England men U20s team to play Italy in Six Nations
England U20s head coach Steve Bates has named his side to play 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).
Bates has made three changes to the starting XV who faced Wales in Colwyn Bay.
James Scott comes into the second row in place of Alex Coles, while Rus Tuima gets a first U20 start having been named at number eight with Tom Willis switching to blindside flanker.
Tom Seabrook comes in at outside centre, replacing the injured Connor Doherty while Willis will captain the side for a second-successive match.
England’s front row and halfback pairing are unchanged, as is the back three.
Bates’ side 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.
Steve 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.
“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)
England U20 Six Nations results and fixtures:
Ireland 35-27 England
England 31-19 France
Wales 11-10 England
England v Italy
Friday, 8 March, KO 19.45 – live on Sky Sports
Goldington Road, Bedford. For tickets, please visit: Bedford Blues - here
England v Scotland
Friday, 15 March, KO 19.45 – live on Sky Sports
Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton. For tickets, please visit: englandrugby.com/tickets