England U20: England U20 to take on Oxford University – Team News

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England U20 have named their side to face Oxford University on Saturday as their preparations for the Six Nations continue.

Head Coach Alan Dickens has actually named two sides for the 2pm kick off at Oxford University Sports Ground, Iffley Road, with one side for the first half and one for the second half, although former Rugby School star Kofi Cripps, now with Wasps, will play both halves, as will either Macenzzie Duncan or Oundle leaver Geordie Irvine, also in the back row.

Commenting ahead of the game, Alan Dickens said: “We’ve had two camps, this week and last, which helped bring the group together and kick start our Six Nations preparation. The training has gone really well and the commitment from the players has been fantastic. The game against Oxford University will be an excellent opportunity for us to put in to practice all our work in training and assess how well the lads are working as a group.  It’s a great way for us to prepare for our opening game in the Six Nations away to Scotland.”

England will be skippered in the first half by Harlequins loosehead Fin Baxter, who has also captained Wellington College and England U18, and he is joined in the front row by Jasper Spandler and Mikey Summerfield, with Tom Lockett and alex Wardell in the second row, Criffs, Duncan, and Irvine make up the back row.

In the backline the half back combination sees Tom Carr-Smith, who featured last year, alongside fly half Louie Johnson, a Sedbergh leaver. Ethan Grayson and Jacob Cusick are the centres, with a back three of Cassius Cleaves, Deago Bailey, and George Hendy.

In the second half Bromsgrove old boy Seb Atkinson takes over the captaincy, he will start at outside centre and the experienced Atkinson will be joined in the centres by Epsom College leaver Bryn Bradley. The back three sees Henry Arundell, Francis Moore, and Ollie Dawkins combine, while in the half backs it is Matty Jones at 9 with the fast rising Jamie Benson at fly half.

Up front Mark Dormer and Tom Cotton are in the front row, alongside Will Hobson and Robin Hardwick, who will each see game time at tighthead. Behind them are Alfie Bell and Charlie Rice. Greg Fisilau starts at 8, with Kofi Cripps staying in the side at 7, while Geordie Irvine and Macenzzie Duncan will swap in and out at blindside.

England’s Six Nations campaign starts on Friday 4th February when they will take on Scotland at the DAM Health Stadium in Edinburgh at 8pm, before travelling to Italy and the Stadio Comunale Di Monigo for a 7pm kick off on Friday 11th February. Their first home game is at Castle Park Doncaster on Friday 25th, a 7pm kick off against Wales, and then it’s home again against Ireland on Saturday 12th March, a 7.15pm kick off at StoneX Stadium. The campaign wraps up away in Perpignan against France in an 8pm kick off on Sunday 20th March.

England U20 XVs

First half
15 George Hendy
14 Deago Bailey
13 Jacob Cusick
12 Ethan Grayson
11 Cassius Cleaves
10 Louie Johnson
9 Tom Carr-Smith
1 Fin Baxter (c)
2 Jasper Spandler
3 Mikey Summerfield
4 Tom Lockett
5 Alex Wardell
6 Macenzzie Duncan
7 Kofi Cripps
8 Geordie Irvine

Second half
15 Henry Arundell
14 Francis Moore
13 Seb Atkinson (c)
12 Bryn Bradley
11 Ollie Dawkins
10 Jamie Benson
9 Matty Jones
1 Mark Dormer
2 Tom Cotton
3 Will Hobson/Robin Hardwick
4 Alfie Bell
5 Charlie Rice
6 Geordie Irvine/Macenzzie Duncan
7 Kofi Cripps
8 Greg Fisilau

Oxford University XV

15 Henry Hackett*, 14 Arthur Friend, 13 Liam Furniss, 12 Louis Jackson*(c), 11 Oscar Mariott-Clarke*, 10 David Wilkinson, 9 Callum Grant*, 1 Barnaby Vaughan*, 2 Alex Post, 3 Eric Fry, 4 Nick Civetta, 5 Ed Blake, 6 Piers von Dadelszen*, 7 Charlie Papworth*, 8 Euan Friend*.

Replacements: 16 Louis Wright*, 17 Gus Coningham, 18 Ed Penn, 19 Josh Navarajasegaran, 20 George Fowler, 21 Rory Tegner, 22 Mark Baecker, 23 Luke Wyllie, 24 Noah Zenios.

*Dentones Blue

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