England U20 have named their side to kick off the defence of the Six Nations title at Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow on Friday (8pm). The match follows that of the England Women and the double header can be watched live on englandrugby.com.
Jack Walker will captain the team for the first time and will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of his brother Chris who led the age group to victory in 2012 when they retained the Championship. It was against Scotland two years ago that the hooker from Yorkshire Carnegie, aged 17, became the second youngest player to make an U20 debut (behind Luke Cowan-Dickie).
Walker and George Perkins were the only players involved in last year’s 26-11 victory over Scotland at Mowden Park. However, Tom West, Josh Bainbridge and Joe Marchant all featured in the successful Six Nations campaign, together with Charlie Thacker who starts at inside centre after being called into camp this week.
Billy Keast is another addition and the Exeter Chiefs prop is one of six players who make the step up, having toured with the U18s to South Africa last summer.
Jack Walker brings the experience of two World Championships and Six Nations
Head Coach Jon Callard said: “The players have trained really well this week, they work hard for each other, and I’m encouraged with where we are at. Credit goes to all the coaches for the progress that this group has made.
“The first game of any Championship is always tough, especially playing away in Scotland, but the players are excited about getting started.
“We’re looking for them to use this competition to continue developing their all-round game. For example, we want functionally fit forwards who, as well as having a strong set piece, are ball handlers and good decision makers right across the field. You can always come back to a tighter game but we want players to see this as an opportunity to express themselves and enjoy playing for their country.”
England U20 to play Scotland U20:
15. Mathew Protheroe (Gloucester Rugby)
14. Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby)
13. Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
12. Charlie Thacker (Leicester Tigers)
11. George Perkins (Saracens)
10. Joe Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs)
9. Max Green (Yorkshire Carnegie)
1. Tom West (Wasps)
2. Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie)
3. Will Stuart (Wasps)
4. Huw Taylor (Worcester Warriors)
5. Stan South (Harlequins)
6. Archie White (Harlequins)
7. Josh Bainbridge (Yorkshire Carnegie)
8. Callum Chick (Newcastle Falcons)
16. Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors)
17. Jake Pope (Sale Sharks)
18. Billy Keast (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Andrew Kitchener (Worcester Warriors)
20. Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby)
21. Jamie Shillcock (Worcester Warriors)
22. Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins)
23. Taylor Prell (Yorkshire Carnegie)
U20 Six Nations:
Friday 5 February (8pm)
Broadwood Stadium, Glasgow
Available to view live on englandrugby.com
Friday 12 February (7.10pm local time)
Stadio Pacifici, San Dona' Di Piave
Friday 26 February (6.05pm)
Kingston Park, Newcastle
Tickets are available here: https://www.eticketing.co.uk/newcastle-falcons/details/event.aspx?itemref=2863
Friday 11 March (7.45pm)
Ashton Gate, Bristol
Tickets are available here: http://tickets.bristol-sport.co.uk/categories/bristolrugbyhome
Friday 18 March (6.45pm local time)
Stade du Hameau, Pau