England have named their squad for the forthcoming U20 Six Nations Campaign, with Head Coach Alan Dickens naming a 32-man Elite Player Squad to take them through 2023.
Eight of the squad have prior U20 experience, while a further four represented England U19 last year as this group look to build towards what will be the first World Rugby U20 Championship since 2019 after 2020, 2021, and 2022 were all cancelled due to covid and associated travel issues.
Dickens’ squad contains 18 forwards and 14 backs, with Archie McArthur, Finn Theobald-Thomas, Lewis Chessum, Chandler Cunningham-South, and Greg Fisilau brining prior U20 experience to the forward pack, and Rekeiti Ma’asi-White, Louie Johnson, and Charlie Bracken brining it to the backline. Nathan Jibulu, Rob Carmichael, and Josh Dingley represented England U19 up front last year, as did Tobias Elliott in the backs.
All eleven Gallagher Premiership clubs are represented in the squad, Leciester Tigers most of all (perhaps unsurprisingly give their Academy prowess in 2018, 2019, and 2020) with seven players in the squad. Five of those are in the pack, Robert Carmichael, Finn Carnduff, Lewis Chessum, Tim Hoyt, and Joshua Manz, and two in the backs, Jacob Cusick and Joseph Woodward.
Harlequins are also well represented, they have five players in the squad, two in the forwards, Harry Browne and Nathan Jibulu, and three in the backs, Benjamin Waghorn, Connor Slevin, and the electric Cassius Cleaves. Gloucester are also well represented with four players, Danny Eite, Archie McArthur, and Finn Theobald-Thomas up front and Josh Hathaway in the backs.
Bristol Bears and London Irish have three each; James Halliwell, Joe Jenkins, and star fly half Sam Worsley for Bristol, with Chandler Cunningham-South, Calum Scott, and Afolabi Fasogbon all in the forward selection mix from London Irish.
Four clubs have two players each in the squad, Bath, Josh Dingley and Sam Harris, Newcastle Falcons, Guy Pepper and Louie Johnson, Sale Sharks, Reketi Ma’asi-White and Nye Thomas, and Saracens, Charlie Bracken and Tobias Elliott. Exeter Chiefs and Northampton Saints each meanwhile have one player in the squad, Greg Fisilau and George Patten respectively.
The squad will meet for a camp at Bisham Abbey this Wednesday and will meet Oxford University on Saturday (3pm KO) and Loughborough University the following Saturday (1pm KO) as part of their preparations for the U20 Six Nations opener against Scotland at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday 3rd February (7pm KO).
That is the first of back to back home games for England to kick off the campaign, they host Italy at Kingsholm on Friday 10th February before heading to Wales on Friday 24th. They are back at home on Friday 10th March to host France at The Rec before heading to Ireland for their final game on Sunday 19th March.
Commenting on his squad and the upcoming campaign, Head Coach Alan Dickens said: “We’re very excited about the squad coming together in camp this week as we prepare for our 2023 campaign. Being selected for England at any level is a proud moment in their careers and hopefully this is the next step towards achieving their dream of playing for the senior side.”
“Those who have been selected have been playing at various levels, including Premiership, Championship, BUCS Super Rugby, and National League rugby, where their academies have put in a lot of hard work. I’d like to thank the clubs, the coaches, and the managers for their support because their communication and collaboration has been excellent.”
“We’re looking forward to what will be a tough Under-20 Six Nations campaign, which starts with our match against Scotland at Twickenham Stoop, followed by the World Rugby Under-20 Championship later this year.
“We’re also looking forward to taking on Oxford University in front of a lively, and hopefully packed-out Iffley Road before we back up against the Loughborough Students the following week.
“These games are an important part of our preparation for the Under-20 Six Nations and will provide an opportunity to see players perform as a team ahead of the tournament.”
England U20 EPS
Harry Browne (Harlequins)
Robert Carmichael (Leicester Tigers)
Finn Carnduff (Leicester Tigers)
Lewis Chessum (Leicester Tigers)
Chandler Cunningham-South (London Irish)
Josh Dingley (Bath Rugby)
Danny Eite (Gloucester)
Afolabi Fasogbon (London Irish)
Greg Fisilau (Exeter Chiefs)
James Halliwell (Bristol Bears)
Tim Hoyt (Leicester Tigers)
Nathan Jibulu (Harlequins)
Joshua Manz (Leicester Tigers)
Archie McArthur (Gloucester)
George Patten (Northampton Saints)
Guy Pepper (Newcastle Falcons)
Calum Scott (London Irish)
Finn Theobald-Thomas (Gloucester)
Charlie Bracken (Saracens)
Cassius Cleaves (Harlequins)
Jacob Cusick (Leicester Tigers)
Tobias Elliott (Saracens)
Sam Harris (Bath Rugby)
Josh Hathaway (Gloucester)
Joe Jenkins (Bristol Bears)
Louie Johnson (Newcastle Falcons)
Rekeiti Ma’asi-White (Sale Sharks)
Connor Slevin (Harlequins)
Nye Thomas (Sale Sharks)
Benjamin Waghorn (Harlequins)
Joseph Woodward (Leicester Tigers)
Sam Worsley (Bristol Bears)
England U20 Six Nations Fixtures:
Scotland – Friday 3rd February, 7pm KO (Twickenham Stoop)
Italy – Friday 10th February, 7pm KO (Kingsholm)
Wales – Friday 24th February, 7.15pm KO (Away)
France – Friday 10th March, 8pm KO (The Rec)
Ireland – Sunday 19th March, 5pm KO (Away)