By RFU Press Office
February 3 2011
England U20 head coach Rob Hunter has named a strong squad ahead of his side's trip to Llanelli to face Wales at the Parc y Scarlets on Saturday, kick off 6.30pm.
|England U20 squad to face Wales announced|
Newcastle Falcons No. 8 Alex Gray, 20, will captain the side as part of a strong pack including Worcester Warriors flanker Matt Kvesic at 6 and Bristol Rugby prop Mako Vunipola at loosehead.
Leicester Tigers' George Ford, son of England defence coach Mike, will start at 10 while the pacy midfield combination of Ryan Mills (Gloucester Rugby) and Elliot Daly (London Wasps) will take their places at 12 and 13, respectively.
Of the XV that will start the game against Wales, only Vunipola survives from England U20's last competitive match which was in the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina last summer. Rob Buchanan (Harlequins), Charlie Matthews (Harlequins) and Gray also featured in the match, coming off the bench.
With a relatively new squad at his disposal, Hunter is excited to see what his players have to offer after a series of successful training camps.
Time to put ourslves to the test – Hunter
He said: "We're excited about getting stuck into the 6 Nations, we've enjoyed good camps in Portugal and Surrey and it's time to put ourselves to the test. Starting off against Wales in Wales is as good as it gets and we'll be taking each game as it comes throughout the campaign.
"We've got our squad for Wales and that's our primary focus, and after that we'll focus on Italy. It will be a tough match in Llanelli for us, they will have the crowd behind them, they'll be physical, they have good runners and we'll be tested.
"I'm pleased with where we are. It is tough to whittle the squad down to 22, we have some outstanding players at this age grade and a lot of competition for places. It's vital to get the blend right and we want to give the lads the opportunity both to perform and develop."
England U20 starting XV:
15) Ben Ransom (Saracens)
16) Rob Buchanan (Harlequins)