Jun 08, 2017
4 Saracens feature in final England U20's pool match
4 Saracens will be lining up to face Australia as part of an England U20’s side embarking on their final pool game of the 2017 World Rugby U20’s Championship, this year being held in Georgia. Sarries quartet Max Malins, Jack Nay, Ben Earl and Ralph Adams-Hale are all named in the matchday 23, and kick off is today at 17H30, live on the World Rugby Facebook page, with highlights being shown on ITV 4.
The U20s have so far recorded two bonus-point victories and next face Australia as they look to gain qualification into the semi-finals of the tournament.
Bath’s Zach Mercer captains the side from number eight, while there is a first start for wing Paolo Odogwu.
“It’s been a short turnaround but training has been good and we’ve worked hard off the field more importantly,” said England U20 head coach Ian Vass. “We’re confident in what we’re trying to achieve and that’s to get into a World Rugby U20 Championship semi-final.
“The competition is getting better with every game so we need to improve also and that’s what we’ve tried to achieve in training. If we perform as we can, the result will take care of itself.”
England have beaten Samoa and Wales so far in Georgia and victory will guarantee a place in the last four of the tournament.
Two members of last year’s winning World Rugby U20 Championship side, Harry Randall and Saracens’ Max Malins, start at scrum-half and fly-half.
Australia are also unbeaten in the tournament and the two sides met each other in last year’s tournament at the same stage.
“Our aim is to win the game and if we do that we’re in the semi-final, but our primary concern is on performing well and beating Australia,” added Vass.
“They are tactically astute so we need to be on our toes as a team and react as well as adapt to whatever they are doing. They have had two tough games and have shown a mental edge to come through them.”
England U20 team to face Australia:
15. Tom Parton (London Irish)
14. Paolo Odogwu (Sale Sharks)
13. Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)
12. Theo Brophy Clews (London Irish)
11. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)
10. Max Malins (Saracens)
9. Harry Randall (Gloucester Rugby)
1. Ollie Dawe (Bristol Rugby)
2. Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby)
3. Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Josh Caulfield (Exeter Chiefs)
5. Jack Nay (Saracens)
6. Dino Lamb (Harlequins)
7. Ben Earl (Saracens)
8. Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby) captain
16. Joe Mullis (Gloucester Rugby)
17. Ralph Adams-Hale (Saracens)
18. Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
19. Justin Clegg (Worcester Warriors)
20. Max Davies (Newcastle Falcons)
21. Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby)
22. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)
23. Darren Atkins (Bath Rugby)
England's 2017 World Rugby U20 Championship fixtures:
England 74 v 14 Samoa: Wednesday 31 May – Avchala Stadium
England 34 v 22 Wales: Sunday 4 June - Avchala Stadium
England v Australia: Thursday 8 June - Avchala Stadium (5:30pm KO BST)
Semi-finals and knock-out matches (Tuesday 13 June) Details TBC
Final and knock-out matches (Sunday 18 June) Details TBC