Fixtures - Top Bar

Ludlam and Witty return for England Under-20s

JonCallard15SB1005

Northampton Saints flanker Lewis Ludlam and Newcastle Falcons lock Will Witty return to the starting line-up for tomorrow’s semi-final of the World Rugby U20 Championship against South Africa in Calvisano.

Both players made their debuts against Japan and are the only changes to the side that lost 30-18 in the final pool game against France.

It was the squad’s first defeat since the opening game of the Six Nations but head coach Jon Callard has been pleased with the positive response of the players. 

“It was a disappointing game but the attitude and bounce back has been first class,” he said.

“There is a renewed energy and ambition in the group and, while the format of this competition is demanding, it does mean that within a matter of days we have the opportunity to put right what we didn’t do against France."

France play New Zealand in the other semi-final while South Africa, the highest performing team in the group stages, play England in a repeat of last year’s final.

“Every year is different,” said Callard.  “This is a new group of players and this is their chance to show what they are capable of.  

“It is both a privilege and an honour for them to be in the same bracket as South Africa, France and New Zealand, but we need to put in performances that prove we have the right to be there. 

“We have watched South Africa extensively and they are a forward-orientated side, with good half backs that can move the team around the field well, and they have an electric back three. 

“This is why we come to these tournaments – you want to play against the best, to learn and develop through challenging fixtures. We are excited about the proposition that is ahead of us.”

In the first two rounds Ludlam won more turnovers than any other player in the tournament and Witty was named in the World Rugby Dream Team following his performance against Japan. 

Squad rotation and management is crucial for a successful campaign and Callard believes these players bring the right qualities for this opposition.

He added: “Lewis is an outstanding player and Will really imposed himself in the game against Japan, we are very pleased with him. 

“They offer the physicality and athleticism that will be needed against a very good South African side.”
 
England v South Africa:
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. Will Witty (Newcastle Falcons)
5. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, Captain)
6. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton)
7. Will Owen (Leicester Tigers)
8. James Chisholm (Harlequins)
 
Replacements:
16. Jack Innard (Exeter Chiefs)
17. Sebastian Adeniran-Olule (Harlequins)
18. Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks)
19. Kieran Treadwell (Harlequins)
20. Sam Skinner (Exeter Chiefs)
21. Will Homer (Bath Rugby)
22. Lloyd Evans (Gloucester)
23. Piers O’Conor (Wasps)
 
England's Schedule (Live on BT Sport):
June 2, England 59 – 7 Japan, KO 5.30pm BST, Stadio San Michele Calvisano
June 6, England 30 – 16 Wales, KO 7.30pm BST, Stadio San Michele Calvisano
June 10, England 18 – 30 France, KO 3.30pm BST, Stadio Luigi Zaffanella Viadana
June 15, England v South Africa, KO 7.30pm BST, Stadio San Michele Calvisano
June 20, Final and third place play off, Details TBC

Latest News

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball