Saracens - Kpoku and Vunipola picked by England U20

Feb 20, 2019

Kpoku and Vunipola picked by England U20


Two Saracens academy players have been selected for England Under-20s’ match against Wales on Friday at the ZipWorld Stadium (KO 19H05, live on S4C). 

Joel Kpoku starts for the third game running while Manu Vunipola is on the bench – his first involvement at U20 level.

England opened their Six Nations campaign with defeat in Ireland, before victory against France at Exeter’s Sandy Park.

Head coach Steve Bates said: “Making so many changes provides a challenge for the coaches but this is where the training we did with the wider squad in December and January pays dividends.

“This is a huge opportunity for those players coming in to show how talented they are and stake a claim for future selection. We had an impressive win against France, and the players that have come in since that victory have trained well and we have confidence in them to build on that win.

“We know Friday is going to be a huge challenge, it is away in Wales and we are expecting a hostile atmosphere but the players should relish that.

“We’d like to see a combination of the two performances we have had in the tournament. We want to see the forward dominance we saw against France, while also playing with the fluidity we had against Ireland and then manage the game appropriately.”

England U20s
15. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)
14. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)
13. Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks)
12. Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby)
11. Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish)
10. Kieran Wilkinson (Sale Sharks)
9. Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Academy)
1. Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby)
2. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks)
3. Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
6. Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs)
7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
8. Tom Willis (Wasps)

Replacements:
16. Samson Ma'asi (Northampton Saints)
17. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)
18. Jack Bartlett (Gloucester Rugby)
19. James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
20. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
21. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)
22. Manu Vunipola (Saracens)
23. Jack Reeves (Gloucester Rugby)

Share this story