Warriors trio named in England Under 20s squad for Six Nations opener

Will Butler, James Scott and Joe Morris named in matchday squad

Warriors Academy trio Will Butler, James Scott and Joe Morris have been named in the England Under 20s matchday squad for their opening Six Nations clash against Italy on Friday.

Butler and Scott will both start, with the latter set to make his England debut, while Morris has been named on the bench as last season’s Grand Slam winners look to open their campaign with victory at Stadio Enzo Bearzot in Gorizia (kick-off 6pm GMT).

Saracens flanker Ben Earl will captain the side, which includes eight members of the squad which reached the final of the World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia last year.

England U20s are led by Head Coach Steve Bates, who is assisted by Anthony Allen, Richard Blaze and James Ponton as part of the coach development programme agreement between the RFU and Premiership Rugby.

Bates said: “It’s been really difficult to select a XV because we have some very talented young players and several of them have performed very well over the first half of the season.

“We’ll play high-intensity, high-tempo rugby against Italy and I expect us to be robust and direct. We’ve also talked about being reactive throughout the tournament and I think we have a side that is very versatile.

“Excitement is building among the squad. This is the first match of the tournament and we’re determined to make our own history.

“Most of the players in the senior side have played Under 20s rugby so that shows the strength of the pathway. The pathway is there to promote players through the programme and the new caps will be excited about following in the footsteps of some very special players. They recognise how big an opportunity this is for them.”

England Under 20s (*denotes uncapped player)

15 Tom Parton (London Irish)
14 Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)
13 Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)*
12 Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)
11 Ben Loader (London Irish)*
10 James Grayson (Northampton Saints)
9 Ben White (Leicester Tigers)*
1Toby Trinder (Northampton Saints)*
2 Henry Walker (Gloucester)
3 Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs)
4 Dino Lamb (Harlequins)
5 James Scott (Worcester Warriors)*
6 Sam Moore (Sale)*
7 Ben Earl (Saracens)
8 Tom Willis (Wasps)*

16 Gabriel Oghre (Wasps)*
17 Alex Seville (Gloucester)
18 Joe Morris (Worcester Warriors)
19 Sam Lewis (Leicester Tigers)*
20 Josh Basham (London Irish)*
21 Rory Brand (London Irish)
22 Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers)*
23 Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers)*

England Under 20s Six Nations Fixtures

Italy vs England
Friday 2 February | Kick-off 7pm (6pm GMT)
Stadio Enzo Bearzot, Gorizia

England vs Wales
Friday 9 February | Kick-off 7.45pm – live on Sky Sports Action
Kingston Park, Newcastle

Scotland vs England
Friday 23 February | Kick-off 7.30pm
Myreside, Edinburgh

France vs England
Friday 9 March | Kick-off 9pm (8pm GMT)
Stade de la Mediterranee, Beziers

England vs Ireland
Friday 16 March | Kick-off 8pm – live on Sky Sports Action
Ricoh Arena, Coventry