Yorkshire Carnegie and England U20 hooker Jack Walker says he can not wait for Saturday’s U20 World Rugby Championship Final against New Zealand and his toughest challenge this week has been to fill in the hours until the game kicks off on Saturday evening in Italy.

Walker was a replacement last year when England retained their world title with victory over South Africa by a single point in New Zealand. However, he has started all four games so far in this year’s tournament and is set to play a key role against the New Zealanders.  
 
He commented, “I have been watching their games this week and obviously the challenge is going to be a massive one for us come the Final. My goal has to be that I make sure that I rise to the challenge that playing an opponent like New Zealand brings. I think that showed in the semi final against South Africa for all the lads. We were disappointed to lose to France in our final pool game but we turned things around quickly after that and produced our best performance in our biggest game so far against the Baby Boks. 
 
“We will take loads of confidence from how we played against South Africa. All the forwards fronted up in that game and everyone was buzzing after the game. We can't wait to face New Zealand now.”
 
Walker and Yorkshire Carnegie teammate Paul Hill are two of only seven players available from last year’s winning squad. The hooker believes that means the pressure of retaining the title won in the Southern hemisphere twelve months ago is lessened because a new group of players are trying to make their own history. He added, “England has been in the last three Finals and we have won the last two. However, the thing with the Under 20s is that the make up of the side changes each year and you have to build again to try and win this tournament. Each team has made the Final on their own merit and we need to make the most of the opportunity we have on Saturday.
 
“There is no extra pressure because of what has happened in the last years but it is a World Cup Final so obviously there is pressure there. I am confident the boys will stand up to that pressure and come up with the right result,” added Walker.
 
Walker only turned 19 last month but amassed 18 appearances for Yorkshire Carnegie last season and is set to be central to Bryan Redpath’s side as they look to gain promotion to the Premiership next season. As well as fellow front rower Hill, Walker is also joined in the squad by back row Josh Bainbridge, who will be hoping for a recall for the Final. Walker believes his experiences at club level have helped his international progress. He added, “I am wiser player and person than this time last year and obviously having achieved plenty of gametime in the Championship this season with Yorkshire Carnegie has helped me with that progression, as well as winning the Six Nations with the England U20 side.  
 
“The boys here are fantastic and everyone who has come into the squad, whether they have been here a year or two years or just two months, they are welcomed into the group and they are a massive part of anything we achieve this weekend.
 
“Paul Hill will be massive for us in the Final. I have played alongside him for the last four years and he has been fantastic in what he brings to the team and I think the final is made for him. Against a side like New Zealand, it will be massive that the forwards are there in the game in the early encounters,” added Walker.
 
England, who are led by former Leeds coach Jon Callard, beat Japan and Wales in the group stages before defeat to France in the heat of the day in the their final pool game. An evening kick off against South Africa in the semi final brought some relief and with Saturday’s final once again at night it will hopefully aid the Northern hemisphere side. Walker added, “Everyone can't wait to go and play now. The last few days have been the hardest part with lots of waiting around but we will be ready to go come Saturday. The temperatures have reached over 30 degrees whilst we have been playing but it has been a brilliant tournament to be part of. It is something you dream of as a kid and you want to be part of. These are the games you want to play.”