville replaces Kirkham Grammar old boy Elliot Gourlay at full back. Elsewhere Ross McKnight replaces Adam Scott on the right wing and Michael Gray comes in at 12 for Scott King. It’s a fresh half back pairing, too, with Euan Cunningham and Christian Townsend, son of Gregor, coming in for Murray Redpath and Cameron Scott. Duncan Hood and Ethan McVickar come on to the bench after missing out on the 26 last time out.
England v Wales – Wednesday, 8pm, BBC iPlayer, U20 Six Nations YouTube
England, unsurprisingly given their superb display against Ireland, have kept the changes fairly minimal ahead of this game against Wales, where a victory will all but seal the title. Up front Fin Baxter comes in for Phil Brantingham at loosehead, the former England U18 and Wellington College skipper has come into the squad having been 24th man for Harlequins title winning run.
In the backline there are two changes as the impressive Tom Roebuck comes in on the right wing for Tom Litchfield and at full back Orlando Bailey replaces Charlie Atkinson, as England continue to run through their outstanding playmaking options.
The bench sees Lewis Holsey replace Tarek Haffar as loosehead cover, while Bristol Bears’ Deago Bailey returns to the 26 as one of the outside back replacement options.
Wales, meanwhile, have also kept the changes relatively minimal as they seek to bounce back from a tough outing against France last time out. It’s an all new second row for the young men in red as Peard and Thomas replace Jenkins and Fender.
There are two changes in the backline too, superstar fly half Sam Costelow returns to the side for Reed, while Evans comes back in for James at outside centre. On the bench Lloyd wears 26 having been outside of the matchday squad last time out.