Mar 06, 2019
Kpoku and Vunipola to face Italy U20
Joel Kpoku and Manu Vunipola have once again been selected for England Under-20s.
Lock Kpoku will earn his 10th cap for Steve Bates’ side against Italy in the fourth round of the U20 Six Nations Championship at Bedford’s Goldington Road on Friday (KO 7.45pm, live on Sky Sports), while fly-half Vunipola is named as a replacement.
England are looking for a second win in the Championship, having defeated world champions France in Exeter, while England have lost their away fixtures to Ireland and Wales.
Following Friday’s game in Bedford, England will end their Championship against Scotland at Northampton’s Franklin’s Gardens on Friday 15 March.
Bates said: “On reflection we had a disappointing result against Wales but we played a lot of rugby in the manner we had prepared to, we just didn’t execute it as clinically as we’d liked to.
“The message to the squad is to continue to believe in what we are doing, be a bit more accurate in the final third and make sure the pressure we are putting on our opponents is turned into some scoreboard advantage.
“We saw against France in Exeter how much of a part home support can have and the players are all looking forward to taking on Italy in Bedford and we are hopeful it can give us that extra edge over Italy.”
15. Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)
14. Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)
13. Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby)
12. Tom de Glanville (Bath Rugby)
11. Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish)
10. Kieran Wilkinson (Sale Sharks)
9. Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie)
1. Olly Adkins (Gloucester Rugby)
2. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks)
3. Alfie Petch (Exeter Chiefs)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
6. Tom Willis (Wasps)
7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
8. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
16. Samson Ma'asi (Northampton Saints)
17. Kai Owen (Worcester Warriors)
18. Jack Bartlett (Gloucester Rugby)
19. Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
20. Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs)
21. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)
22. Manu Vunipola (Saracens)
23. Jack Reeves (Gloucester Rugby)