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Leicester Tigers centre Thacker comes in for England Under-20s

Leicester Tigers centre Charlie Thacker is the only change for England Under-20s ahead of Friday’s Six Nations game against Italy at Brickfields in Plymouth.

Thacker – who is yet to make an Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance for the Tigers – replaces Bath Rugby’s Max Clark.

There are also changes on the bench with Tom West, Sam Skinner and Tom Howe all coming in.

England are looking to bounce back from their opening day 21-15 defeat against Wales, and forwards coach Ian Peel says that the squad are in a good place.

 “The lads have responded very well this week,” he said. “They were obviously gutted after the Wales result but have taken a lot of learnings from that game and we’re looking to transfer that from training pitch to the game on Friday night.

“Italy will be big and physical. They’ve got a good driving game, good runners and like to play with pace. It’ll be a tough game.”
 
England Under-20s starting XV against Italy:

15. Piers O'Conor (Wasps Rugby)
14. George Perkins (Saracens)
13. Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
12. Charlie Thacker (Leicester Tigers)
11. Howard Packman (Northampton Saints)
10. Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby)
9. Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs)
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. Jake Farnworth (Leicester Tigers)
17. Tom West (Wasps Rugby)
18. Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks)
19. Joe Batley (Gloucester Rugby)
20. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs)
21. James Mitchell (Sale Sharks)
22. Tom Morton (Sale Sharks)
23. Tom Howe (Wasps Rugby) 

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