England U20s side to play Scotland
England U20s head coach Steve Bates has named his side to play Scotland on Thursday in their final Pool B fixture of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Beziers (8pm BST, live on worldrugby.org).
The side will be captained by scrum half Ben White (Leicester Tigers) with three players making their first starts of the tournament in France.
Prop Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby) and hooker Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors) are named in the front row, while flanker Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby) also starts his first game.
Elsewhere, Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers) is named at fly-half with Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers) also returning to the side at outside centre.
James Grayson (Northampton Saints) is chosen at full-back, making up a back three with Ben Loader (London Irish) and Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins).
In the pack, lock forward James Scott (Worcester Warriors) returns to the side to partner Joel Kpoku (Saracens) while prop Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints) makes up the front row.
Saracens back Ali Crossdale has been ruled out of the tournament after sustaining an injury in the opening pool game and will be replaced by London Irish’s Matt Williams, who is among the replacements for Thursday’s game.
England have so far recorded two bonus-point victories over Argentina (39-18) and Italy (43-5) in the tournament, sealing their place in the semi-finals as a result.
Steve Bates said: “The challenge is always going to be one of improvement as we go through this tournament.
“The first two games have been good but there are still things we need to work on. We recognise that this fixture is a good opportunity for us to keep progressing and to build momentum so there is a pressure on this group to ensure we don’t drop our intensity or pace.
“We need to cut out some of the errors that crept into our game in the last match. We won the ball well, we scrummaged well but we have to be a little more accurate with the ball when we get it, keep it, be patient and if we do that then we will stretch sides.
“Scotland have been really competitive in the two games they have played so far and although we have beaten those two teams we’ve had to work pretty hard to do it. The rivalry between the two nations will be a part of this game and I think the fact they beat us in the Six Nations will also be a factor and will no doubt raise the intensity of both sides.”
15. James Grayson (Northampton Saints)
14. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)
13. Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers)
12. Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)
11. Ben Loader (London Irish)
10. Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers)
9. Ben White – captain (Leicester Tigers)
1. Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
2. Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors)
3. Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
6. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
8. Tom Willis (Wasps)
16. Gabriel Oghre (Wasps)
17. Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby)
18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
19. Josh Basham (London Irish)
20. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)
21. Rory Brand (London Irish)
22. Matt Williams (London Irish)
23. Tom Parton (London Irish)
England U20 fixtures:
England 39-18 Argentina
England 43-5 Italy
England v Scotland
Thursday 7 June, KO 8pm BST – highlights on ITV 4 (midnight)
Stade de la Méditerranée, Beziers
Semi-finals and ranking play-offs - Narbonne and Perpignan, 12 June
Finals day - Beziers, 17 June