Falcons trio in England U20s Elite Player Squad

Friday 3 January 2020

Newcastle Falcons' Rob Farrar, Will Haydon-Wood and Josh Hodge have been named in England Under-20s' Elite Player squad for 2020.

Back-five forward Farrar has already made his debut for the first team, scoring a try on his senior bow against Hartpury in November.

Full-back Hodge and fly-half Haydon-Wood are yet to feature for the first team, but both played in last Saturday's 57-10 triumph over Southern Knights.

They will now all form part of England's 32-man squad for the 2020 campaign to compete in the U20 Six Nations Championship which begins next month, as well as in this summer’s World Rugby U20 Championship in Italy.

The squad will convene at Bisham Abbey national sports centre on Sunday, head coach Alan Dickens saying: "I believe we’ve selected a really strong 32 for our elite player squad.

“We also have a wider squad that we know will contribute and be crucial during the Six Nations as well as the World Rugby U20 Championship, and my message to those players not in the 32 would be to stay fit and engaged with everything we are doing.

“I want to see the players arrive in camp on Sunday with a desire to learn, improve and take in a high level of detail. We have less than a month to bond as a squad before our first Six Nations fixture so getting them to gel will be a key challenge for the players as well as management team.

“I also want players to enjoy themselves. Being selected for England at any level is a proud moment in their careers and they should remember that. Hopefully, this is the next step in their ultimate dream of playing for the senior side.”

Dickens added: “Some of this group will have experienced the Six Nations last year and know how special a competition it is, with fixtures against some of England’s great rivals.

“Crucially though, it prepares them for what they will experience as and when they make the next step into the senior side so it is a critical phase in their development as an England player. These players need to be aware that next step is not too far away and relish this opportunity.

“We’ve had our first camp in November which was a really positive experience. It was made even more positive for the players when Eddie Jones was able to come in and deliver a session and that had a really powerful impact on them. This is a stepping stone to senior international rugby and we continue our preparations in a few days’ time.”

ENGLAND UNDER-20S ELITE PLAYER SQUAD

FORWARDS: Alfie Barbeary (Wasps Rugby), Harvey Beaton (Saracens), Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs), Jack Clement (Gloucester Rugby), Sam Crean (Saracens), Theodore Dan (Saracens), Ben Donnell (London Irish), Rob Farrar (Newcastle Falcons), Josh Gray (Gloucester Rugby), Luke Green (London Irish), George Martin (Leicester Tigers), Nahum Merigan (Bath Rugby), Hugh Tizard (Harlequins), JJ Tonks (Northampton Saints), Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs), James Whitcombe (Leicester Tigers).

BACKS: George Barton (Gloucester Rugby), Joe Carpenter (Sale Sharks), Tom Curtis (Sale Sharks), Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks), Gabriel Hamer-Webb (Bath Rugby), Will Haydon-Wood (Newcastle Falcons), Noah Heward (Worcester Warriors), Josh Hodge (Newcastle Falcons), Max Ojomoh (Bath Rugby), Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), Raphael Quirke (Sale Sharks), Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks), Ollie Sleightholme (Northampton Saints), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), Jack Van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), Manu Vunipola (Saracens).

FIXTURES

France v England: Saturday, February 1, KO 8pm GMT, Stade des Alpes, Grenoble

Scotland v England: Friday February 7, KO 7.30pm GMT, Myreside, Edinburgh

England v Ireland: Friday, February 21, KO 7.45pm GMT, Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton.

England v Wales: Friday, March 6, KO 7.45pm GMT, Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester.

Italy v England: Sunday, March 15, KO 5.30pm GMT, Payanini Rugby Center, Verona

(PHOTO CAPTION. Left to right, Josh Hodge, Will Haydon-Wood and Rob Farrar).

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