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Quartet of Gloucester Rugby young guns named in England squad for Springbok semi-final


11 June 2018

Tom Burrows

Quartet of Gloucester Rugby young guns named in England squad for Springbok semi-final

Hooker Henry Walker will line up alongside clubmate Alex Seville in the England U20 front row for tomorrow’s World Rugby U20 Championships semi-final with South Africa in Narbonne.

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Walker and Seville both start, with Ciaran Knight and Aaron Hinkley named amongst the replacements by Head Coach Steve Bates for the English for the semi-final clash (KO 6pm – live on ITV4)

Flanker Ben Curry (Sale Sharks) returns to the starting XV to captain the side and he is joined in the backrow by Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors) as well as No 8 Josh Basham (London Irish).

Hooker Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby) and prop Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers) also return to the side joining Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby) in the front row.

No. 10 Marcus Smith (Harlequins) will join Ben White (Leicester Tigers) at halfback with Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints) named at outside centre.

England’s back three consists of winger Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers) and Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins) as well as full back Tom Parton (London Irish).

Bates’ side head into the semi-final of the tournament as top seeds after three bonus-point victories in their pool over Argentina, Italy and Scotland.

Hosts France take on New Zealand in Wednesday’s other semi-final in Perpignan.

England U20s have reached the final in five consecutive years, winning three (2013, 2014, 2016) and since 2008 they have reached eight out of the 10 finals.

Ciaran Knight carries against Scotland in Round Three

Steve Bates said: “We’re into the knockout stages of the competition now so we need to raise the tempo of our game and be more accurate as well as play at a more intense pace.

“At this stage of the competition the stakes are high and we need to be able to play under that type of pressure while also being able to raise our game.

“We’ve been able to rotate the squad quite nicely throughout the tournament, we’ve got two Premiership players coming back into the side who didn’t play in our final pool game so they will be fresh and will add a great deal to the team.

“My message to the players on Tuesday will be a simple one, these opportunities don’t come around too often, we are in the semi-final of a wonderful competition, playing southern hemisphere opposition and I want them to show their class. The key thing is not to be overawed by the occasion, but to go out there and attack them.”

England U20s

15. Tom Parton (London Irish)

14. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)

13. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)

12. Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers)

11. Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers)

10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)

9. Ben White (Leicester Tigers)

1. Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby)

2. Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby)

3. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)

4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)

5. James Scott (Worcester Warriors)

6. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)

7. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)

8. Josh Basham (London Irish)


  1. Gabriel Oghre (Wasps)
  2. Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
  3. Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints)
  4. Tom Willis (Wasps Rugby)
  5. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
  6. Rory Brand (London Irish)
  7. James Grayson (Northampton Saints)
  8. Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)