Saracens - Kpoku selected for U20 Six Nations opener

Jan 30, 2019

Kpoku selected for U20 Six Nations opener

Joel Kpoku has been selected to start England Under-20s’ Six Nations opener against Ireland on Friday night.

The second row is one of nine players in the starting XV to have been capped at this level, and is one of seven to have featured in the final of the 2018 World Rugby U20 Championship in France. 

In total, the 19-year-old, who has six Saracens appearances to his name, made his U20s debut against the Junior Springboks last year.

Head Coach Steve Bates said: “The message to the squad this week has been that this is a great opportunity for them to show how good they are at the start of another Six Nations campaign and they should play with confidence.

“This is a very exciting, talented group of players and they should not forget to play like it, we have to go out there on Friday and really express ourselves on the pitch but we know we have to respect the opposition who will be positive about their chances in this competition as well.

“This is a team full of experience, who are hugely talented and it is a shame we can only pick 15 as we’ve left out some very good players.

“The replacements will all be expected to make an impact on Friday, while the wider squad who will not be in Ireland, will also be required at various points in the competition and we need everyone to stay involved as they will play further down the line.”

England U20s

15 Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons)
14 Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints)
13 Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)
12 Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers)
11 Cadan Murley (Harlequins)
10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
9 Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs)
1 Olly Adkins (Gloucester)
2 Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks)
3 Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs)
4 Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5 Alex Coles (Northampton Saints)
6 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
7 Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester)
8 Tom Willis (Wasps)


16 Ben Atkins (London Irish)
17 Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks)
18 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
19 James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
20 Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs)
21 Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie)
22 Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks)
23 Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors)


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