World Rugby U20 Championships: England name squad for World Rugby U20s | Chessum named skipper

England have named their squad for the forthcoming World Rugby U20 Championships in South Africa.


England first game of the tournament takes place on Saturday 24th June against Ireland, with further group games against Fiji, Thursday 29th June, and Australia, Tuesday 4th July, before the knockout stages begin.


New Head Coach Mark Mapletoft has named a 30-man squad for the tournament, based largely on the squad that recently travelled to Georgia, where they won one and lost one in their two match friendly series.


Indeed there are just two additions to that squad, with Gloucester’s Archie McArthur and Saracens’ Tobias Elliott coming in, while Harlequins’ Benjamin Waghorn unfortunately misses out.


Leicester Tigers’ Lewis Chessum will skipper the side, as he did in that defeat to Georgia in the second Test and he and his teammates will meet at the Honda England Rugby Performance Centre at Pennyhill Park to continue their preparations on the 17th June.


9 players in the squad are in line to earn their first U20 caps, the Georgia games were uncapped, Northampton Saints’ Craig Wright, Saracens’ Nathan Michelow, Bath’s Harvey Cuckson, Bristol Bears’ James Halliwell, and Harlequins pair Ethan Clark and Zach Carr in the forwards, along with Sale Shark’s Alex Wills, Harlequins’ Connor Slevin, and Northampton Saints’ Toby Thame in the backs.


There are 17 forwards and 13 backs in the squad, with Harlequins the most represented side in the squad, with Carr, Clarke, and Slevin joined by Nathan Jibulu, Harry Browne, and Cassius Cleaves.


Sale Sharks are not far behind, with five players in the squad. Alex Wills being joined by Asher Opoku-Fordjour, Nye Thomas, Rekeiti Ma’asi-White, and Tristan Woodman, who captained the side in the first game against Georgia.


Leicester Tigers have four in the squad, Joseph Woodward, Finn Carnduff, and Jacob Cusick joining the skipper Lewis Chessum.


Nathan Michelow, Tobias Elliott, and Charlie Bracken represent Saracens, with Bath seeing Harvey Cuckson and Sam Harris both selected, Bristol Bears menwhile also have two in the squad, James Halliwell and Joe Jenkins.


Likewise London Irish, through Afolabi Fasogbon and Chandler Cunningham-South, and Gloucester, through Finn Theobald-Thomas and Archie McArthur, Northampton Saints also have two in the squad, Thame and Wright. Exeter Chiefs and Newcastle Falcons each have one player in the squad, Greg Fisilau and Louie Johnson respectively.


It will be the first World Rugby U20 Championship in four years when the action kicks off the Cape Town after Covid got in the way of previous editions, and Mark Mapletoft was certainly in excited form when commenting on his squad:

“Congratulations to all players selected. The World Rugby U20 Championship is the peak of the age-grade calendar year and for many this will be the highlight of their rugby journeys so far.

“The players have learned a lot as a team and about themselves this year, including during our Six Nations campaign and on our recent tour of Georgia, and we’ll be better as a group for it. This is the first time since 2019 that the World Rugby U20 Championship has been played, so we’re very excited to take this squad to South Africa and test ourselves against the world’s best teams.

“Our squad reflects the diversity and strength of English rugby with every Premiership club represented, and we trust each player to play with pride every time they pull on an England shirt.”

England U20 Squad for the World Rugby U20 Championships:



Afolabi Fasogbon (London Irish)
Archie McArthur (Gloucester)
Asher Opoku-Fordjour (Sale Sharks)
Chandler Cunningham-South (London Irish)
Craig Wright (Northampton Saints)
Ethan Clarke (Harlequins)
Finn Carnduff (Leicester Tigers)
Finn Theobald-Thomas (Gloucester)
Greg Fisilau (Exeter Chiefs)
Harry Browne (Harlequins)
Harvey Cuckson (Bath Rugby)
James Halliwell (Bristol Bears)
Lewis Chessum (Leicester Tigers)
Nathan Jibulu (Harlequins)
Nathan Michelow (Saracens)
Tristan Woodman (Sale Sharks)
Zach Carr (Harlequins)


Alex Wills (Sale Sharks)
Cassius Cleaves (Harlequins)
Charlie Bracken (Saracens)
Connor Slevin (Harlequins)
Jacob Cusick (Leicester Tigers)
Joe Jenkins (Bristol Bears)
Joseph Woodward (Leicester Tigers)
Louie Johnson (Newcastle Falcons)
Nye Thomas (Sale Sharks)
Rekeiti Ma’asi-White (Sale Sharks)
Sam Harris (Bath Rugby)
Tobias Elliott (Saracens)
Toby Thame (Northampton Saints)

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