Zach Kibirige and Scott Wilson have been named in the England Under-20s squad for this season’s Six Nations Championship, and are both set to feature against Wales at Kingston Park on Friday 7 March (kick-off 7.45pm).
The talented duo, both 19, are just two of 14 academy graduates taking the field for tonight’s crucial Amlin Challenge Cup clash with French Top 14 side Brive on home soil.
Scoring nine tries in nine first team outings for the North East club, Middlesbrough-born winger Kibirige penned professional forms ahead of this campaign. And Kibirige, who lifted the Daily Mail Vase with Yarm School last year, has made quite an impression this term, dotting down three times in the Amlin Challenge Cup including a brace at Cammi Rugby Calvisano during a man-of-the-match display.
Meanwhile Wilson, who hails from Melrose, is going from strength-to-strength under the watchful eye of Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards.
A Junior World Cup winner with England last summer, Wilson made his Falcons bow alongside Kibirige at home to Cross Keys in the British & Irish Cup in 2012. Following a series of solid performances in the cup, Wilson was rewarded with a string of appearances towards the end of last season as Newcastle clinched promotion back to the Aviva Premiership.
Wilson has continued his rugby career on Tyneside, making ten appearances for Richards’ men, two of which were starts in the LV= Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup respectively.
“I’m delighted for Zach and Scott, who are both extremely talented individuals that have a promising future ahead of them,” said Newcastle chief Richards.
“Pending selection, the North East and Cumbria public have the chance to see two local lads in action for their country in March, and I’m sure Zach and Scott are relishing the occasion.
“They have both worked hard to earn selection for England, and I would like to take this opportunity two congratulate them both,” added Richards.
Season Ticket Holders have until 5pm on Monday to secure their seats for the England v Wales Under-20s Six Nations showdown. All tickets are priced at £20, however supporters attending as a pair can take advantage of a buy one get one free offer. The club is also offering 2000 tickets for the North Stand free of charge to people under the age of 20 on a first come first served basis.
Call 0871 226 6060 to secure your place at the game now or click here to purchase your tickets online.
ENGLAND UNDER-20s ELITE PLAYER SQUAD (32)
Forwards (17) James Chisholm (Harlequins) Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs) Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby) Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby) Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie) Jonny Hill (Gloucester Rugby) Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints) Maro Itoje (Saracens) Gus Jones (London Wasps) Lewis Ludlow (Gloucester Rugby) Alex Lundberg (London Wasps) Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby) Will Owen (Leicester Tigers) Harry Rudkin (Leicester Tigers) Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers) Scott Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) Tom Woolstencroft (Bath Rugby)
Backs (15) Callum Braley (Bristol Rugby) Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby) Tom Collins (Northampton Saints) Nathan Earle (Saracens) Louis Grimoldby (Harlequins) Zach Kibirige (Newcastle Falcons) Aaron Morris (Bedford Blues) Sam Olver (Northampton Saints) Howard Packman (Northampton Saints) Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers) Harry Sloan (Harlequins) Tom Stephenson (Northampton Saints) Max Stelling (Worcester Warriors) Nick Tompkins (Saracens) Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs)
England Under-20s Six Nations fixtures
Friday, January 31: France Under-20s v England Under-20, Stade Leo Lagrange, Paris (7.55pm) Friday, February 7: Scotland Under-20s v England Under-20s, Netherdale, Galashiels (7.30pm) Saturday, February 22: England Under-20s v Ireland Under-20s, Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton (6.15pm, live on Sky Sports) Friday March 7: England Under-20s v Wales Under-20s, Kingston Park, Newcastle (7.45pm, live on Sky Sports) Friday March 14: Italy Under-20s v England Under-20s, Campo Comunale La Colombera, Brescia (kick off, TBC)