Fin Smith and Lewis Holsey to make England Under-20s debuts

Warriors pair Fin Smith and Lewis Holsey will make their England Under-20s debuts against France in the first round of this season’s Under-20s Six Nations in Cardiff on Saturday (kick-off 5.00pm).

Fly-half Smith and loosehead prop Holsey – both members of the Three Pears Warriors Academy – have already played in the Gallagher Premiership and have been included in England’s squad for the tournament, which will be played in its entirety at Cardiff Arms Park.

Smith and Holsey will both start against France and are among 12 new caps in the starting XV. Due to COVID-19 regulations teams are permitted to name a squad of 26 players for each fixture in this year’s competition, this means that there are now 11 replacements available for use during a match.

“We’ve had a really good training week and the attitude and commitment from the lads has been outstanding,” said England Under-20s Head Coach Alan Dickens.

“On Tuesday we were able to have a joint session with Eddie Jones and the senior team. It was fantastic to be able to incorporate that into our preparation for the Six Nations, but also for players to experience what it’s like at the next level.

“France are a quality side and will be a challenge. We need to be ready for what will no doubt be a physical encounter.

“This week the focus has been on us and what we can control. That said, we will need to have the ability to tactically adapt within the game situation.

“I also want the players to go out there and enjoy the experience. For many of them it’s their first Six Nations and that will be a very special moment that I want them to remember on Saturday night.

“We’re looking forward to getting out on pitch at Cardiff Arms Park now, putting in an 80-minute performance and kicking off our Six Nations campaign.”

England Under-20s
15 Orlando Bailey (Bath Rugby)
14 Deago Bailey (Bristol Rugby)
13 Jack Bates (Bristol Rugby)
12 Dan Lancaster (Leeds Tykes)
11 Arthur Relton (Exeter Chiefs)
10 Fin Smith (Worcester Warriors)
9 Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers)
1 Lewis Holsey (Worcester Warriors)
2 Archie Vanes (Leicester Tigers)
3 Luke Green (London Irish)
4 Ewan Richards (Bath Rugby)
5 Alex Groves (Bristol Bears)
6 Freddie Thomas (Gloucester Rugby)
7 Lucas Brooke (London Irish)
8 Jack Clement (Gloucester Rugby)

16 Sam Riley (Harlequins)
17 Phil Brantingham (Newcastle Falcons)
18 Harvey Beaton (Saracens)
19 Arthur Clark (Gloucester Rugby)
20 Emeka Ilione (Leicester Tigers)
21 Nahum Merigan (Bath Rugby)
22 Tom Carr-Smith (Bath Rugby)
23 Tommy Mathews (unattached)
24 Phil Cokanasiga (London Irish)
25 Louis Hillman-Cooper (Gloucester Rugby)
26 Tom Litchfield (Northampton Saints)

  • The England v France Under-20s Six Nations match can be viewed live on BBC iPlayer