May 21, 2018
Crossdale and Kpoku in England U20 squad for World Rugby Championship
Two Saracens academy players have been named in England Under-20s’ 28-man squad for the World Rugby U20 Championship this summer.
Ali Crossdale and Joel Kpoku will head to France as part of Steve Bates’ side, who meet Argentina first in Narbonne on Wednesday 30th May (17H30 kick-off).
Four days later, England lock horns with Italy before ending Pool B against Scotland.
Crossdale is one of eight players in the squad to have featured in last year’s tournament in Georgia, whilst it’s a first World Rugby U20 Championship for Kpoku.
England U20s have reached the final in five consecutive years, winning three (2013, 2014, 2016) and since 2008 they have reached eight out of the 10 finals.
Head coach Bates said: “Selection has been incredibly difficult as there were a lot of players to choose from and in some positions it’s been a really tight call.
“We saw real glimpses of what this team is capable of during the Six Nations, and I was proud of the way they performed. The challenge for us now is to consistently play high-intensity, high-tempo rugby and to turn up the heat on our opposition for the full 80 minutes.
“The World Rugby U20 Championship is a fantastic tournament and for some this will be the pinnacle of their international careers. Some will go on to be very good professionals but not all will play international rugby again so they should look at this as a fantastic opportunity to play on the world stage and showcase their ability while representing England.
“The message going into this tournament is we are expecting much more of the players as individuals and a team and although we have a proud history in this tournament, we want to leave our own legacy.”
England U20s squad for 2018 World Rugby U20 Championship:
Josh Basham (London Irish)
Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)
Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors)
Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
Sam Lewis (Leicester Tigers)
Gabriel Oghre (Wasps)
Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints)
James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby)
Toby Trinder (Northampton Saints)
Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby)
Tom Willis (Wasps)
Rory Brand (London Irish)
Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)
Ali Crossdale (Saracens)
Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)
James Grayson (Northampton Saints)
Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers)
Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)
Ben Loader (London Irish)
Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Parton (London Irish)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
Ben White (Leicester Tigers)