Braley to lead England Under 20s in France
ENGLAND Under 20s have named their side to take on France in the opening game of their Six Nations campaign on Friday, kick off 7.55pm (BST) at the Stade Leo Lagrange in Draguignan.
Scrum half Callum Braley captains the side for the first time and says that it’s a “massive honour” to lead the group.
England Under 20s captain Callum Braley
Seven of the 23 have previous Under 20s experience, while 11 played for England Under 18s last season.
Coaches Nick Walshe and Ian Peel will be hoping for a fourth successive title, but Head Coach Walshe says that performance is key.
He said: “Playing France in France is about as tough as you can get in the Six Nations. We played them twice last season and performed well on both occasions. Will that have a bearing on Friday night? We’d like to think so, but we need to execute our basics well and the rest will take care of itself.”
On Braley captaining the side, he added: “Callum is similar to last season’s captain, Jack Clifford, in the sense that when he talks people listen. He might not be the loudest, he doesn’t scream or shout, but he’s a real leader and a top guy and I know he’ll lead the guys well.”
Braley said: “It was a bit of a shock to be asked to captain the team, but it’s something I’m really looking forward to and excited about. It’s a massive honour, and a great challenge – we’re looking to defend our Six Nations title, and that kicks off on Friday.”
You can keep up to date with how England Under 20s get on by following @EnglandRugby on Twitter.
England Under 20s starting XV to play France
15 Nathan Earle (Saracens) 14 Zach Kibirige (Newcastle Falcons) 13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens) 12 Tom Stephenson (Northampton Saints) 11 Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers) 10 Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby) 9 Callum Braley (c) (Bristol Rugby) 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints) 2 Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers) 3 Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie) 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens) 5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby) 6 Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby) 7 Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs) 8 James Chisholm (Harlequins) Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft (Bath Rugby) 17 Alex Lundberg (London Wasps) 18 Adam Jamieson (Bath Rugby) 19 Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby) 20 Will Owen (Leicester Tigers) 21 Henry Taylor (Loughborough University) 22 Sam Olver (Northampton Saints) 23 Howard Packman (Northampton Saints)