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Grayson and Painter go toe-to-toe with Saints teammates Strachan and Onojaife

Northampton Saints pair James Grayson and Ehren Painter have been recalled into the England starting line-up for their final Pool B fixture of the World Rugby U20 Championship.

The Red Rose take on Scotland in Beziers on Thursday evening (kick-off 8pm BST) having already secured their spot in the semi-finals of the tournament after bonus-point wins over Argentina (39-18) and Italy (43-5).

Saints starlet Grayson is chosen at fullback for the clash against England’s north-of-the-border rivals, while Ehren Painter will make his third straight appearance in the competition as he starts at prop.

Meanwhile, the Scots have also rung the changes in their squad after two straight defeats and there is room for centre Fraser Strachan in the midfield while Devante Onojaife is selected on the bench. 

England head coach Steve Bates said: “The challenge is always going to be one of improvement as we go through this tournament.

"The first two games have been good but there are still things we need to work on."

Steve Bates (England U20s head coach)

“We recognise that this fixture is a good opportunity for us to keep progressing and to build momentum so there is a pressure on this group to ensure we don’t drop our intensity or pace.

“We need to cut out some of the errors that crept into our game in the last match. We won the ball well, we scrummaged well but we have to be a little more accurate with the ball when we get it, keep it, be patient and if we do that then we will stretch sides.

“Scotland have been really competitive in the two games they have played so far and although we have beaten those two teams we’ve had to work pretty hard to do it.

“The rivalry between the two nations will be a part of this game and I think the fact they beat us in the Six Nations will also be a factor and will no doubt raise the intensity of both sides.”

Scotland head coach Bryan Redpath added: “We were obviously disappointed to fall short against Argentina on Sunday. It was a close, physical battle, that was probably a lot closer than the final score suggested.

"I’ve got every confidence that this group of players can compete and battle for the full 80 minutes."

Bryan Redpath (Scotland U20s head coach)

“There were a huge number of positives to take from the Argentina match; some of our attacking play was excellent, but we felt it was necessary to make changes heading into Thursday’s England fixture.

“It’s going to be a tough match-up – England have shown their strength and depth in both of their wins over Argentina and Italy – but, I’ve got every confidence that this group of players can compete and battle for the full 80 minutes.”


England U20s v Scotland U20s
Thursday 7 June, KO 8pm BST (highlights on ITV 4 at midnight)
Stade de la Méditerranée, Beziers

  England U20s

  Scotland U20s

  15. James Grayson (Northampton Saints)
  14. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)
  13. Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers)
  12. Will Butler (Worcester Warriors)
  11. Ben Loader (London Irish)
  10. Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers)
  9. Ben White (Leicester Tigers)

  1. Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
  2. Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors)
  3. Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints)
  4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens)
  5. James Scott (Worcester Warriors)
  6. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors)
  7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby)
  8. Tom Willis (Wasps)

  16. Gabriel Oghre (Wasps)
  17. Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby)
  18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers)
  19. Josh Basham (London Irish)
  20. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)
  21. Rory Brand (London Irish)
  22. Matt Williams (London Irish)
  23. Tom Parton (London Irish)

  15. Logan Trotter (Stirling County)
  14. Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Hawks)
  13. Patrick Anderson (Melrose)
  12. Fraser Strachan (Northampton Saints)
  11. Sam Yawayawa (Glasgow Hawks)
  10. Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks)
  9. Charlie Gowling (Stade Francais)

  1. Ross Dunbar (Boroughmuir)
  2. Robbie Smith (Ayr)
  3. Finlay Richardson (Edinburgh Accies)
  4. Ewan Johnson (Racing Metro 92)
  5. Charlie Jupp (Heriot’s)
  6. Marshall Sykes (St Jospeh’s College)
  7. Guy Graham (Newcastle Falcons)
  8. James Miller (Watsonians)

  16. Finlay Scott (Jed Forest)
  17. Finn Hobbis (Watsonians)
  18. Murphy Walker (Strathallan School)
  19. Martin Hughes (Heriot’s)
  20. Devante Onojaife (Northampton Saints)
  21. Charlie Chapman (Gloucester)
  22. Callum McLelland (Edinburgh)
  23. Stafford McDowall (Ayr)

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