Newcastle Falcons starlets Zach Kibirige and Scott Wilson have been named in this season’s England Under-20s squad, the club are delighted to confirm.
Kibirige, 18, and Wilson, 19, are part of a 32-man group that will be hoping to win a fourth Under-20 Six Nations title in a row in the New Year before heading to New Zealand to defend their IRB Junior World Championship trophy next June.
The duo made their full debuts for the Falcons in the British & Irish Cup last term and went on to make a series of appearances during the club’s push towards promotion back to the Aviva Premiership.
Coaches Nick Walshe and Ian Peel have called on 11 players previously capped at this level, while another 11 of the squad represented England at Under-18 level on their recent summer tour to South Africa.
Walshe said: “We’re excited to work with the players in our squad. We have a good blend of guys with experience and new talent coming in from the Under 18 set-up.
“There is always huge competition at this age grade and with a lot of players getting first team rugby at their clubs, it’s tough to narrow that down to a group of 32. We expect players to continue to push for inclusion.
“Competition for places will be high, but that’s just what you want. We had a successful season last season and the aim is to perform even better.”
England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “This season’s England Under-20s squad is a strong one with lots of experience. The amount of competition for places in each position reflects well on the work the regional academies at the clubs are doing.
“A lot of the players in this squad have come through our age group international programme – nine are Junior World Championship winners – and that goes to show how well the development pathway is working with players progressing through from the Under-18s into the Under 20s.
“Hopefully then they will be pushing for places in the Senior and Saxons Elite Player Squads.”
England U20 squad 2013/14