Scott Wilson and Zach Kibirige have both been named in starting line-up for England Under-20s’ Six Nations clash with Wales Under-20s at Kingston Park this Friday (kick-off 7.45pm).
Wilson, who has recently represented the Saxons against Ireland Wolfhounds and Scotland ‘A’, starts at tighthead, while Kibirige gets the nod on the wing as the duo return home for international rugby.
The game against Wales is the first time the two sides have come together since last June’s IRB Junior World Championship final – England came out 23-15 winners that day, but England head coach Nick Walshe is expecting a tough contest come Friday evening.
He said: “We’ve made a good start to the Championship, it was disappointing to lose out in France but bounced back with good wins against Scotland and Ireland. The positive thing is that we still feel there is more to come from the guys, and we’re hoping for a good performance against Wales.
“We’ve made a few changes to the side and that gives us the opportunity to try out some new combinations – having that strength in depth is crucial, and we feel that we’ve picked a strong side for Friday.
“There’s not a chance we’ll be taking Wales lightly, we obviously know them pretty well and they have strength all over the park, but equally, so do we. We’re really pleased to be up here in Newcastle and can’t wait to get out there in front of a good home crowd.”
Meanwhile, Callum Chick has been named in the starting XV for England Under-18s against Scotland Under-18s this Sunday (kick-off 12pm).
Tickets for the England Under-20s game are still available by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.
England U20 starting XV against Wales 15 Howard Packman (Northampton Saints) 14 Zach Kibirige (Newcastle Falcons) 13 Nick Tompkins (Saracens) 12 Harry Sloan (Harlequins) 11 Henry Purdy (Leicester Tigers) 10 Billy Burns (Gloucester Rugby) 9 Callum Braley (Bristol Rugby, captain) 1 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi (Northampton Saints) 2 Harry Thacker (Leicester Tigers) 3 Scott Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens) 5 Tom Ellis (Bath Rugby) 6 Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby) 7 Gus Jones (London Wasps) 8 Joel Conlon (Exeter Chiefs) Replacements: 16 Tom Woolstencroft (Bath Rugby) 17 Alex Lundberg (London Wasps) 18 Paul Hill (Leeds Carnegie) 19 Jonny Hill (Gloucester Rugby) 20 Hayden Stringer (Saracens) 21 Henry Taylor (Loughborough University) 22 Sam Olver (Northampton Saints) 23 Aaron Morris (Bedford Blues)