Apr 25, 2019
Four Academy players picked by England U20
Four Saracens Academy players have been selected to play for England Under-20s against the Junior Springboks at Coventry Rugby's Butts Park Arena on Friday (kick-off 19H30pm), live on EnglandRugby.com.
Flanker Andy Christie will win his first Under-20s cap and is joined by lock Joel Kpoku in the pack. Manu Vunipola starts at fly-half while Jon Kpoku is named as a replacement.
The match is a warm-up for the World Rugby U20 Championship in June, a tournament that has seen many Sarries Academy players feature including Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell, Max Malins, Matt Gallagher and Ralph Adams-Hale.
The side are led by pathway performance coach Bates, who is assisted by Mark Hopley (forwards), James Scaysbrook (defence) and Richard Whiffin (attack) who are part of the coach development programme agreement with Premiership Rugby.
Head coach Steve Bates said: "This is an opportunity for these players to stake a claim for a spot in our squad for the World Rugby U20 Championship and that is how we are approaching the game.
"It is very timely in terms of when the squad for the Championship gets picked, and for some it could be a very important fixture to get a place on the plane to Argentina.
"Joel Kpoku last year is a very good example. He did not take any part in the U20 Six Nations, played against South Africa, did very well and secured a place in the squad for the Championships in France.”
Friday’s match will be live streamed on EnglandRugby.com, as well as our Facebook and YouTube channels.
15 Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)
14 Charlie Powell (Bristol Bears)
13 Sam Spink (Wasps)
12 Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks)
11 Jake Morris (Gloucester Rugby)
10 Manu Vunipola (Saracens)
9 Gus Warr (Sale Sharks)
1 Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby)
2 Alfie Barbeary (Wasps)
3 Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs)
4 Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5 James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
6 Tom Willis (Wasps) - captain
7 Andy Christie (Saracens)
8 Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
16 Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)
17 Ben Atkins (London Irish)
18 Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs)
19 Jon Kpoku (Saracens)
20 Izaiha Moore-Aiono (London Irish)
21 Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie)
22 Will Haydon Wood (Newcastle Falcons)
23 Jack Reeves (Gloucester Rugby)