Academy quartet selected for England U20s
Four Saracens Academy players have been selected for England Under-20s’ 32-man squad for the 2020 campaign.
Harvey Beaton, Sam Crean, Theo Dan and Manu Vunipola will be part of the side that will compete in the U20 Six Nations Championship which begins next months, as well as this summer’s World Rugby U20 Championship in Italy.
Vunipola has already been capped at Under-20s level while Beaton and Dan have been involved with the Under-18s setup previously. Crean has yet to represent his country at age-grade.
Fly-half Vunipola featured heavily for Saracens Men at the beginning of the season, slotting a winning conversion against London Irish at the death, while Crean made his European debut under the lights at Racing 92.
Beaton and Dan have both played for Saracens Storm in the Premiership Rugby Shield.
England U20s are led by head coach Alan Dickens and his side will open their Six Nations campaign against France in Grenoble, on Saturday 1st February (KO 20H00).
The squad will convene at Bisham Abbey national sports centre on Sunday 5th January as they continue their preparations for that first Six Nations fixture.
Vunipola played for England U20 at last year’s World Rugby Championship.
England’s player pathway programme is a vital development tool for future full international rugby.
Of the 31 players selected in England’s 2019 Rugby World Cup squad, 81% played for England U20s, 77% for England U18s, while 87% came through a club academy.
Dickens said: “Players have been selected through a combination of their performances last year and displays in domestic and European competitions this season. It’s been encouraging to see a number of the group playing Premiership, Champions Cup and Challenge Cup rugby and I believe we’ve selected a really strong 32 for our elite player squad. We also have a wider squad that we know will contribute and be crucial during the Six Nations as well as the World Rugby U20 Championship and my message to those players not in the 32 would be to stay fit and engaged with everything we are doing.”
Alfie Barbeary (Wasps Rugby)
Harvey Beaton (Saracens)
Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs)
Jack Clement (Gloucester Rugby)
Sam Crean (Saracens)
Theodore Dan (Saracens)
Ben Donnell (London Irish)
Rob Farrar (Newcastle Falcons)
Josh Gray (Gloucester Rugby)
Luke Green (London Irish)
George Martin (Leicester Tigers)
Nahum Merigan (Bath Rugby)
Hugh Tizard (Harlequins)
JJ Tonks (Northampton Saints)
Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
James Whitcombe (Leicester Tigers)
George Barton (Gloucester Rugby)
Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks)
Tom Curtis (Sale Sharks)
Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks)
Gabriel Hamer-Webb (Bath Rugby)
Will Haydon-Wood (Newcastle Falcons)
Noah Heward (Worcester Warriors)
Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)
Max Ojomoh (Bath Rugby)
Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)
Raphael Quirke (Sale Sharks)
Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks)
Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers)
Manu Vunipola (Saracens)
England men U20s Six Nations fixtures
France v England
Saturday, 1 February, KO 8pm GMT, Stade des Alpes, Grenoble
Scotland v England
Friday 7 February, KO 7.30pm GMT, Myreside, Edinburgh
England v Ireland
Friday, 21 February, KO 7.45pm GMT, Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. For media accreditation please contact: Jack Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
England v Wales
Friday, 6 March, KO 7.45pm GMT, Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester. For media accreditation please contact: Duncan Wood (email@example.com)
Italy v England
Sunday, 15 March, KO 5.30pm GMT, Payanini Rugby Center, Verona