Hobbs, Stephenson start v France, two more Saints on bench

Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi made his first team debut against the Dragons © www.redhatphoto.com

Rugby News, Academy News Hobbs, Stephenson start v France, two more Saints on bench

Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi and Tom Stephenson have both been named in the England Under-20 starting lineup for Friday night's Six Nations opener.

Both players are in their second year of Under-20 action, helping England to both the 2013 Six Nations and IRB Junior World Championships titles. And like Sam Olver and Howard Packman, who have been named on the replacements' bench, they have also experienced first team action this season, most recently in the LV= Cup bonus point win at Newport-Gwent Dragons last Saturday.

England Under-20 have a stiff opening challenge, taking on France at the Stade Leo Lagrange in Draguignan. And while coaches Nick Walshe and Ian Peel will be hoping for a fourth successive title, but Head Coach Walshe says that performance is key.

“Playing France in France is about as tough as you can get in the Six Nations," he said. "We played them twice last season and performed well on both occasions. Will that have a bearing on Friday night? We’d like to think so, but we need to execute our basics well and the rest will take care of itself.”

Following their successful outing against Italy last season England's next generation are returning to Franklin's Gardens in February, this time to play Ireland. Tickets for that game are on sale now - to book online 24/7 just CLICK HERE and follow the simple instructions!

Our online booking system is friendly for desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, and if you Print@Home you will save yourself the admin fees and beat the queues on match day!

ENGLAND UNDER-20 TEAM TO PLAY FRANCE
Six Nations
Stade Leo Lagrange, Draguignan
Friday, January 31st, 2014
Kick off 7:55pm UK time
15 Nathan EARLE (Saracens)
14 Zach KIBIRIGE (Newcastle Falcons)
13 Nick TOMPKINS (Saracens)
12 Tom STEPHENSON (Northampton Saints)
11 Henry PURDY (Leicester Tigers)
10 Billy BURNS (Gloucester)
9 Callum BRALEY (Bristol)(capt)
1 Danny HOBBS-AWOYEMI (Northampton Saints)
2 Harry THACKER (Leicester Tigers)
3 Paul HILL (Leeds Carnegie)
4 Maro ITOJE (Saracens)
5 Charlie EWELS (Bath)
6 Ross MORIARTY (Gloucester)
7 Joel CONLON (Exeter Chiefs)
8 James CHISHOLM (Harlequins)

Replacements
16 Tom WOOLSTENCROFT (Bath)
17 Alex LUNDBERG (London Wasps)
18 Adam JAMIESON (Bath)
19 Tom ELLIS (Bath)
20 Will OWEN (Leicester Tigers)
21 Henry TAYLOR (Loughborough University)
22 Sam OLVER (Northampton Saints)
23 Howard PACKMAN (Northampton Saints)

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