England name squad for U20 World Championship

Date published: April 21 2017

England have named a 28-man squad for the World Rugby U20 Championship taking place in Georgia from 31 May to 18 June.

All but two players featured in England’s recent Six Nations Grand Slam, with Ali Crossdale and Will Evans the additions.

Evans, along with Sam Aspland-Robinson, Theo Brophy Clews, Zach Mercer, Harry Randall and Max Wright were involved in last year’s successful campaign when England lifted the World Championship trophy in Manchester.

That final was England's seventh in nine years, reflecting the success of the player pathway programme. Yesterday, England head coach Eddie Jones also named five current U20 players – Joe Cokanasiga, Tom Curry, Ben Curry, Nick Isiekwe and Jack Maunder – in his senior squad to tour Argentina.

"It is great to have five players earn places in the senior squad," said RFU head of International Player Development, Dean Ryan.

“Following the England U20 Grand Slam earlier this year, it is great to have five players earn places in the senior squad. 

“The Six Nations showed that we have a large pool of young talent and that competition for places is high.  We’re looking forward to seeing which players now take the opportunity to make their mark in the World Championship this summer as this group continues to develop.” 

Ben Earl captained England in their wins over France and Wales before missing the rest of the Six Nations through injury. The Saracens number eight is named alongside fellow back-row Zach Mercer who led the squad to victory in his absence.

Louis Deacon, Ian Vass and Tom Williams continue as England’s coaching team, having joined the management as part of a new agreement with Premiership Rugby in which club coaches lead and develop the U20s while gaining experience in an international environment.

Playing all of their Pool A matches in the Avchala Stadium, the reigning champions will open their campaign against Samoa on Wednesday, May 31. Samoa have been promoted to the U20 Championship after winning the World Rugby U20 Trophy in Zimbabwe last year.

England will face familiar faces in their second fixture when they come up against Wales on Sunday, June 4. The two sides recently met in the Six Nations, with England coming out 37-21 winners.

Australia, who were in England’s pool last year, are the opposition for their final pool game on Thursday, June 8.

England U20 Squad

Forwards: Ralph Adams-Hale (Saracens), Josh Bayliss (Bath), Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons), Josh Caulfield (Exeter Chiefs), Justin Clegg (Worcester Warriors), Max Davies (Newcastle Falcons), Ollie Dawe (Bristol), Ben Earl (Saracens), Will Evans (Leicester Tigers), Ciaran Knight (Gloucester), Zach Mercer (Bath), Joe Mullis (Gloucester), Jack Nay (Saracens), Alex Seville (Gloucester), Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs), Henry Walker (Gloucester)

Backs: Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins), Theo Brophy Clews (London Irish), Will Butler (Worcester Warriors), Ali Crossdale (Saracens), Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), Max Malins (Saracens), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Dominic Morris (Saracens), Tom Parton (London Irish), Harry Randall (Gloucester), Jacob Umaga (Wasps), Max Wright (Yorkshire Carnegie)