Five changes from England U20

Date published: June 14 2016

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England head coach Martin Haag has made five changes to his XV for their final pool game of the World Rugby U20 Championship on Wednesday.

Victory over Australia would seal top spot in Pool B for England, who have secured successive bonus-point wins from their opening games.

George Perkins, who played in last year's U20 World Championship, gets his first action of the tournament on the wing, while scrum-half Harry Randall earns a starting spot.

Lewis Boyce is joined in the front-row by fellow prop Will Stuart – who were both among the replacements against Scotland – with Zach Mercer chosen at number eight for England.

"There is fantastic depth in this squad, there are some guys who haven’t had much game time and we’re trying to give them a little bit more," said Haag.

"It is about the wider 28, we are all in this together, this is our third game in eight days and it is important we manage players as well as selecting a side which we believe can get the result.

"This is a team that has a great attacking intent and who can score tries from a number of different sources. It is a team that is composed, enjoys each other’s company, who are proud to wear the England shirt and play at a level that they themselves aspire to."

England, who will again be led by hooker Jack Walker, have so far recorded victories against Italy (48-10) and Scotland (44-0), scoring 11 tries and conceding just one.

However, Haag says his side can improve yet further as they look to seal top spot in the pool.

"For us it’s about improving each game," he said. "We’ve created lots of opportunities so we want to find that clinical edge not only in attack but all areas – set piece, general play and in our defence.

"We’ve seen everything we wanted to see from the players in the first two games, we just want to be that much better, that’s our challenge collectively and individually."

Elsewhere, Darren Atkins is picked at full-back, with Joe Marchant and Johnny Williams making up England’s midfield pairing. Matt Gallagher is on the opposite wing to Perkins while Harry Mallinder again plays at fly-half.

Stan South and Huw Taylor make up England’s second-row pairing while George Nott and Will Evans join Mercer in the back-row.

Max Wright is named among the replacements and will win his first cap at U20 level if he comes on.

England: 15 Darren Atkins, 14 George Perkins, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Matt Gallagher, 10 Harry Mallinder, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Will Evans, 6 George Nott, 5 Huw Taylor, 4 Stan South, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jack Walker (c), 1 Lewis Boyce
Replacements: 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Billy Keast, 18 Billy Walker, 19 Jack Willis, 20 Josh Bainbridge, 21 Max Green, 22 Max Malins, 23 Max Wright

Date: Wednesday, June 15
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium, Salford
Kick-off: 19:45 local (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Greg Garner (England)
TMO: Paul Adams (Wales)

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