Young trio in for England U20s ahead of Six Nations clash against Ireland
- Credit: Archant
Three of the districts young rugby stars will start for England U20s against Ireland in the Six Nations on Friday.
Harpenden’s Jack Singleton and George Perkins will line-up alongside old Albanian’s Max Malins in the clash at Newcastle Falcons’ Kingston Park.
Sadly there is no place for another Harpenden old boy, Ralph Adams-Hale, misses out with injury, or former Oaklands College student Billy Walker.
Singleton stole the show last time out against Italy, scoring an amazing four tries on his first start.
And both Malins and Perkins chipped in with a score of their own in the 42-7 success in Venice.
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Coach Jon Callard has made two changes to that squad.
Archie White starts at blind-side flanker while Jake Pope comes onto the bench in place of Adams-Hale.
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Callard said: “Playing our home games around the country allows us to spread the message about the youngsters England have coming through the pathway.
“It is great to come to Newcastle.
“The squad are excited about the support and welcome they will receive at Kingston Park and we want to play a game that the spectators will enjoy.”
It is a big year for U20 rugby in the country, with the World Rugby Championship to be held in Manchester in June, and for the development of this group through the Six Nations and into the summer, a wider squad effort is required.
Callard added: “We have been in camp for three weeks now and each week we bring 27 players in to keep a good base of players up to speed.
“This gives them the chance to prove themselves and also understand what we are trying to achieve and how we are developing.
“Unfortunately some guys then miss out on match day, but we want this to be a full squad effort with everyone involved working hard for each other.
“This week, Archie has the opportunity to show what he can bring although his inclusion does mean that Zach Mercer misses out.”
England currently sit in third place in the table level with Scotland who provided a tough challenge on the opening weekend.
Following a 24-6 defeat England bounced back in Italy and are hoping to build on the form shown in the last round.
“Against Italy we put some nice patterns of play together, our game understanding was stronger and our game management was better,” said Callard.
“That improvement came about from having more time together and having the experience of a good hit out against Scotland.
“We always said we would need that first game against Scotland to really know where we were at, and unfortunately we came up short that day, but rectified it the following week in tough conditions.
“Against Ireland it is a different surface again.
“The 4G means it is going to be quick game and we need to be sharp around the breakdown.
“Our defence must be solid and we need to know our roles and responsibilities.
“In attack, it is simply about being clinical and taking the opportunities when we have identified them.”
England U20 squad to face Ireland U20
15. Max Malins (Saracens)
14. George Perkins (Saracens)
13. Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
12. Charlie Thacker (Leicester Tigers)
11. Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)
10. Mathew Protheroe (Gloucester Rugby)
9. Max Green (Yorkshire Carnegie)
1. Tom West (Wasps)
2. Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors)
3. Will Stuart (Wasps)
4. Huw Taylor (Worcester Warriors)
5. George Nott (Sale Sharks)
6. Archie White (Harlequins)
7. Sam Smith (Worcester Warriors)
8. Callum Chick (Newcastle Falcons) ©
16. Curtis Langdon (London Irish)
17. Jake Pope (Sale Sharks)
18. Billy Keast (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Stan South (Harlequins)
20. Jack Willis (Wasps)
21. Jamie Shillcock (Worcester Warriors)
22. Joe Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
23. Paolo Odogwu (Leicester Tigers)
The game kicks off at 6.05pm and will be shown live on Sky Sports 3.