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Beckett to start England Under-20s crunch clash

England have named their squad for tomorrow’s World Rugby U20 Championship pool decider against France at the Stadio Luigi Zaffanella, Viadana.

Leicester Tigers flanker Charlie Beckett makes his first start of the tournament, while Ellis Genge and Harlequins back-rower James Chisholm re-claim their places at loosehead and No.8 respectively.

Sale Sharks scrum-half James Mitchell is the only change in the back line from the side that beat Wales 30-16, stepping up after Exeter Chiefs’ Stuart Townsend was ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a knee injury. Bath Rugby’s Will Homer is on the bench.

Head coach Jon Callard said: “It is important that we manage resources – it is about keeping players fit and fresh for the whole of the tournament and giving everyone an opportunity. 

“Some will inevitably be disappointed when they miss out, but the squad we have selected is what we believe to be the best fit for this particular game.

“We are just concentrating on ourselves. We are always trying to improve as a team and develop the processes that go into being a good team, with capable and confident players.  We are not worried about the outcome – that will take care of itself if we play to the best of our ability.

“I always enjoy playing against the French and watching them play. They have flair and a well-drilled set piece, which makes it a nice challenge for our team. Our scrum and lineout have improved game on game so to go against a strong French side will be a good test. 

“I am expecting them to be solid up front and committed, and because of that French element of the unknown, we need to be sharp, always switched on and ready to respond to every eventuality.”
 
England U20 squad v France:
15. Aaron Morris (Saracens)
14. George Perkins (Saracens)
13. Nick Tompkins (Saracens)
12. Max Clark (Bath Rugby)
11. Howard Packman (Northampton Saints)
10. Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby)
9. James Mitchell (Sale Sharks)
 
1. Ellis Genge (Bristol Rugby)
2. Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie)
3. Paul Hill (Yorkshire Carnegie)
4. Kieran Treadwell (Harlequins)
5. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, Captain)
6. Charlie Beckett (Leicester Tigers)
7. Will Owen (Leicester Tigers)
8. James Chisholm (Harlequins)
 
Replacements:
16. Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs)
17. Owen Hills (Leicester Tigers)
18 Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks)
19. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs)
20. Josh Bainbridge (Yorkshire Carnegie)
21. Will Homer (Bath Rugby)
22. Lloyd Evans (Gloucester Rugby)
23 .Piers O’Conor (Wasps)

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