England confirm side for World Rugby U20 Championship opener against Argentina

Ben Curry will captain the England U20s side
Ben Curry will captain the England U20s side

England U20s head coach Steve Bates has named his side for the World Rugby U20 Championship opening game against Argentina to be played in Narbonne on Wednesday.

The squad contains four players from the previous Championship played in Georgia including the likes of Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby), fly-half James Grayson (Northampton Saints), wing Ali Crossdale (Saracens) and full-back Tom Parton (London Irish).

Ben Curry of Sale Sharks will lead the side and will be accompanied in the backrow by Ted Hill and Josh Basham while Northampton Saints duo Toby Trinder and Ehren Painter will comprise the front-row.

Fly-half Grayson will be partnered at half-back by Leicester Tigers' Ben White.

“We’ve had a really good period of preparation ahead of this tournament with a hugely beneficial fixture against South Africa and a training session with Wales," said Bates.

“It’s really helped to focus the minds of the players and we’ve seen a further improvement in training ahead of our first match of the championship against Argentina.

“I want to see us play with a bit more patience on Wednesday, I don’t want us to lower our intensity, but if we play as we did during the Six Nations then we have the ability to create a lot of opportunities and we need to be patient in how we execute those chances.

“We know the importance of winning every game in this tournament, and we need to go out on Wednesday with a real intent to get this campaign off to a positive start.

“We have an excellent squad of players, every position is competitive and this is an exciting England team that I’m looking forward to seeing perform on the world stage.

“Ben Curry’s experience of being a Premiership forward is invaluable and he is a very competitive, professional athlete, as well as being a fine player, which makes him a great choice as captain."

Since 2008, England U20 have won the title three times while they finished runners-up on five occasions.

England U20s
15. Tom Parton (London Irish)
14. Ali Crossdale (Saracens)
13. Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints)
12. Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers)
11. Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers)
10. James Grayson (Northampton Saints)
9. Ben White (Leicester Tigers)
1. Toby Trinder (Northampton Saints)
2. Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby)
3. Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints)
4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
5. James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
6. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
7. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks) – captain
8. Josh Basham (London Irish)

16. Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors)
17. Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby)
18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
19. Sam Lewis (Leicester Tigers)
20. Tom Willis (Wasps)
21. Rory Brand (London Irish)
22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
23. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)

England U20 fixtures:

England v Argentina
Wednesday 30 May, KO 5.30pm BST – highlights on ITV Sport 00:00
Stade d'Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l'Amitié, Narbonne

England v Italy
Sunday 3 June, KO 3.30pm BST - highlights on ITV Sport 23:00
Stade Aimé Giral, Perpignan

England v Scotland
Thursday 7 June, KO 8pm BST – highlights on ITV Sport 00:00
Stade de la Méditerranée, Beziers