Davies and Blamire start in U20s World Cup opener

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Newcastle Falcons pair Max Davies and Jamie Blamire both start for England Under-20s on Wednesday as they begin the defence of their Junior World Championship.

The campaign gets underway against Samoa in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, with Davies (pictured) packing down on the blind-side flank, and Blamire starting at hooker.

The 10am UK-time kick-off will be streamed live on the World Rugby website, with highlights on ITV4 at 11pm.

Davies and Blamire were both part of the England squad which completed a Grand Slam in this year's Under-20s Six Nations Championship. and are both part of the Falcons' squad for next season.

England Under-20s head coach Ian Vass said ahead of the opening fixture: “We’ve picked a team we believe can do a job against Samoa, bearing in mind it’s a long tournament and everyone is going to have to play at some point.

“Samoa have a lot of talented individual players who can run and score from anywhere on the field. They are very strong physically, carrying and tackling.

“We want to see the lads put into practice everything we’ve been working on with them since before Christmas. We want to see them playing together as a team and defending as a team also working as hard as they can. If they do that then we have some good players who can make things happen. Really, we just want them to put in a performance they can be pleased with.”

England will face familiar faces in their second fixture when they come up against Wales on Sunday 4 June. Australia, who were in England’s pool last year, are the opposition for their final pool game on Thursday 8 June.

Newcastle Falcons scrum-half Ruaridh Dawson, meanwhile, is named on the bench for Scotland Under-20s, who open their account against New Zealand on Wednesday.

England U20 team to face Samoa

15 Tom Parton (London Irish)

14 Ali Crossdale (Saracens)

13 Dominic Morris (Saracens)

12 Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)

11 Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)

10 Theo Brophy-Clews (London Irish - captain)

9 Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)

1 Ollie Dawe (Bristol Rugby)

2 Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons)

3 Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs)

4 Josh Caulfield (Exeter Chiefs)

5 Dino Lamb (Harlequins)

6 Max Davies (Newcastle Falcons)

7 Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby)

8 Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby)

Replacements

16 Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby)

17 Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby)

18 Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)

19 Justin Clegg (Worcester Warriors)

20 Joe Mullis (Gloucester Rugby)

21 Harry Randall (Gloucester Rugby)

22 Max Malins (Saracens)

23 Jacob Umaga (Wasps)

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