England U20 Head Coach Nick Walshe has announced his squad for the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship, a squad which contains three Gloucester Rugby players.
Billy Burns, Jonny Hill and Ross Moriarty are the players in questions as England head to New Zealand to defend the trophy that they won in France last year.
Coaches Nick Walshe and Ian Peel will be hoping to defend the title they won last June in France, and have named seven players with previous JWC experience - including captain Callum Braley.
England kick off their campaign on June 2against Italy at the ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe before facing Australia on June 6 at the QBE Stadium, Auckland, before taking on Argentina on June 10, again at the QBE Stadium.
Head Coach Walshe said:
"We're pleased with the balance and experience in this squad, and we are confident that they will perform well in each of our five matches.
"While England U20 are the holders of the trophy, this group hasn't won anything - we enjoyed a successful Six Nations, and while it was disappointing not to win it, as a group we came on hugely. The key is to keep building on that momentum."
Forwards Coach Peel said:
"Our focus is on that first game against Italy. We have a warm up match and a camp in Newcastle prior to flying out, but the plan is to build towards that opening match. The games come thick and fast in this tournament, we've got a very tough group but we're excited by that challenge."
Captain Callum Braley added:
"It's massively exciting to be heading down to New Zealand to defend our title. Rugby is obviously huge over there and there will be some pressure on us, but we will use that as a positive and look to perform as best we can."
England Under 20 squad
Biyi Alo (Saracens), James Chisholm (Harlequins), Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs), Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby), Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby), Jonny Hill (Gloucester Rugby), Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie), Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Gus Jones (London Wasps), Alex Lundberg (London Wasps), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby), Harry Rudkin (Leicester Tigers), Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers), Jack Walker (Leeds Carnegie), Tom Woolstencroft (Bath Rugby)
Callum Braley (Bristol Rugby, captain), Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby), Nathan Earle (Saracens), Tom Fowlie (London Irish), Aaron Morris (Bedford Blues), Sam Olver (Northampton Saints), Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers) ,Howard Packman (Northampton Saints), Harry Sloan (Harlequins), Tom Stephenson (Northampton Saints), Henry Taylor (Loughborough University), Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
Speaking to the local media this week, back row flanker Jacob Rowan said that he is excited for the challenge at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, and added that the players know the responsibility is theirs to deliver against the league leaders.
Ben Morgan was on media duty this week, and as Gloucester prepare for Sunday's trip to Wasps, the number eight is looking forward to see Gloucester go toe-to-toe with another of the Aviva Premiership's front runners.
Tom Marshall scored his first Gloucester try in the 31-23 win over Saracens on Friday evening and was named Man of the Match. Talking to GRTV, he praised the forwards for setting the tone on the night.
Matt Scott was on media duty this week, and the Scottish international spoke about the benefit of having a full week of training with his club mates and the determination to get back to performing well against Saracens this Friday evening.
Last Friday night saw Gloucester Rugby Head of Community Adam Balding present a cheque for £7082.82 to the Royal British Legion as a result of a series of fundraising during the Remembrance Period in November.
Gloucester battled bravely against Wasps on Sunday, but it was a case of taking chances at the Ricoh Arena. Gloucester didn't make the most of theirs while Wasps did, and that proved to be the difference.
Gloucester were competitive for long periods at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday afternoon, but were left to rue a host of missed scoring opportunities throughout as Wasps hit back to earn a 35-22 Aviva Premiership win.
Gloucester's Ciaran Knight made his first start at tighthead prop, Henry Walker made his first appearance as a second half replacement and Alex Seville also featured as England U20s might it three from three in the U20s Six Nations with a 46-0 win over Italy in Darlington on Friday night.