Fin Smith to start for England Under-20s against Scotland

Warriors’ fly-half Fin Smith will again start for England in their second match in this season’s Under-20s Six Nations against Scotland at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday (kick-off 2.00pm).

Smith played a starring role – and contributed 13 points – to England’s second-half fightback which brought a bonus point 38-22 victory over France in their tournament opener last Saturday.

England Under-20s Head Coach Alan Dickens has named an unchanged backline for the Scotland match but has made four changes to the pack.

Emeka Ilione makes his first start at Under-20s level from blind-side flanker as do Phil Brantingham at loose-head prop – replacing Warriors’ Lewis Holsey – and Sam Riley at hooker. Harvey Kindell-Beaton completes the front row at tighthead.

There are five changes among the replacements. Hooker John Stewart, loose-head prop Tarek Haffar, back row Harry Taylor plus backs Raffi Quirke and Charlie Atkinson could make their U20 Six Nations debut on Friday.

“It’s been a good week preparing for Friday’s match and the players have recovered well after a physical game against France last weekend,” Dickens said.

“We’ve made a few changes in the forwards for this match. I was impressed with the impact that those four players had when they came on last week and wanted to give them starts this time out.

“We were fortunate to have a couple of training matches against Scotland in Newcastle a few weeks ago which was really helpful and we know they will pose a challenge. But it’s also about focusing on ourselves and ensuring we are ready to play what’s in front of us.

“The players are coming together well as a group. We had 12 Under-20 debutants in the starting line-up for the last match, but I was very impressed with the way they handled themselves particularly coming back from 19-3 down.

“The players worked out where they needed to tactically adapt and they did it. We know that will again be important when we play Scotland.”

Due to Covid-19 regulations teams are permitted to name a squad of 26 players for each fixture in this year’s competition. Teams can use eight of the 11 replacements named in a squad during the match.

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) (Captain)
1 Phil Brantingham (Newcastle Falcons)
2 Sam Riley (Harlequins)
3 Harvey Kindell-Beaton (Saracens)
4 Ewan Richards (Bath Rugby)
5 Alex Groves (Bristol Bears)
6 Emeka Ilione (Leicester Tigers)
7 Lucas Brooke (London Irish)
8 Jack Clement (Gloucester Rugby)

16 John Stewart (Bath Rugby)
17 Tarek Haffar (London Irish)
18 Luke Green (London Irish)
19 Arthur Clark (Gloucester Rugby)
20 Harry Taylor (Gloucester Rugby)
21 Nahum Merigan (Bath Rugby)
22 Raffi Quirke (Sale Sharks)
23 Tommy Mathews (unattached)
24 Phil Cokanasiga (London Irish)
25 Tom Litchfield (Northampton Saints)
26 Charlie Atkinson (Wasps)